The Id and The Odyssey; Episode 43
Thanksgiving Day arrived. Rich dressed neatly and walked to Sam’s home.
It was a Victorian two story home, grey with burgundy trim. A winding flagstone walk led to the front door.
Rich knocked on the door. It was Katie who came to the door with a confluence of Thanksgiving meal odors.
She was modest, no makeup, white blouse and a long blue skirt. She was petit. Her features were distinct. She was naturally beautiful. Rich was momentarily mesmerized by her looks.
“You must be Richard,” she smiled, grabbed his hand, and led Rich in. “I’m Katie.”
“Nice to meet you, Katie,” Rich said.
“Sam has told me a lot about you,” Katie said. “And I’m so glad you were able to make it. Where are your Indian friends?”
“Sam! Richard’s here,” she called out.
Sam came down the stairs and greeted Rich with a hand shake. “It’s good to see you, Richard.”
“You too, Mr. White,” Rich said.
“Once you are a guest at my home it’s no longer Mr. White. It’s Sam, Ok,” Sam said.
“Ok,” Rich paused and added, “Sam.”
“Coffee?” Sam said.
“Sure, just cream,” Rich said.
They sat in the living room. It was rich and comfortable. There was a fire in the fireplace and a mahogany clock on the mantle. The furniture was leather and plush. The paintings looked like originals.
“How do you like the coffee?” Sam said after Rich sipped it.
“It’s really good,” Rich said. “Stronger than what I’m used to.”
“It’s called a French Roast and Katie did it like the French do.”
“Well here’s to Guillotine, Silhouette, and Crapper and all other famous Frenchmen, though Crapper was not French the word toilet is.” Rich said and sipped again.
“What?” Sam said. “I know of Guillotine, but Silhouette, and Crapper.”
“Silhouette was a French minister of taxation or something like that and it was said that after he taxed the French nothing was left except their shadow or silhouette, and Crapper was the guy who invented the flush toilet.”
“Incredible,” Sam said looking at Rich with suspicious, delight, and curiosity. “You mentioned that you read. What do you read.”
“Hemingway, Steinbeck, Twain, Faulkner - all the good guys,” Rich said.
“What is your favorite book?” Sam said.
“Tortilla Flat,” Rich said.
“Why is that your favorite,” Sam said.
“It is simple. Most lives are simple,” Rich said.
“Have you gone to college?” Sam said.
“My education was something I hoped you would never ask me about,” Rich said.
“Why?” Sam said.
“I spent two years in the fifth grade and quit my freshman year of junior high,” Rich said expecting Sam to take the coffee and ask him to leave.
Sam reached back and grabbed three books from his book shelves. He placed two on the floor about six inches from each other. He spanned the two books with the third. “This is a man and a bridge,” he said walking his fingers across the spanning book, “Tell me what is happening in as few words as possible.”
“The man went across the bridge,” Rich said.
“How did he get from one side to another?” Sam said.
“He walked,” Rich said.
“So rephrase the sentence.”
“The man walked across the bridge?” Rich said. “Wait a minute! He walked on the bridge.”
“Why did you change it?” Sam said.
“He is good enough,” Rich said. “He tells us it is a man without saying ‘the man and went.’ He could have run, walked, strolled, or crawled. And I just was thinking that if you walk over a bridge it is usually for the purpose of going from one side to another. We all know that. Saying across or over almost sounds like there’s another structure involved and not actually on the bridge or perhaps he levitated over the bridge. I suppose, He walked the bridge would do, but that almost sounds like a lash would be involved.”
Sam grinned. “I want you to go to a city council meeting with me next Tuesday.”
A knock at the door prevented any further conversation.
“That’s Dennis and Peggy,” Sam said.
Sam and Katie greeted them at the door and Dennis and Peggy Hudson were introduced to Rich.
The were about 10 years younger than the Whites; placing them in their early thirties. The looked rugged. Dennis looked as if he needed a haircut. He wore well worn jeans and a well worn tweed jacket. Peggy’s hair was pulled back and fell half way down her back. She had rough hands, yet delicate facial features. She wore jeans and a flannel shirt.
“Lets all go in the living room and get acquainted,” Sam said.
Katie served coffee and everyone sat and relaxed.
“I got here a little over a month ago from Ohio,” Rich said. “I peddled my bike all the way. Well, that’s not completely correct; I hoped a train and got a few rides, but I peddled most the way. I just thought I’d get it all out of the way.”
“So, Dennis, you’re a writer and Peggy you’re an artist,” Rich said.
“How did you know?” Dennis said.