I Never Was Lucky At Cards

Fort Riley, Kans.
Nov. 11, 1942

My darling:

Got your letter today, and the bars yesterday. Please remember that those bars will always be the most precious ones I’ll ever have. Thank you, darling, for sending them.

I got a big kick out of one certain part of your letter, the part about your buying the wooden shoes. Ever since you saw them that day when you were buying wedding shoes, I’ve been expecting to hear that you had broken down and bought them. I’m glad you did get them, sweetheart, because I know you’ve wanted them for a long time. I’ll sure be glad when I can be near enough to hear you clattering around in them.

It’s only two weeks until the fatal day. Time is dragging more and more as the day approaches. We spend most of our time in classrooms, and usually the same classroom, old 201. We are now fighting the battle of Room 201, and it’s really a battle. It’s awfully hard to keep awake listening to lectures and discussions, but a guy doesn’t dare go to sleep.

In answer to your question, they put the lights out at 10 p.m. here. It was 9:30 at first, but when the days got shorter, 7 a.m. was too dark for the first formation, so they set the whole day up a half hour. We go to school from 8:30 till 5:45, eat supper, study hall at 7:00 until nine, lites out at 10, and bed check at 11. Of course, I forgot to mention that we get an hour for lunch, but after you walk about 6 or 7 blocks from the Academic Bldg. to the barracks, pull the distribution box, get our mail, eat, it is just time to fall in again and march back to the Academic Bldg.

The war news really looks good today, darling. Let’s pray that it continues to get better.

The weather is pretty cold here of morning and evenings. It’s dry, though. Not bad at all. Please take care of yourself, my darling, and get rid of your cold. As for your husband, he is disgustingly healthy, except for heart trouble which only one person can cure.

I got a copy of the Nov. Readers Digest, but so far I’ve only read one article, the story of the soldier writing to his wife.

Wish I could see you in your red dress, sweet.

I still hope to have my assignment by Christmas. Guess they’re sending them out just as quickly as possible. Too bad one of us can’t suddenly dig up a couple hundred dollars right fast.

So Charlotte is going to be a mother? Please offer her my sincere congratulations. Darling, I feel as you do about having children under the present circumstances. It wouldn’t be fair to you or the child as things are now. We really have had so little time together, too. Darling, I’d give anything to be able to hold you in my arms right now and tell you with kisses just how much I’ve missed you, and how much I love you. Words are so inadequate in comparison with caresses, and my lips are so hungry to feel yours pressed against them. In all the times we’ve traded kisses, my heart and soul have been poured out to you. With each kiss you accept from me, you take a firmer grip on me. Whenever I think of kissing you, my stomach seems to contain a cold, hard knot of loneliness.

Every nerve, every cell within me cries out for my Margie. If anyone had told me this time last year that I’d be going crazy with loneliness for a girl, I’d have called him crazy. In all my life, during all the time I’ve spent away from those I love, never did I experience loneliness until I met you. Last summer, when you went home, I thought I had reached the extreme height of loneliness, but now that seems terribly mild. Be sure, darling, that I never want to be this far or this long away from you again. You say that it is hard to believe you have a husband. It seems awfully peculiar to me at times to realize that I have a wife, but when I think it over, it seems inconceivable that I could have ever existed before you became my wife. And on top of that, the realization of what a wonderful, sweet, adorable person she is only serves to amaze me that such a divine being can really be married to an unworthy mortal like me. You’ll never, never realize the happiness youve brought me by even associating with me, allowing me to love you and to tell you of my love, much less becoming my bride. Maybe it’s because I never was lucky at cards. Please, my darling, try to realize how deeply runs my love for you, how strongly runs my pulse at the mere thought of you, and how swiftly beats my heart at the slightest contact with you. The few short hours of married life we have spent together were as near to being heaven as any mortal time could be. And the week-end we spent in Portland and Seaside come very near to the same thing.

You have undoubtedly gained the impression that I am terribly, devastatingly in love with you. I am more than that, darling, but finding the means to express the depth and extent of my love is practically impossible.

I must close now, my darling. Write again soon, and remember to love

Your own, adoring
Jim.

Ed. note: Oh, how I wish I knew what Margie’s wooden shoes mentioned toward the start of this letter looked like! Perhaps something like these. And now, as usual, more shorthand:

img_0805

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