[Written to Alice in Acton, Indiana. Return addressed: Richard, Ward 11, U.S.N.H., St. Albans, L.I., N.Y. Postmarked at Jamaica, N.Y., on 11 Mar 1946 at 2:30 P.M.]
I’m in a very strange mood tonight Sweetheart. In a way, there isn’t anything strange at all about it but it is strange to me how I got into it and to what affect it has on me. I played cards for about an hour this afternoon then I went to sleep right after chow. I must have been pretty tired because I slept for almost three hours. I just woke up about a half hour ago when they wheeled a piano in the ward. A girl is now playing and it’s her music that has put me in this mood. She plays classical and semi-classical. Right now, it’s “The Man I Love.” Her music – ever since she started – has really struck a chord in me. The songs are very beautiful and she plays them very well. (“The Blue Danube”) For some reason, tears came to my eyes shortly after she started playing and all I have been able to think of is you, Sweetheart. I can’t decide just what my feelings are. I’ve either been very close to you or I’ve wanted to be with you so bad that I could hardly stand it. I can’t understand why the music should affect me so – we have never spent much time listening to that type of music. It’s beautiful though – I guess that is what reminds me of you Sweetheart. It seems that you are right beside me enjoying it with me. There is a spot in my chest that seems to be aching. it isn’t like a pain – it is just an aching desire to be with you Sweetheart. I love you so much Sweetheart that it actually hurts. I don’t mind it at all – I’m very happy loving you Sweetheart. She is now playing a number that I requested: – “Prelude in C Sharp Minor.” She didn’t know it all the way though, but she played quite a bit of it. I feel as if I could listen to her play all night but I don’t think I could stand it. The music is so beautiful but I want you so bad that it hurts. If I could just hold you close to me and and listen to the music, I would be so happy. I don’t think anything else would matter. I love you with all my heart, Sweetheart. Darn it, there doesn’t seem to be much I can do about it here though.
She just left, Sweetheart, and the lights are going out in a few minutes. As soon as she left, some of the guys started laughing and joking and playing the radios. My mood is flying away from me Sweetheart. I still miss you and want you so bad I can almost taste it but I’m getting so I can’t write it as I think it. I guess I’ll close. Maybe this will make up for that sad attempt I made at a letter this morning. Number 7 on the Hit Parade is now playing. “I can’t begin to tell you how much you mean to me.” I can’t, Sweetheart. The words just won’t come out. I’m very proud of my pretty little wife Sweetheart. I’m so glad she is mine.
I love you with all my heart
x x ‘Nite
George Gershwin’s “The Man I Love,” performed on piano by Jeff Lankov
Johann Strauss Jr’s “Blue Danube” waltz, performed on piano by Linda Gentille
Sergei Rachminoff’s “Prelude in C sharp minor, Opus 3, Number 2,” performed on piano by Vladimir Ashkenazy
“I Can’t Begin to Tell You,” sung by Dick Haymes (c. mid-1940s)