The Hague, Aprit 7th.
My dear friends. As Mien will have told you, I have „retired" in a kind of monastery: a big, hygienic, central-heated home for lonely men in the Hague. Why? After all I really don't know. My excuse was „isolation" for the purpose of „working hard". But I think it was only one of my regular attempts t o escape happiness (please God that you don't understand what I mean!). For which Heaven punishes me, as a rule, immediately.
I feel indeed as lonely, unhappy, dirty and damned as a sane and married man can feel amongst a troupe of life-long eating, drinking, playing and yawning „bachelors ". It is most disgusting. In this rainy weather we are sitting all of us around the „central heating", talking politics and nonsense and gossip, and eating the nice fruit-cakes that can be obtained from a young Geisha in the „buffet" (social hall). Till one of the old widowers resolutely puts away his pipe and announces:
„Bridge", or „Pokerl" Then we are playing poker for a time while a youngster hammers some syncopated music on the piano. Till we go to bed. Some time afterwards we rise for a new day and practise the same things over again.
0 Lord! If it were not for my Chinese studies (but one can't sit learning the whole of the day) and that splendid book about Japan you gave me, I would have died already. Now I am living for three quarters of my unholy being in the Yoshiwara and the English Embassy in Tokyo.
But this is nearly ended! My dear est will be here Saturday and Sunday. And next week 1*11 go back to Amsterdam. How I long for my sweet little wife and Hans and a saner life! If you will fully appreciate the truth that a human being is created as manand-woman, go and take a room in this H. T. O. building.
1 don't believe that most of these people will ever return to normal life again. They are spoiled for the whole of their existence!