The Id and The Odyssey; Episode 38
Rich rode through peaceful towns that were just barely awake and seemingly ten or even twenty years behind the rest of the country. As trees, cars, houses, and scenery passed he thought about his life; the past, present, and future. He wondered how is all fit together; or if it really did.
Perhaps the seeming backwardness of Maine was an assumption brought on by TV and movies that accelerates thinking and makes everyone grow restless for change and that if we don’t adopt or adapt the life style of New York and Los Angeles we are somehow out of it squares.
He thought of his Uncle Marcel who moved with flare and ease through the upper crust of Houston social life, but found himself most at home with the shrimp boaters of Galveston. He confided to Rich, “These are the real people. The shoe without the polish. You see who they really are. Always take away the polish first to see what kind of shoe is beneath it. But remember good polish on a cheap shoe, it is still just a cheap shoe.” He said that after a few shots of scotch and water. Under the right circumstances liquor emits truth.
Rich’s uncle always urged to pursue a career in banking or insurance. “If you handle money it can’t help but find its way to your pockets, just like if you shovel dirt it can’t help find its way to your pockets too.” That also was said after scotch and water.
Rich’s dad after a few beers would come up with something like, “Find a woman that has everything and she’ll give you nothing. Find a woman that has nothing and she’ll give you everything.”
“Maybe that’s the difference between scotch and beer,” Rich muses. “I’ll seek out the scotch crowd in Rockland - with good shoes.”
Rich contemplated he might spend a day or two in Rockland either qualifying or disqualifying it as my home.
He was not going to be particular at first. He was willing to take a job at the bottom of the wrung. He would bus tables or wash dishes. Neither appealed. Some things he gave scant thought in the past week or so. Not loomed, not dreaded, or foreboding, but a challenge with no real certainty.
To find a job it would be best to present myself as a self-reliant eccentric type. How else was it possible to explain living in a tent and traveling by bike. He did not want to sink his money into an apartment without a job, first, but it may be difficult to get a job without an address, thus the self-reliant eccentric type. He had been led to believe that Maine had many such ones. He hoped to find his niche.
The trees that lined the landscape were partially nude and large clusters of wet leaves covered the ground. The odor was tranquil and made him reflect about home. Not the emotional turmoil and problems of his home life, but the things that brought up feelings of serenity and good times. As he thought of them in snap shots and movies in his head none of the cast members were of Mom and Dad. He wondered how delightful it would have been to play in the leaves with them. He saw other parents do that and his Dad scoffed at them for being silly. Just when Rich had even the slightest of feelings regarding his decision something internal took over that confirmed he was doing the right thing. Rich felt it at the moments of the deepest doubts and despair. Something seemed to happen as if by some automatic adjustment programmed into his brain or by Devine intervention.
This morning was one of those moments. He was expecting a room full of cranky lobstermen and librarians and he was treated kindly and all with a buoyant “morning’!”
Rich sensed never having a home. He would always be looking for what should have been at home, but he knew there would be places in his future he wished would be his home.
“I have no home, only places to visit for extended times and move on. That is what I see for myself. It is a truth and a reality. What I run from is one thing today and another thing tomorrow. That thing I fear will someday be myself. There will be the day an inventory and accounting will be taken. I somehow must prepare for that day, even if it be my deathbed.”