Edited by Roxanne K. Young, Associate Editor.
The telephone rings shortly after dark. Sensing somehow that the call
is for me, I answer the phone with only a moment's hesitation. I cover the
mouth of the receiver for a moment to confer with my wife. She had few expectations
for this night in the first place and gives only a brief sigh when I inform
her I will be going out. With our children in bed, I know she will curl up
with her journals and undoubtedly be asleep when I return.
"I'll pick you up at 9," my caller informs me, and we disconnect. Once
again I ask myself how I ever became involved in this sort of a thing, but
I accept my responsibility, and await my ride. I spend the brief wait cleaning
up the kitchen after dinner, a seemingly endless task, but one that is comforting
in its lack of emotional or intellectual demands. My ride appears at the stroke
of 9. I grab a jacket and am off.
Stein J. The Holy Society. JAMA. 1998;280(7):654. doi:10.1001/jama.280.7.654