This is the seventy-ninth of 87 letters exchanged during World War II between Nicholas Salvatore and Elizabeth Galloway. For more see Nicholas and Elizabeth.

1876_chicago map

June 5, 1945

A medic’s life for me

Dear Elizabeth,

It’s raining. Been raining for some time. I’m inside and can hear it on the metal roof. It’s rhythmic but not unchanging. There’s music from somewhere but I don’t know where. There’s something about listening to music from another room, floating down to you. It’s kind of like eavesdropping. It’s like you say, everyone thinks their music is just for them, but you never know who can hear it and what it may mean to them. It might be exactly the same thing you’re feeling but there’s no way to tell.

I loved the rain as a child. I’d go running out in it and play until I realized I was lost. After a short note of terror passed I knew I was fine, soaking wet but fine. Chicago is a grid system and easy if you can read the signs, but I couldn’t read. I’d wait until I saw a nice-looking woman who I had a good feeling about and ask her for help. I guess I always chose well, or I looked so pathetic that they always obliged. The rest of the day I’d pretend that that woman was my mother. I’d picture her tucking me into bed at night and sitting beside me until I fell asleep.

Those were always good days. I enjoyed getting lost.


Next letter – June 17, 1945