Cold War Summer
It's sheer luck to see it all coming
My mind tries to put the days of that particular summer vacation in Zeeland in a correct order. The days were still too short for the time of year, the cold war raged unabated and I remember war was the subject we so often talked about. We were stunned by the ridiculous prices that were asked for ordinary fruit and by the coming and going of all Sophie’s men, who sometimes dropped their bombs on the whole neighborhood.
Someday, still in the early days of our stay, I saw the gospel of our faces written in the heat, with large and sweaty letters. We would admire the girls, keep them with us, for a while, but there was one which made us misunderstand each other. We could not tell why we saw the disaster that came upon us and even less why it all was going to breed over our heads.
What we took mostly was oppressive weather, the choice whether to go to the beach or not, to buy an offensive book at the local bookstore, offensive in a sense that it is an insult to the human spirit, I mean, or even taking another coke in a ration of too much coke and too little tobacco.
Science breathed outside newspapers and TV. It snuggled with conspiratorial lines in fact sheets and small talk in the corridors of academic premises. I came to grab a …. (rest of the text is missing)