mad in pursuit: letters from james & orpha, summer of '26

LETTERS from James & Orpha: contents

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James came to Glens Falls for a visit. Apparently there was a little canoodling in the old family homestead...

Postmarked Wednesday 7.21.26, from Orpha in Glens Falls NY

At night, after you have gone

I have sought Sleep but I have failed. There is nothing in the darkness that has been You for a few short perfect night times. I cannot be full of peace. Before, I had been almost contented with a shadowy vision of you always in my mind. Now it is not there for I have known your body and the absence of you shakes me. I am worn with wanting you, with clutching into the space that last night was your warmness, your flesh, your breathing on me. I have tried to sleep in the bed which you have visited in the morning to wake me and found only appalling, heavy blankness but almost, almost you, sometimes when my body and soul cry for you so intensely that I feel no power can keep you from me then nothing again.

Even the pillow on which your head rested does not comfort me except to know that once you were near it.

...the absence of you shakes me.

A new need for strength I have an immediate need the wearing of this racking emptiness will tire my body out unless I can control the oppressiveness of the emptiness that is here. Before, it was not so perhaps it is better, for I cannot live long now, James, my James. I must have you, I must have your strength pressing me not long for I am too tired the trembling is exhausting, and the pains come too often, James.



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