This letter opens with Thomas assuring Caitlin he loves her and that he did not want to make this voyage alone. "[I]f only I could swim to you now, I want to be with you all the time, there isn't one moment of the endless day or night on this hell-ship when I'm not thinking about you….forgive me for all my nastiness, mad-dog tempers, of the last days & weeks: they were because I didn't want to go, I didn't want to leave you in old dull Laugharne…."
Thomas summons up his considerable powers as a comic writer to paint a dismal picture of life on board ship: "And here I am, on this huge hot gadget-mad hotel, being tossed and battered; the sea's been brutal all the time, I can hardly write this at all, in the tasteful, oven-ish, no-smoking library-room, for the rattle & lurch; everybody's been sick every day, full of drammamine…. [O]ccasionally now I manage to rock, like a drunk, to the bar where a few pale racked men are trying the same experiment as me, and then after an ice-cold couple, stagger back to my room to pray that I was with you, as I always wish to be, and not on this eternal cocktail-shaker of a ship….I've spoken hardly a word to anyone but one stout barman; the people who share my table—when any of us is well enough to appear—are a thousand times worse than those dumpling…Dutchmen: there's a middle-aged brother & sister, and a little sophisticated German woman; the little German woman's beastly, and told me, when the brother & sister weren't there that she'd thought of asking the purser to move her to another table: 'I don't like', she said, 'having my meals in the company of a woman who reminds me of my cook'—which seems one of the oddest things I have ever heard said….It is nine o'clock in the morning; tomorrow we dock in New York; breakfast has been & gone.…To think that I was angry because you did not want me to go away."
After several declarations of love, Thomas ends the performance with, "Now I am going to the bar for a cold beer, then back to the bloody cabin to lie on the unmade bed & to fall into a timeless dream of you and of all I love—which is only you—and of the sea rocking & the engines screaming and the wind howling and the despair that is in everything except our love."
An exceptional letter of exuberant histrionics.
Please call 1-800-555-5555 to order a print catalog for this sale.
Online Registration to Bid is Closed for this Sale. Would you like to watch the live sale?Watch Live Sale