Thus Grollman for the first time in his life had the prospect of more money than his need for food, shelter, and clothing required. So he rented a two bedroom apartment on Lizard Creek. He had to take out a signature loan to raise the first and last month’s rent. Then he realized he would need furniture. He had never owned furniture; he didn’t know from whence it came nor how it was obtained. His first night in his new apartment was spent on the floor which was too much like camping out and thus prevented him from sleeping.
His second day in the apartment coincided with his first trip to the medical school; all leases mysteriously began on the 29th in Mineralwater. When he left Morris Lewis to his test tubes it was still morning. At his return to his naked apartment he was just in time to meet a telephone serviceman who planned to install a telephone.
“How’d you know I need a telephone?” He had just realized that he did and that he needed to arrange for one to be installed.
“Mabel Stuart live here?” said the phone man who wore a heavy tan cotton shirt that had a large blue ear sewn to its back.
Grollman found the quick thinking that had carried him farther than his initial performances in medicine might have suggested and said yes.
“Okay, where do you want it?”
Grollman let him into the apartment and gestured to the center of its living room.
“It’s got to be near a wall.”
Grollman shrugged and the man installed the phone where he pleased.
“Sign here.” The man stuck an order sheet enclosed in a open face heavy metal dispenser in front of Grollman.
“Got a pencil?”
He gave Grollman a pencil. He took it and signed “Mabel Stuart” and then put the pencil in his pocket.
“Pencil”. Grollman gave it back.
“You wouldn’t know where I could get a bed?”
The man looked at him like he was a fucking moron. Grollman was afraid he was going to tell him to ask Mabel, but he turned and left the apartment. In a minute he returned a handed Grollman a phone book.
“Try the yellow pages.”
When the man had left Grollman still was in the center of his empty living room holding the phone book. He thought the yellow pages, which he had never had occasion to use, was a separate book. The one he held was the white pages. The he realized that Mineralwater was not big enough to have two phone books; the yellow pages were at the back of the white ones.