“The road is in such bad shape you can’t go there in a jeep?” David shrugs. “I’m not allowed to drive on campus. I’ll drop you by the gate.”
“Do I want to know why you’re not allowed on campus?” ‘Let’s just say the school is cracking down on students’ extracurricular activities.”
We bounce along the narrow road over potholes, exposed gratings and other imperfections. Around us houses paint the hills in pastel shades.
There’s a green one and a pink one and a blue one and a yellow one. We ticky-tack past and drive up to a guard post at the campus entrance.
David says “This is where we part company.” I want to get out and kiss the ground. I won’t give him that satisfaction. “What do I owe you?”
Showing the meter he says “Double that.” Again I hand over a wad of bills. “Dollars, huh? Anything local?” “No.” He passes me local change.
“If you need a ride or flight or cruise, my number’s on that card I gave you.” “Not likely.” “OK. I’ll be here.” “No, seriously, get lost.”
David just stands there. I turn to the gate attendant. “Are you together?” she says “He can’t come in here.” “We’re not together.” I reply.
The med campus entrance stands atop a peninsula at the island’s southern end. Four or five huge dormitory complexes block any ocean view.
The dorms are pastel neo-Georgian with tile roofs. Similar smaller buildings crown a rise across campus. “Can I help you?” says the guard.
I don’t want to tell the guard that I was hired to find Regi Granger by the ghostly doppelgänger of her late father. I have to think fast.
“Do you know where I can find the Bob Marley School of Medicine?” She laughs. “You’ve found it. But we don’t call it that officially.” “Ah.”
“Someone is pulling your leg.” I look at the digital signage. “It says ‘Bob Marley School of Medicine’ on that sign there.” “Yes. It does.”
“You aren’t Bob Marley?” “No. My name is Stacy.” “I mean the name of the school.” “We changed it to ‘Harvard Medical of the Caribbean’.”
“Then Harvard Medical stateside threatened legal action.” I check Stacey’s badge and sure enough it says ‘Bob Marley School of Medicine.’
“The Bob Marley sign is just to fool the Crimson Tide. We go by HMC.” “Crimson Tide? That’s Alabama.” “Whatever.” Someone IS pulling my leg.
I decide to play along. “I had a drink with your Chancellor. He suggested I stop by when I was in the neighborhood.” Stacy looks me over.
“You’re not dressed for the climate.” After my voyages with David, my clothing is a lot worse for wear. “Don’t worry. I can take the heat.”
“Take the heat? You’re sweating through your pants. At least, I think that’s sweat.” David guffaws. “We flew too low. I got wet.” “Uh huh.”
Time to change the subject. I look over a campus crowded with as many buildings as an urban college. I say “Nice layout. Where’s the ocean?”
Stacy points to two structures. “Do you see MegaDorms 3 and 4 at the bottom of the hill? You can see the ocean in that gap between them.”
(The Twitter Mystery continues daily at @Twitstery)