Dear Leslie,
Last night, before all of this war nonsense, we saw Chekhov's "The Seagull" in the Swan Theater It was inspiring - especially for someone who wants to be a writer like myself. Although Chekhov ends the play with utter despair and without hope, he makes some very important observations on the need for recording everything around you.

It feels really strange to be here. Yesterday I was walking around the town trying to comprehend the incredible age of the buildings and landmarks around me. The first mention of Stratford-on-Avon was a monastery built here in 859.

I walked into the park to see the monument erected to Shakespeare, but when I got there, I founded it covered by a sheet on which was lettered "BLOOD IS THICKER THAN OIL" and was surrounded by protesting students. I spoke with them for a while and although I'm from the States, they didn't seem to mind. I agreed with everything they said.

It was a big shock to me to see the protest. Here I had been walking around contemplating all of this history when suddenly I'm confronted by the immediate future. I tried to make some sense of all of this but it's all just too big. So, naturally, I just went to the pub...

* * *

I've had it now and I'm ready to come home. We were in the theater for seven hours today. I slept through most of "Richard II" this afternoon. "Much Ado About Nothing" was entertaining, but far from the top of the list. I went back to the Dirty Duck after the play and saw the actor who played Benedict in "Much Ado." I told him he had a wonderful performance and then I bumped into a young man who works at the boarding house where we're staying. He told me I should stop wasting all my money calling the States and talking to my future wife. I told him he should stop hanging out in pubs.