Saturday, January 14, 2006

Joe: January 14, 1943

Mary, Mary,
Don’t you know that you’re not supposed to upset the equanimity of privates in the United States army by writing letters at two o clock on the morning? Why, just to list some of the effects: Last night I had planned to write a letter to Leroy A Lincoln, President ye dear old Metropolitan thanking him for his letter of Christmas greetings and for the wallet which “my friends and associates of Mother Met” had sent as a Christmas remembrance. No letter for Leroy last night nor tonight and after all he was my boss and will be at some time in the future. Then there is the physiological effect of just 4 1/2 hours of sleep last night. Being systematic I usually budget my time: I just think of you, Mary, during the daytime hours; from 9 to 6:30 is reserved for Morpheus. But not last night, I couldn’t fall asleep until after midnight and I was wide awake at 4:30, back in Queens Village. Evidently the red bus no longer is running in the early hours of the morning because of the gasoline situation.

Twenty four hours later I’m in no better condition. I read the NY Daily News of Jan. 6, 7, and 8 and all the drippy stories in the January American to try to get back into a semblance of my phlegmatic self. All to no avail.

If it were anyone else but you, Mary, I could dismiss it as an example of sleep-writing. But not Mary Nolan--her vivacity is at its zenith at the time “is it tonight or tomorrow morning.” Just seven weeks ago tonight we said goodbye, Mary--they must have been Biblical weeks--I’ll have to stop this because by Jan. 23 I’m supposed to be a full-fledged soldier having then finished my basic training. It wouldn’t do when the Sgt. gives the command Cadence Count for me to suddenly shout out twice a four word phrase which my heart drums out continually like a bolero instead of the usual 1-2-3-4 1-2-3-4. I’m afraid to think of the possibility that the seven weeks may become 7 times seven weeks--Halt, Private Koch.

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