37: I Always Subconsciously Feel The Gap.

Sunday 14 November

Dear Girls,

A little while ago I found out that one of my boys, Plitt, whom I made corporal, worked under Uncle George for about a year in the library.[1] We were talking about him, agreeing that he was a great fella, and for some reason I had a sudden realization that many of my people-back-home are good people–people that you are proud of, the conduct of their lives direct–you would like to live their lives, all of them, savor the pleasures that they have obviously found in living, if only your life were a little longer–Aunt Iz, Aunt Kit, Uncle Dud, Lea [?], Gretchen, Daddy.[2]

All complete somehow, rounded within themselves, seeming to know what they contain, and once being whole within they can extend themselves outward to others–giving help, companionship, love–Rusty didn’t have it, she wasn’t self-sufficient enough.

Good people, people I love and want to be with.

For some reason, I have spent the whole day being homesick–very badly so. Thinking of you and of another lonely Christmas, thinking of the past, Christmas at Old Broadway, at Minturn, happy times when we were all together. Even when the three of us are together I always, subconsciously, feel the gap and expect Daddy to come, and we could go take a walk together as a family. Mother’s fur coat and green Robin Hood hat, past the Player’s Club, Gretchen and Daddy clowning, Fifth Avenue shop windows and biting cold wind–I wish many things–that we were together, that I was a civilian again, but nothing so much as that Daddy was with us again.

I’m sad tonight–and lonely.

Phil

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FOOTNOTES:
[1] Wilbur Ellsworth Plitt of Baltimore, MD, a mortar squad leader. “Uncle George” is unclear. (The “boy” Plitt was seven years older than Phil.)
[2] While Phil had an actual Aunt Isabel (Rapp) Hardy, it seems more likely that “Aunt Iz” is Isabella Zinsser. The Zinssers were close friends and neighbors from Hastings.

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