The Id and The Odyssey; Episode 11
The Faking It Episode
“I want to get to Hornell by nightfall and Maine next week this time. I want to die a very old man and sleep well every night,” Rich said. “Before you scoff, believe me, I’ve thought this out.”
“You are uncommonly coy, Mr. Barnett,” she said.
“Just not educated, right, Miss Kaplan?” Rich said.
She smiled uncomfortably. They drove for a few miles only making comments about the scenery.
“If I make you nervous, you can let me out, that will be fine,” Rich said.
“What on earth are you talking about?” She said.
“Look, you picked me up having no idea who I am. There’s a lot of weirdoes out there. I could be one of them for all you know,” Rich said. “I just get the feeling I’m making you nervous.”
She threw back her head and laughed, “Or maybe I could be one.”
“Well,” Rich smiled, “I’m beginning to wonder. But, really, just let me off right here and I’ll be fine.”
“No,” she said, “as a matter of fact, I want to buy you a coffee and have you meet some friends at a coffee house in Alfred.”
“Sure,” Rich said. “I’ve never been to a coffee house.”
“What! You must try the coffee at this coffee house,” she said. “It is out of this world.”
“I’m a farm boy. The only place I’ve heard about coffee houses are on TV or the movies,” Rich said.
“We meet at noon on Tuesday’s and have a poetry reading. It’s very stimulating and avant-garde, if you know what I mean?”
Rich was embarrassed to be so out of touch so he said sardonically, “It sounds very amusing.”
It seemed peculiar, he began acting in an entire new way. Rich realized that if he were to portray as being older, he had to act somewhat more mature and sophisticated. He knew that at times he would not be able the grasp the entire content of other’s words, but the stimulation of being with intellectuals was nearly intoxicating. He thought if he might say something too inane for them to understand their own egos would not permit them to do anything other than search until they found a deeper meaning, whether one was intended or not. So it was, he had a strategy to bail myself from any situation that he found himself perplexed. He thought about what to say. “That is remarkably stimulating. That thesis has been explored by countless. I have far too many closely held reservations to proffer any speculation.” and the favorite, “Prodigious poppycock my dear minion!” If one is not seriously taken aback, they are at least mildly amused. Somewhere along the line he had to play the part. It didn‘t sound noble, but under the circumstances it would have to do.
She drove to her apartment on a tree lined street in Alfred. Rich helped unload her belongings from the car. After just sitting things inside the apartment, they started on a tour of the campus. Rich felt immediately at an academic and intellectual disadvantage.
“You can not find a finer college outside of the Ivy League,” she said proudly. “It’s expensive, but it keeps one away from the dotes.”
“I’ve been trying to stay clear of them all my life,” Rich said. “I look in a mirror and there’s a dote.”
She smiled uncomfortably.
She pointed out various buildings with pride as if she was trying to recruit Rich. He had not the heart to tell her that his education was eighth grade. They left the campus and pulled up to a small square building that had a script sign that read “Free thought, Free speech, Free expression, the coffee’s not. The Emancipated Id.”