Grollman left the office and retraced his route until he reached the turn to the east. Instead of making it he entered a very large lab that was so filled with scientific junk that all the windows were obscured, at least they would have been had there been any. The place was a gloomy as the waiting room of a bus station in Amarillo. A man about Grollman’s age, but with only a border of hair above his ears was seated at a desk looking at a rack of test tubes as intently as if they were tea leaves. Grollman could not tell through the gloom if anyone else was in the room.
Grollman was sluggishly trying to think of a gambit when the bald man with the test tubes said, “You a new fellow?”
“Yeah, how could you tell?”
“The glazed look is diagnostic. Morris Lewis.” He held out his hand. “You’re here early.”
“I thought extra effort counted. Besides, it’s just one day. You’re here.”
My last day. Tomorrow I go back to Chicago.”
“Really? I just left.” Grollman recounted his residency at Midwestern and then Lewis related that he was going to join the faculty at Northwestern where he had been a student, a medical student, and a resident before venturing from his academic womb to Mineralwater for a fellowship.
“Why do you suppose Chicago institutions of higher learning have such a nomenclatural fascination with the west when the city is east of the Mississippi?” said Grollman.
Lewis raised an eyebrow which was the hirsute summit of his cranium. “You’ll fit right in here. Have you met Milt yet?” Grollman shook his head no. “You know Dr Walker?” A yes nod. “Well Milt is just as smart, at least about the kidney, and just as weird. Milt’ll probably be here tomorrow.”
“What do you mean probably? I thought he was going to orient the new fellows tomorrow.”
“He’s supposed to, but it’s not high on his priority list. He doesn’t like to work when the temperature is above 85 or may soon be above 85.” Mineralwater was three and a half months in either direction of the calendar from less than 85.
“Do you think that it won’t be 85 tomorrow?”
“No,” said Lewis.
“Then why will Milt,” he figured that he could call Milt Milt since everyone else seemed to do it, “be here?
“Because he wants to screw Bubbles.”
Lewis pointed to a stocky woman of about 30 who working in the back corner of the lab and whom Grollman had not noticed when he entered the place.
“She only consents to carnal contact on July 1?” said Grollman.
“Oh no. She says she ready anytime.”
“Then what’s so special about tomorrow that Milt will brave the heat?”
“Ty Mentin is gonna be here.”
“Okay, I’ll bite.”