Historical Documents – 1948 Luke Warmer Diary Entry

December 27 Monday 11p 1948

This morning in bed I composed a little speech to E. I didn’t do it with the idea of composing just to tell him but ideas simply came from things I wanted to tell him the next time we were riding along together before arriving at our original intentions. But at the same time I liked what I was thinking up and didn’t want to forget it. All the while that it was bad planning, as I began to realize what I was doing, for I would get twisted with my ideas falling ahead of themselves when the time came. I was sort of daydreaming as a weak boy might dream of exhibitions of heroic and suddenly acquired strength to “show” the others much to their surprise and admiration. Perhaps the object of my “dreaming” wasn’t unlike that in visioning my helping E., thus acquiring added stature. Then tonight I got another idea to put into conversation to him, and suddenly realized that I could combine them perfectly.
      “You know, E., you’ve got so much and yet so little.” That’s a little unsmooth but it was the first thing I thought on the whole business. “You could make a great man with all your resources.” I didn’t believe that any more possible than those with lesser resources, me, for instance. “Maybe it’s those resources that make you so easily susceptible to your weaknesses.” I’m not composing now, I am remembering, and it’s quite apparent. “You haven’t learned yet that pride is a weakness.” In here some place goes, “You’re not happy, are you?” He denies it, thinking am I crazy?, afraid to break down his strength, to let out what he thinks about a lot. What business is it of your or anybody’s, he thinks, but he feels very positive when he says he is happy. “You’re either lying, or you don’t know what happiness is. You gave yourself away when you chose medicine as your career,”—it’s showy—“then when you switched to psychiatry. You’ve not been happy, you haven’t had peace, you haven’t learned yet that pride is a weakness. Pride isn’t freedom, E.. You’re a slave. You’re strong, beautiful, good looking, and because of it you’ve fallen prey to others. You’re not independent. The reason I’m paying this attention to you, is that you have weaknesses in that your attempts have failed. With F. they haven’t; he’s accepted them and they‘ve become a part of him; with you they’re failed; that gives hope.”—and this last bit, it is apparent that it is being composed—“why they’ve failed you wouldn’t cherish my explaining to you.”
      Here endeth this mornings ideas, which make a nice preparation for this evening’s. “E., let’s stop kidding ourselves,” sounds much too typical; “why don’t we either admit it to each other, one way or the other, I know how I feel, and I know how you feel, but if I told you you’d deny it and then I would have lost; we’re going to have little time left, we got to stop running away, I wanted to stop for a while lately but know that you can’t, or rather won’t understand, you’ve lived too much on pride. Here we’ve been avoiding each other like we were the lie of each other and it could be so easy; what’s so wrong about you coming over to see me, instead of pretending to see Bill, even missing a chance like the other morning “meaning this morning” just because of your pride; see what you lose. I was as much to blame as you; always trying to be sly but most of the time missing chances—or wrong with my coming over to visit you instead of pretending to see F., you and I used to be better friends than F. and I; that was when I was 10, he 12, and until he left for school, when F. and I got closer; “why do you make it seem as if it were so unlikely now; it only makes it more difficult, and our meetings more conspicuous. But now we’ve got to come to a show down, now that we’re moving to Minneapolis. I can still come back to Bethlehem during vacations but I want to [know] what to expect, and want no more beating around the bush and slyness, only frankness. If we see each other at the club, there can’t be any harm in our talking to each other to make an arrangement, as long as no body hears; we’re not that poisonous to each other, other people would never guess and even if a few would what difference does it make, there’s such a thing as living unafraid of others, I’m not trying to defy others, I just want to show that what other people think shouldn’t effect you or anyone, one must be free, it only makes a difference when it involves others, and especially when it harms them, but this does neither, they make no difference. Don’t even be afraid to be seen in the act, just tell them to go, and forget them, they can do nothing, even if they told, no harm has been done, feel that what you’re doing is not wrong for you’re following only instinct and surely that can’t be wrong—it could in the eyes of convention, a word I’m beginning to hate—even if it weren’t instinct, no difference. I believe in egoism, not that everyone should go their own way and only crossing into others’ ways when the crossing is mutual. But that is impossible, nevertheless it is freedom.”

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