May 14, 1944

A sound sleep and a good day. Jerry was busy in the cubicle building underground. He talks about building the West Wall as though it were the Hindenburg Line. He bought a large tan moth-proof bag from Edna and when I said I had managed to get along two years without one, he answered, “Well, I figured in that case we could use it in our cubicle.” It is now cut down one side and forms the mahogany panel East Wall. with a gay blue furoshiki as decoration. The orange, reds, purple, birds and characters that once hung upon Vigan old Spanish walls are now suspended against rusted tin walls in a dugout Bohemian quarter under the floor of a building, with rafters over our heads. There is canvas at the window and door, pine logs for props, and Mansells looted tin full of holes on the North Wall, with charming runo sticks held together by woven string on the South Wall which was built by the four girls in their cosy room next door. The Underground is a help-each-other community; it has the spirit of the trenches and dugouts, of the bomb proof caves in North China. We share shovel, pickax, hammer, ax, walls, nails, and everything else which is scarce, picked up in every direction, all salvage, nothing new—bent, rusty, bedraggled, worn, but it turns into a miniature Greenwich Village. The stalls, cellars, attic tearooms have nothing on us. They aren’t nearly as smart as the new Underground cubicle town which is even being wired for electricity! Cubicles are now the thing, socially. Cubicle fever has proved to be the most contagious in camp. And Family Unit, like a forest fire, has swept beyond stopping.

Jim Thompson says that all the children growing up in here know nothing about privacy. They think nothing of bursting info any room, corner  or gathering, and will have to be re-educated. With adults, however, privacy is more than ever a commodity—to be bought and sold and sought for!

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