The Id and The Odyssey; Episode 80
The snow was deep and fluffy by morning. Rich shoveled the Al’s sidewalk and driveway. He was able to maneuver the jeep through the streets, nearly getting stuck a couple of times, but arrived at The Beacon before Sam.
It was mid morning before the town began to move about.
Before noon Rich brought Sam some copy and told him about Dennis’s good news. He was elated.
“I heard you tried to get him to work for you a few years ago,” Rich said.
Sam huffed, “Another good writer gone to hell. Every time I pick up a good non fiction book I say, ‘Brilliant! You can‘t make up this kind of stuff.’ Take the Dally story, nobody could imagine that. It‘s better and more bizarre than fiction. Fiction has to make sense. And I detest it when reporters try to make sense out of the imbeciles that run this country. That‘s what journalism has become. Journalism today takes two, three, or a dozen stupid acts and decisions and tries to make them seem logical. Just report something honestly. Don‘t try to make people think a certain way. As soon as you do that, you become a part of the problem. You become bias. You‘ve taken sides.”
“Do you want me get you something,” Rich said. “A coffee or antacid.”
Sam dug back into the work on his desk and Rich went back to the newsroom.
A couple days later the snow had nearly melted away and cold rain fell heavy and constant. Rich invited Sam, Butch, Gordy, Rudy, and Dennis to the Lighthouse Inn for a couple hours of swapping stories.
Rich thought having two older and more mature men with them might keep them from hustling pool and being beat into lobster bait. What Rich enjoyed most about the night was merely listening to five brilliant men talking about life, work, writing, philosophy, and nonsense. They hardly drank enough to pay for the space they occupied.
Gordy had the best line of the night. As they parted he said, “God, I hate going home sober.”
Rich returned again to his fortress room and reflected for a while on the evening’s events over a cup of tea with cream and sugar. It was cold and rainy. This was a night for Dave Bruebeck. Bruebeck was made for rainy nights, wet streets, and lonely thoughts.
Monday morning Rich tapped on Sam’s window. He waved Rich into his office.
Sam was on the phone. He hung up. “What’s up?”
“When Dennis’s book hits the stands how ‘bout a write-up something about him and his book,” Rich said.
“Something like this,” Sam said tossing a page of copy to the front of his desk. “We’ll run this with two pictures.”
Rich scanned the article. “It sounds as if you read the book already.”
“He asked me to read it and make some recommendations,” Sam said. “That book is so good nobody will probably read it until he’s dead. He writes so that a sixth grader can read it, but only a thinker will enjoy it. I didn‘t change a word. It‘s terrible that talent like that is wasted on fiction.”
“Maybe someday he’ll see the light,” Rich smiled.
“He’s tried to turn you, hasn’t he?” Sam said.
“No,” Rich said.
“Oh sure,” Sam grinned. “Beware of his enthusiasm and love for his work. Seduction starts with suggestive talk. Watch yourself. Hemingway would still be alive today if he stayed a journalists. You can’t dabble in unreality and not come away without it sticking to you.”
“It sounds like you speak from experience,” Rich said.
“Get to work,” Sam said. “This is a newspaper not a dream factory.”