Thursday, January 15, 2009

Friday 22nd October 1943

28 furlongs today.

It's amazing, but I have not broken the fast yet! Craving has been the word which described my condition – especially for a pipe whilst pacing up and down this morning; and especially for a cigarette whilst binding books in OT this afternoon.

5p.m. now. The great test will be the demand for a cigarette whilst in the kitchen this evening, enjoying a gossip and the special brew. (Dammit, it's almost physical pain, like the pangs of hunger!) My fast ends tomorrow (thank heavens I didn't make it a 3 day show!) and at 8:30a.m. I can start smoking a pipe. I cannot smoke cigarettes until 2p.m. however, as the cigarette fast began a little later.

It was surprising that I stuck the ordeal yesterday because I felt very nervous and needed a smoke more than usual. Three times between noon and 1p.m., I received a message that I must not leave the ward after 2p.m. Neither the Sister or the orderlies who passed these various messages would say why I must remain in the wire. The result was that I felt extremely nervous all the afternoon, knowing not what to expect – maybe some gruesome type of treatment? The reason for this secrecy is still obscure.

At 4:30p.m. I was sent out to take part in a psychological exam – tests of imagination, symbolism, association of ideas etc. This was so that some Authority could obtain some mass data from a cross section of neurotic and psychotic soldiers, I believe. Most wards appeared to have sent their brainiest individuals – thin, dark men with glasses, and obvious “swots.”

The tests lasted 2 hours; they were quite interesting. I should perhaps have raised the curve of the graph of average reactions which will no doubt be computed from our papers, if I had not been kept in a state of apprehensive suspense for several hour before hand. This clumsiness is typical of the army however. It is also typical that each of the thirty selectees had to remain ready, in his ward, from 2p.m. on, although the test was not to occur until 4:30p.m.

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