Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Post #703 - October 3, 1945 What Will Probably Be My Last Pass in London Starts Friday


3 October 1945


am writing this early, during part of my lunch-hour, because I must go into town tonight to pick up my trousers at Marks’.

What will probably be my last pass in London starts Friday, day after tomorrow. Coincidentally, your letter of 22-23 September arrived yesterday afternoon together with your V-mail of 25 Sep. I say coincidentally because in your letter, you ask me to hold on to my pay. Naturally, this pass in London will cost me something (there are quite a few good pictures I would like very much to see), but you have my word for it, Chippie, I'll go as easy as I can. I guess you will be thinking that I could forego this pass entirely and save that much more, and theoretically you are right. I could. But there is the other, realistic, side to be considered. First, as I said before, it will, in all probability, be my last chance to get to London. Getting into London occasionally means a lot to me, baby - it's been a life-saver - I mean that almost literally, ’cause I feel that my occasional leaves there are the one factor that prevented me from going at least a little off my nut. Then, you must consider that it is a full month since I've been, and three weeks since I've been beyond the confines of camp. That evening Klein and I went into Colchester to visit Bert in hospital. So, my sweet, you must understand that my leaves are something more than a luxury. They are a necessity. That is why you must condone the fact that during my tenure in England I spent a few hundred dollars in London that I might other-wise have saved by denying myself, but who knows at what price? And don't tell me how you have been denying yourself, Chippie—how you don't even get to a neighborhood movie for weeks and months on end, because deplorable as that fact is, (and you know I would prefer it otherwise), there is no similarity in the two situations. You are too busy with other things to allow yourself the necessary relaxation, you can't help yourself, usually. But I have nothing and no one to turn, to for company here on the base. My buddies pleasures are not mine.I wouldn't want them to be! And I could even put up with the lack of congenial companions. I've been “different” from the other guys all thru my Army career, so I'm used to being alone and lonely, but I must have a change of scene once in a while. Believe me, honey, it is a very real need, because after a few weeks of doing the same things hour by hour each day, and seeing the same things during the course of those days, I begin to feel an increasing morbidity and depression, from which the only cure is to get away from my work and the base for a while. You may think I'm my using a lot of words to tell you something you know already, but your reference in your letter reminded me that you have a flair for saving money without caring too much at what cost in other things you are doing so. Therefore, in order to anticipate the condemnation I might otherwise expect because I am seemingly going contrary to your wishes by availing myself of this last opportunity for a leave, I am trying to make it very plain why I am doing so. I trust you’ll understand and appreciate my reasons, honey, ’cause I don't want you to throw it up to me later. You speak of the great amount of money we’ll need on our contemplated combined "shopping tour" and vacation. I hope, darling, that you haven't counted on me for more than $50.00 or so in addition to the $100 mustering out pay, ’cause unless I gamble and win, I don’t see how I'll have very much more, and since I layed out $26.00 for my watch (which I learned just the other day retails for $65.00) in addition to a few dollars for rations, etc. I could not afford to gamble. However, we'll do the best we can with what we have available when the time comes for our vacation. If you don't consider that we have enough to buy all those things you want, why, I can do with one new suit instead of three and one new pair of shoes instead of three pairs, etc., etc. You are entirely welcome, Chippie, to use any part of the $300 mustering-out pay I will receive in a period of two months, in any way you see fit. I don't deem it necessary or advisable to spend the entire amount on my wardrobe. I wouldn’t feel right owning all those new clothes knowing that there were other, more necessary things that you might have bought with the money. Personally, Sweet, I'd rather we spent as little as possible on my wardrobe on our first shopping trip, 'cause I'm almost sure we will need some of that $300 for our vacation expenses. As a matter of fact, I can't imagine where else we're to get the money for that, and I don't know where you think it’s to come from unless you counted on me to come home with enough to cover those expenses. By the way, honey, you say something about not being able to leave Adele with your mother for more than a week or ten days. I don't know what you are planning, Sweet, but for your information—if I could have just you alone for three or four days, why, I'd like to have the punkin with us the rest of the time, wherever we are or go, or for however long we can afford to stay—that is, if you have no objections yourself~ I realize that it's useless to make any detailed plans now, honey, especially since it will only take us a coupla minutes to decide where we want to go once we are together again, but I was wondering just how much you are prepared to spend on our little jaunt, and with what funds you contemplated financing the trip—or don't you have any ideas on that score either?

Your V-mail informed me that you received my letter telling you how we'd been "jerked around” (to use your own inelegant expression). But then you go on to say something that I can’t make heads or tails of: "Perhaps this ought to knock into you,better than anything I could possibly say, the importance of being independent!” Frankly, Chippie, I don't know what you're trying to prove. You sound almost as tho’ you blamed me for the turn of affairs!—And where does this business of “being independent” enter into it? - And how in hell is a guy supposed to be “independent” in the Army? - And whenever did you get the idea that I don’t appreciate the importance of "being independent”? - And even if I were so thick, I didn't realize its importance, why should this latest "jerking around" "knock it into me?" Really, Chippie, you don't give me credit for much intelligence, do you? You seem to lose all ability to reason, or to write intelligibly when you lose your temper, which has obviously happened in this case. Is it possible you mean that if I were “independent” I wouldn't be in the Army where I’m subject to being “jerked around”? If that's what you mean, baby, then I can only say—no kiddin’! Or do you mean to point out the difference between being subject to the whims and orders of others (as in the Army) and being “your own boss”? I guess that’s what you were trying to convey. In which case I beg to remind you, my sweet, that I am a veteran of three years and four months’ service in the Army, and that even if I didn’t realize the importance of being “independent” while I was still in knee-pants (which I did—even then!) then I would certainly have learned it by now! The truth is—any rookie with as little as a weeks’ service could write volumes on just how important it is to be independent. Therefore, I consider it little short of laughable that you should see fit at this late date to “knock into” me what I fully appreciated when you were still young enough to display your pretty pink panties to all and sundry without thinking anything about it! I’m not so obtuse, either, that I’m not fully cognizant of the fact that you don’t consider that I act like a guy who realizes the importance of being independent. Maybe not, honey, as far as you are concerned, but you must remember that just as there are many roads to Mecca, there are devious ways of attaining any end, and just because my way doesn’t happen to coincide with yours, is no reason to assume that we are not traveling toward the same objective? And, with no affront intended, who are you to say that yours is the right road and mine the wrong one?—But I seem to have made a mountain out of a mole hill.—Next time you mean to point a moral, sweetheart, give a thought to whom you’re pointing it. I’m not a complete ninny, you know.—Above all, don’t lose your temper in the process!

Your P.S. informs me that you finally submitted “Mike.” I believe I’ve told you that you’re much too late. You might just as well have saved yourself the postage, honey. If you’d done something about it in June, when you received the MS, there was only a 100-1 chance against its being published. Now the odds are 1000-1. I really don’t understand why you delay so long, but since I told you to do with it as you would, I hold no brief with you for it. However, it struck me as I read your postscript that it might be a good idea to acquire the copyright to the title in any case. I’m planning to write a song now (I mean planning now, not writing now) using at least the phrase if not actually using it as the title. So I’d appreciate it, Chippie, if you’d stop in to see one of your lawyer friends, when you have an opportunity, to see if it’s possible to copyright just a title like “For the Love of Mike,” and whether the fee would be nominal or otherwise.

Almost forgot to mention that I didn’t write last night. I started to, but I had a rare case of the blues, so I decided not to. Instead, I finished reading “Strange Woman.” It is an absorbing story, but it was more or less spoiled for me by the author's too-apparent efforts toward sensationalism—to write what he felt would appeal to a public in the throes of a fad for sexual erotica in their novels. The character of Jenny Hager-Poster-Evered is at once, evil, repulsive and downright impossible. It taxes the imagination to think how any human could be so heartless, cunning, and yet overtly good and kind and lovely. No, I just couldn't get used to the idea that she was "real” and I like to have my people in books "convincing” if nothing else. I don't know whether it struck anyone else so, (I suspect I'm a bit out of the ordinary in this respect), but the "Strange Woman's” flagrant promiscuity all thru the book literally made me sick to my stomach! I despised her with a very real loathing as I read. I think I could kill a creature (I can't insult you by calling her a woman) like her with no more compunction than I could snuff out the life in a fly!

Are you wondering, Sweet, where I'm getting the time to write all this? Well, I'm working with "Red" "McGetrick on a job that requires both of us, but he's been busy with a hundred other things that can't wait, so I'm killing the time until he's ready to help me in this delightful fashion. We have our own little office, just the two of us, and I have been able to write uninterruptedly since lunch-time. It is now 3:29 P.M. (by my new 
watch, which I am very fond of now), and I've just about "written myself out” as you are wont to say.

Rather than 
start another side, I'll tell you right here and now, my darling, what I am always so proud to say—I love you—Lotsa kisses and hugs for Adele, and love to all from

Your adoring Phil

P.S. Say about 19 Nov for "the DAY"?

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