Trinidad, September 23, 1947
I just got in today and was on my way to the U.S.O. to shoot some pool, when I received your letter. (The one where you asked me when my birthday was.). So, I thought I’d better answer right away, and let the pool wait for a while.
First, I shall ask you to discount one of the two letters I mailed today as utter foolishness, on my part. You, in your present state of mind, would think me ridiculous for having written it. But, I mailed it before yours came, so, it’s too late now. Just don’t pay too much attention to it.
I think that when I first wrote to you and omitted all mention, or most all, of my feelings toward you, I was following the right track. In fact, I’m sure of it. You only became confused when you read of a love which you have no realization of, and certainly not the ability to reciprocate, as yet at any rate.
Certainly, you, off all people can have no doubt as to the depth and sincerity of my feelings toward you. You are well aware that up until this moment I have been absolutely positive.
But, now I’m becoming rather frightened. Phrases like, “I do not have faith in my fellow humans”, and, “I am distrustful and cowardly”, do not digest at all well, on this end of the line. You can’t mean that. How could you, and still entertain the thought of becoming a Nun.
Now, I’ll tell you something that may seem rather strange to you when you recall our first date. I danced with a girl at the Country Club here in Port of Spain several weeks ago, the only date, incidentally, that I have had down here; my heart having been left elsewhere, in confused, but careful hands.
I think that I couldn’t have made much of an impression on her, not that it matters any. But, we had a nice friendly chat on the way home, and, at her door, naturally I didn’t kiss her, she told me that she thought, rather than go to sea, I should become a Priest.
I guess she was rather offended when I laughed at her, because, you see, I don’t think I’m capable of being a good priest. Yet, I try to have faith in my fellow humans, and, after the “Late Hate”, I do not consider myself cowardly or unworthy of trust. These factors are essential for anyone taking up the “Cloth”.
Yet, you claim that you feel you were meant to be a Nun. My darling, you are pure enough, religious enough, but, by your own admittance,you lack several of the bare essentials.
I say, you were no more meant to be a Nun than I a Priest. I feel that your place is beside me, sharing our love, but, now I’m beginning to doubt whether you will realize any love for me.
From your letters, I would judge you are working to hard at it, with little or no results. A bad sign for me! For, in the first place, it should come to you, you shouldn’t have to work your mind into that train of thought. In the second place, if you should try to work yourself into that state, and worked on it as you seem to be doing, something most assuredly would have happened by this time. Then you state, in your letter, “Sometimes I think it would be far better for you if you just gave me up as a bad job because I do not understand your love for me.”.
There is the key, “you cannot understand my love for you”, and yet you believe in it or do you? You can’t understand, because, just as a “code-cipher” needs a key to be understood, so, my love, needs at least a flicker of response to be understood, and, an answering flame, to be appreciated. I thought you had them, but, now I don’t know.
I know this, if we came off beach heads at Iwo Jima, when we thought we couldn’t hold out, it would have been a lot longer war. So, I’m staying in the hopeless (?) fight for your love, even if I have to hang on by my eyelashes. (Oh, to have you here right now, so I could straighten out, and knock some sense into that sweet head of yours!)
Know this, before I close, I only give my heart knowingly and completely, once, to you. But it must have capable and enduring shelter. If you do not find it possible, after patiently, (I’m not in a hurry),examining yourself, then I shall have to find more enduring shelter, with one I love less, but will return it more capably.
I love you,