My Darling, My Reason
Your in my thoughts so much honey all the time. I go into a fog every once in a while and have to stop to think that maybe this being way out here is just a fantasy or dream of some kind. It just isn’t right that we shouldnt be together. I need you darling, the only consolation are the pleasant recollections of our going together from way back in 1935. I was thinking about the swim you & I had one night up at some pond. Remember darling? Gosh we certainly did whacky things together but it was us darling.
I go into a fog … willingly. Think about fog. It is a form in which others can’t see the glance of temptation. Swimming and the warm falling rain raise my fog.
Did I tell you that one of the boys procured a camera and also some film. Maybe I can send you some snapshots soon.
Over time I will run this boy down as being a pest but he seems to be around quite often, photographing me or taking direction from me. Are these images so that you have a clear idea of what I am living through? Or are the photographs a catalyst for images that you will never enjoy?
There’s a swimming hole near us where we go swimming ocassionally. Of course it’s a la nude. No place for ladies even if there were any around. We do catch an ocassional glimpse of an army nurse going by in a jeep or whatever. Guess the officers have a monopoly on their time. They should be able to hook a man now if they ever will. You’ll agree with me honey that that’s what many have as their ultimate objective. I think I’m losing weight because I can wear trousers size 30 in the waist. Waisting away as it were.
The fog spills in. Am I thinking of you my darling as I swim with the boys or will I be thinking of the boys when I’m back home with you? I could wear trunks or my underwear to swim but it is about being naked in this moment, at this place.
I have’nt told you about our open air showers have I? It starts raining very suddenly here, which is often, just like in the movies you know. Well when it comes in the evening we strip off and you can’t imagine the luxury of a soft rain water shower. Soothing to the body dear.
We stand out in the open, a la nude again, lathering up and slowly having the suds wash away. How will I ever be able to orchestrate something like this at home?
You know that I’ve run into a Glen-type. You figure the rest out. I’d better not make any comments that would be incriminating.
Poor Glen. He just could not hide who he was and it made life miserable for him, and anyone caught associating with him. Funny how he seemed to know so many people.
Please don’t say or think that you’ve failed to establish a close bond between us because such is not the case. I’m sorry that I’ve created that impression honey but I can assure you it was unintentional. I trust your judgement implicitly and love you very very much my darling.
This is where I hate myself, not with the antics with my swimming buddies but with the need to keep you off balance. If you ever paid close attention, you would know, my darling. I love and desire so much.
I’m still laughing about that pseudo tattoo I had in the picture I sent you honey. It would have been marvelous to be hidden near you when you looked at your sailor husband. I got a bang out of your saying the heat had affected my mind and that the Navy had Ruined me. Not quite.
If you have’nt had any more on the family I got to know in Australia here it is. I met this man at a concert in the place I was while there. You know where, but I cant mention it. Silly as hell is’nt it. Sat next to him and in the course of the conversation I told him I wish I could get to hear some good music ocassionally whereupon he invited me to his home. I presumed he was married but found out that he lived with two maiden sisters (getting polite in my old age) and an invalid mother who is bed ridden. Mother is eighty years of age, and sisters between 40 or so. He’s must be 35 or better.
He has built a comfortable home to accommodate this love of music. He is generous to a man in uniform. Why has he opened himself up to me? When our legs touched at the concert I did not pull away.
You’re question will be answered regarding the New Guinea beauties (?) when you have the enclosed negative developed. Save this picture. It’s very difficult to see the natives fuzzy-wuzzies in their villages because they’re far distant and are guarded by Aussie soldiers. Evidently want to avoid friction between military men & native men over the women, I can’t see what they see in wanting to fool around them Very dirty, unattractive and some diseased. The article you enclosed in your latest letter in regards to Aussie girls marrying American service men is really quite a problem. and will be even worse after the war. Many of our married men have married, without knowledge of authorities, again: Some of our men don’t want to go back to their American wives. Oh well war creates many more lasting effects than we sometimes realize.
Many more lasting effects than we sometimes realize.
They have moved a Red Cross office into the building where I am. So far a man is here but very soon two or four girls will be sent. They should be able to hook something before to long at a place like this or else they’ll get plenty tired being pursued by the many wolves. i don’t know why they have a Red Cross outfit here but you know it looks good for them and incidentally provides female companionship (?) for the officers. What rackets can be born during war-time.
Some guys will feel compelled to chase the women while others will loose their excuses. My excuse is marriage so these Red Cross girls won’t compromise me. With some of these guys, infidelity does not include what happens between buddies.
Visited a place on the beach yesterday where there’d been quite a bit of fighting. Palm trees without tops. Wrecked Jap boats. Even tossed around some Jap skulls that some Aussies had picked up. Went swiming a couple days ago. the first chance I’ve had in a long time. Have a terrific tan now. Played a show for an army camp, couple of nights ago. Saw some boxing matches after it. they even have Red Cross woman here. Don’t ask why? I have my own ideas on that subject. I’ll elucidate later.
How many times do I have to tell her about the swimming? It is so easy to peel off the grimy clothes and slide into the cool water with a bunch of guys. There’s always the dirty talk that seems to get some guys going. They look for any excuse to impress with their bodies. Get one of them going and cares drop away with the uniform.
Have met many fellows and hear plenty of harrowing stories. Theres one fellow in the band Ive been with quite a bit. Hes from Denver Colo. His name is Ray Beam Very smart fellow. Independant thinker, well read etc. Why I always or almost always have to get to know fellows with such divergant ideas or religion, and general way of living kills me. Guess the appeal lies in that they think even if I disagree with them. Hes a fine fellow however.
What am I hoping for? Do I want one of these fine fellows to convince me to cross the line? We stay up most of the night talking, drinking, and being inappropriate.
The letters came to me in an anonymous way with no knowledge of the author or the relationship with his wife. This book has evolved over time from the original intention of being a photo album to a book that presents the possible thoughts of Roger D N who wrote to his wife faithfully while a sailor during World War II. Misspelling and grammatical oddities remain from the original letters. He is opinionated, perhaps stopped in time, and in the company of men. He both misses his wife and embraces a community separate from women. At what point does the mind wander and begin to consider the alternatives? What makes distraction and lust permissible?
The type is newly cast 20th Century Light by M&H Foundry and Composition. The selection is made to purposely not emulate script or the typewriter, both formats of the original letters.
The substrate is gelatin-sized Hahnemuhle watercolor paper. The photographs, with the exception of two obvious photo postcards, have never been published and are part of a larger collection of such images of sailors. They are editioned using an archival inkjet process on Kodak Ultima paper. This book is in an edition of 48, numbered with the appropriate ration stamp.