The Id and The Odyssey; Episode 42
Sunday morning Rich prepared a hearty breakfast for himself. After cleaning the up after the meal he read for a short period and listened to radio. Soon he was bored and restless. He peddled to the harbor and boarded the ferry to Vinylhaven Island.
Rich had great expectations on visiting the island. He had seen pictures of a small, but robust business waterfront village with small shops and a couple of restaurants. He brought his bike and thought about a short ride around the village might be interesting and invigorating.
The trip across to Rockland to Vinylhaven took less than an hour and a half. It was uneventful, but it yielded a view of Rockland Harbor from the seaside. Especially intriguing was the lighthouse on the tip of a breakwater.
The arrival at Vinylhaven was as uneventful as the ride. He saw the village from the ferry . It looked as if everyone had locked up and left town.
The ferry docked and Rich mounted his bike and peddled through the main street. There was nothing open and nothing to do. He boarded the ferry within a half hour of arriving and went back to Rockland. On the trip back he thought, “I shall never be bored with Rockland again.”
Monday, Rich located the Rockland Public Library and obtained a card. He checked out a couple of books and went back to the apartment. He read until time to go to the newspaper, only stopping for lunch.
Rich showed up at the paper and began his new duties.
At about twenty past five while sweeping the lobby Sam tossed the keys to Rich. “Make sure it’s all locked up.”.
Rich caught the keys. “Thanks.”
“If I show up in the morning and find all the presses and furniture gone, I’ll know it was you,” Sam said and exited the front door.
During the next two weeks Rich opened a savings and checking account. He also obtained a driver’s license. That was much at the urging of Sam who wanted Rich to drive bundles of newpapers to the carriers on Saturday morning. It was an extra two hours a week.
Rich sensed a closeness developing with Sam. Sam was very business like with the pressmen, office workers, and reporters. While in front of them he treated Rich as just another employee, but when no one else was around he smiled and joked. At times Rich thought it was because his job had less to do with the actual running of the business.
Sam was giving Rich special attention and showed more than the usual interest in him. It was even more than friends, to Rich he seemed almost like an uncle or older brother.
It was the Monday before Thanksgiving. Everyone had left the building. Rich was emptying trash baskets in the main office in the lobby. Sam slipped his key into the lock of the front door to let himself out.
“See ya tomorrow, Rich,” Sam said and waived.
“Have a good night, Mr. White,” Rich said. “Oh, before you go, we’re losing a carrier, Russ Martin on Summer Street.”
“Write a note and put it on Marge’s desk,” Sam said. “You don’t want some more work do you?” Sam joked.
“If you need me to fill in until someone is found, I can do it,” Rich said.
“I’m not serious,” Sam said.
“People sometimes say things when they joke that they really mean,” Rich said. “It prevents them from looking foolish.”
Sam grinned broadly. “Rich, I really didn’t mean it.”
“Yeah, right,” Rich said.
“No,” Sam said. “Wait a minute, the more I protest the less sincere it sounds.”
“Something like that,” Rich said and waved. “I’m messing with you.”
Sam opened the door and walked out. He quickly leaned back inside. “What are you doing for Thanksgiving?”
“I haven’t given it any thought.” Rich said. “I suppose I’ll read and take a walk and go kill a turkey, I‘ll invite some Indians over and we‘ll pop some corn.”
“Save that for next year. Katie and I would like for you to come over for Thanksgiving,” Sam said. “We invited another couple. So how ‘bout it?”
“Sure,” Rich said, “but don‘t you think you should ask Katie first?”
“I said something to her this past weekend,” Sam said. “Seriously, she’d like to meet you and I’d like you to meet my friends.”
“What time?” Rich said.
“If you come at noon that will be fine. We’ll eat around two and you won’t be able to move until around six.”
“Should I bring anything?” Rich said.
“No,” Sam said, “but if you want, bring some Indians.”
Sam locked the door and smiled through the window at Rich.