Diary of Natalie Crouter

Jan. 2, 1943

I sat in the common room waiting for Jerry to make cocoa after checkers. All around were couples, pitiful couples, hungry for each other and kept apart by war and hate and evil minds. Young couples deeply in love, married only a year or two, some with one baby and wanting another; sitting together, a few gazing drowned into each other’s eyes, not daring to touch; others holding hands, quietly, patiently, smiling a little; some flirting openly, with sparkling eyes and speech; some trying to read Bible chapters and not succeeding too well in the uproar. The crowd broke up early, drifting off, away from provocation, wanting to be normal yet helplessly channeled into abnormality, thwarted, repressed, treated like children or idiots. All the suppressions of war were in the atmosphere of that room. They will all want to pen up the invader, make him know the torture of denial, going without normal instinctive satisfactions. This is only one form, for many are built up for revenge. That living body dragged along the road before it was beaten to death, one of their own countrywomen who was married to an American—force, sadism, unmentionable primitive depths and experiences must have been built up in the enemy who does this. Will we want to do the same? Can there be no end, no outgrowing?