DANNY LEVINE PASSED THE last of the paperwork required to be considered for licensure in the practice of medicine in the state of Massachusetts to the lady behind the desk. After examining it, she looked up and smiled.
"It is all in order. We should have an answer to you shortly. Do you have plans for the weekend?"
Danny recognized the "I have an unmarried girl friend" look in her eye having seen that look many times before and smiled back.
"I think I'll take a short vacation in the Bahamas."
She smiled again,
"Well, if you think you might like some scintillating company let me know."
He returned the smile,
"Perhaps another time,"
"You don't know what you're missing."
Danny shook his head slowly.
"I'm flying solo this trip. I am looking forward to all my conversations having to do with choices on the menu and signing up for snorkelling tours. I need to be going. You have a great weekend." He nodded to her and quietly escaped the small office.
Danny walked briskly to the subway. The emergency clinic where he worked as a resident was a few subway stops away. When he arrived, the doctor that supervised him greeted him as he entered the empty waiting room.
"Good afternoon Danny, sign your life away did you?" His grin consumed his whole face.
"Excellent. When were you leaving for vacation?"
"Have you packed yet?"
The older man huffed at him. He waved his arm at the empty waiting room.
"It's quiet today. Go home, pack and enjoy your vacation. Unless you're in trouble, I don't want to hear from you until it is time to come back."
The older man gently pushed him in the direction of the door.
"Don't bring me back any diseases I can't cure! Safety is everything!"
The last thing Danny heard as the glass doors closed behind him was the nurses giggling at the joke. Danny hurried home and tried to decide how to pack. He saw some thunderheads on the horizon. If he hurried he could use them for cover and leave early. He realized that the most convenient way to travel would be to take the weatherproof camping pack he had purchased last winter. One of his fellow med students who hailed from the mountains of Vermont had convinced him to go on a winter camping trip. What a disaster that had been! He felt completely disgusted with agreeing to this stupidity. Upon returning he had removed the clothing from the pack because it was damp and would mildew but had left all the remaining camping gear in the pockets. Given that he would not be dealing with airport security he saw no reason to take the time to unpack the bits and pieces. Large droplets of rain from a summer squall spattered on the fire escape as he stepped out. Closing the door carefully, he smiled, took a deep breath and headed south for vacation.