The Id and The Odyssey; Episode 35
Rich peddled for a half hour and saw a state truck parked on the side of the road with two men in the cab. He asked pulled up next to the driver’s window. Rich asked for an easy way to Brunswick. He was quite knowledgeable of the area. He said he was raised there and all though the younger of the two disagreed with him. The older man prevailed. He even explained a back way to Brunswick by which Route 1 traffic could be avoided.
Rich followed his detailed directions that the man abruptly drew on a piece of paper.
The afternoon was only slightly better than morning. The rain let up at times, but it remained overcast, chilly, and breezy.
On a lonely two lane highway he nearly lost his balance because of his exhaustion. He simply had no strength to continue. It was mental and not physical. Rich no longer had the will to push on.
Tucked in small clearing surrounded by pines there was a small motel. Neon green outlined a sign shaped like a pine tree and beneath it is red neon it said The Pines, Vacancy. Rich coasted to an overhang and he leaned his bike against the post.
He walked in and a buzzer sounded. He stood at the counter.
An short balding old man appeared through a curtained doorway behind the counter.
“Can I help you,” he said smugly.
“I’d like a room with just one bed, please,” Rich said.
The man stretched to look for a car.
“How did you get here?” the man said.
“Bike,” Rich said. “It’s been cold wet day. I’m beat. I need a warm bed.”
“Nine ninety-five a night plus tax,” the man said.
Rich pulled a ten and five from his billfold.
“Just give me a name and address,” the man said. “and I’ll have to have you sign.”
“Joe Deacon,” Rich said.
“Do you have a driver’s license?” the man said.
Rich handed it to the man. “Is this your address?”
“Not anymore,” Rich said.
“Movin’ to somwheres in Maine?” the man said.
“Yeah,” Rich said, “up the coast.”
“How far?” the man said.
Quickly, Rich thought he did not want to arouse the man’s ire or suspicion. All it might take is a phone call to the police about a suspicious looking young man with no particular destination. A close look at the drivers license would reveal that Joe Deacon had green eyes and Rich has brown and Rich was a good two inches taller than Joe.
“I’m going to go as far as Rockland,” Rich said.
“You have friends or family up there?” the man asked.
“I have a friend whose dad has a fishing boat,” Rich said. “They need an extra hand, so they made me an offer.”
“Why didn’t you at least take a bus?” the man said.
“I had a teacher in high school who took a cycling vacation one summer; he said it was the best time of his life, so I thought I’d give it a try.”
“How’s it going so far?” the man said.
“Well,” Rich smiled, “as you can see - great.”
“You’ve got a good sense of humor,” the man said and handed him a key. “Number three; it’s to your left.”
“Thanks,” Rich said.
“Have a good night’s sleep,” the mans said.
Rich chained his bike to a post outside his room.
The room was small and dingy. It looked as if he may have been the only occupant in quite some time. A layer of dust was on the dresser.
Rich showered and ate. He watched TV for only a short while. He was exhausted. In spite of the warm shower and an extra blanket he still shivered.
The next thing he recalled was a pound on the door. “Mr. Deacon, it’s nine thirty and check out is at ten.”
Rich staggered from bed and quickly put on his cloths. He packed his gear and loaded his bike. He walked to the office to turn in the key. It was three minutes before ten according the clock on the wall behind the counter.
The man passed through the curtain. “Good morning, Mr. Deacon.”
“Thanks for waking me,” Rich said. “I must have really needed the sleep.”
Rich handed the key to the man.
“Have a safe trip,” the man said.
“Thank you, sir,” Rich said.
In moments he was on the bike and peddling in the direction of Rockland. “I can’t believe I slept that long,” he thought. “I feel much better than yesterday. I can go on.”