1971, November 10: Letter from Marcy to G&H

Three-page handwritten letter on lined (but not three-hole-punched) paper.

it’s midnight

and I sit here a-munchin’ on my favorite snack — avocado & sprouts (unfortunately the latter aren’t ripe yet) and ak-mak (lovely sesame wafers) with cream cheese spread (the spread includes vegetable stock or juice, onion flakes — tho there’s none tonight — and, mostly, marmite, of the tiny squat bottle, made in Canada by the makers of BOVRIL, this one has no meat, but is brewers yeast hydrolized with salt, whatever that means, and extract of carrot & onion. A thick black sauce, it tastes almost unbearable just plain, but verra verra tasty mixed in with bland things like cream cheese —)

Peter is working hard — there are barely enough hours for him to do all he wants & needs to do. He reads so intensively that he never seems to need to go back & review — I always like to underline, to go back & re-think ideas, mostly just to refresh memory

Parka drawing
Parka drawing

David said he might be driving down next weeknd & to let you know what of our stuff to send/bring. We need mostly winter stuff — my parka, Peter’s heavy jacket (plaid/camel), Jed’s blue jacket, his galoshes, then clothing — I can hardly recall what’s there — a shawl, & I specially remember an orange striped shirt of Peter’s, & I think he left 1 or 2 pair of pants. Mostly x when I miss something I assume it was lost in the duffel bag that flew away, then later I wonder if maybe it’s at your house. Give away Joaquin’s clothes, he’s long outgrown ’em, I’m sure. But I think his green jacket might still fit. And Jed left some warm pants, I know, that we are beginning to miss.

Joaquin got dressed up in little boy clothes finally — pants instead of overhauls, boxer shorts replacing little sunsuits. Now we have 2 little boys for sure. He says everything in one-word sentences — Tea! Bana! (banana) Um-ee! (honey) x doo! (juice!) On! (for shoes, pants, etc.) Off! Out! Eat! Go! Key! Car! Ba! (Bus) Ga! (truck) Eat! Nut! Mo! (more) MoMo! (no more) Pour! xxx Cut! Too Big! Tight! Kee-kee! (kitty-kitty) Eat! Eat! Eat! Uh-oh! Ay-yi-yi!

more: Hoh! (horse, Real or small-size plastic) Mah (man) Money! Bir(d)! Here! and, last but hardly least, MY! MY!!!!

Monday afternoon

Today was the first cold day we’ve had. If Dave isn’t coming, please ship the coats & Jed’s long pants Greyhound collect — thanks!

We were so pleased to think we’ll see you at Thanksgiving, Grandpa. We’re suspecting you may convince your ol’ lady come along to hold your hand at odd moments. It would be grand to see both of you — you’ll hardly believe happy-face Joaquin and Jed is, as always, magnificent, and can only surprise you with how much more so he x is.

Enclosed is a check for that insurance payment.

The book Peter wrote of is not mailed yet, as I’m still trying to finish it. Tonight, maybe.

If this is going to get mailed, it has to stop Now.




our stuff left there
I assume this was the stuff that we had left with George and Helen at the beginning of the trip to Pennsylvania; see Marcy’s August letter from Philadelphia.
“Now we have 2 little boys for sure”
I am baffled and kind of put off by this framing, but not sure I’m interpreting it right. Was she saying that overalls and sunsuits are nongendered, while pants and boxer shorts are gendered male, and thus that until he switched clothing, Jay didn’t count as a boy? Maybe she was saying that he was now more likely to be identified as a boy by strangers who saw him? I dunno. (Also possible that George and/or Helen had expressed concern at some point about Jay not looking boy-like?)
“Greyhound collect”
Turns out that Greyhound ships stuff! The service is currently called Greyhound Package Express. I had never heard of it until now. I don’t know whether “Greyhound collect” was once its official name, or whether that was an informal nickname or something.
Attached to the envelope for this letter (presumably attached by Helen or George) was a receipt for a parcel mailed to California on November 12; presumably that parcel contained the winter clothes that Marcy had asked for here.
“that insurance payment”
See the letter from Philadelphia.
“The book Peter wrote of”
Pursuit of Loneliness; see previous letter from Peter.

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