The Id and The Odyssey; Episode 103

Around the World

Mentally Rich laid the ledger to rest. It was in the able jurisdiction of Dave Smithson and the microfilm securely in Sam’s office safe. Although the matter was mostly out of his mind his curiosity from time to time caused him to entertain some speculations. His life was too full to aimlessly and needlessly worry about things beyond his experience or comprehension. After all he was only 17.
At noon Rich returned to The Beacon after interviewing the new fire chief in Camden. He ran up the steps and before entering the newsroom rapped on the window of Sam’s door.
“Yep,” Sam said.
“Can I have a little of your time before we call it a day?” Rich said.
“Door is always open,” Sam said.
The afternoon wasn’t particularly busy, thus it slowly drug. At five everyone cleared out of the office like herded cattle released from the corral. Rich rapped on the window of Sam’s office.
Sam waved him in. “Have a seat.”
Rich shut the door and had a broad smile. “Well, let’s get to it.”
Sam folded his hands an leaned forward on his desk. “I’m all ears.”
“I’ve read the book you gave me,” Rich said, “and the two Frank gave me. I think my life is about to take a new direction.”
Sam smiled approvingly.
“This will mean that I will move on,” Rich said.
Sam’s smile became confused.
“I want to sail around the world,” Rich said.
Sam smiled broadly again. “Extraordinary.”
In just above a whisper Rich said, “As you know I will be in reality 18 this year; eligible for the draft. After reading the books you and Frank gave me I don’t see how I can conscientiously be a part of the military.” Rich hesitated and waited for Sam’s reaction, which he assumed might be negative.
“Those are mighty decisions,” Sam said. “and good ones.”
Rich was relieved and settled back in the chair.
“I have no idea on how to finance an escapade around the world,” Rich said. “I thought that perhaps a publisher might advance the money I’d need. Oh yeah, I’m going to write a book about it. It wouldn’t have to be much. The wind is free. I need food. I could fish. Repairs can be costly. I was really hoping you might have some ideas.”
“Hmmm,” Sam said. “I’m certain a publisher would not be willing to foot the cost of an adventure that has the odds stacked against it. Many have started on such, but few have finished.”
“I thought of that,” Rich said. “I wonder how many finished for lack of will as opposed to lack of money?”
“The two are intertwined,” Sam said. “If one has sufficient will he will find a way and the money.”
“I don’t suppose I could pitch this to a bank and present it like a student loan,” Rich said smiling. “I don’t pay until the trip is over.”
“That shows promise,” Sam said. “Not in practical way, but it shows you are thinking creatively.”
“All I really have in assets is my jeep. I could sell it,” Rich said. “That’s $250. On the open sea you don’t pay gas, electric, or rent, but you got to have money to buy fuel, if needed. You just can’t live off the sea.”
“Suppose all that gets solved,” Sam said. “What route will you take?”
Rich flashed another crooked smile. “Well there’s only two to choose from, east or west, but either way I’ll be going south a great deal the first part of my journey.”
Sam swiveled toward the window in his chair and folded his hands against his midriff. He breathed deep and squinted.
“You think I’m silly, don’t you?” Rich said.
Sam swiveled quickly to face Rich. “By no means are you silly. If that’s so, than I am also. I’m thinking of how to aid in some way. However, why do you want to do it?”
“I want to do something few do,” Rich said. “I don’t think I’m made for college and besides nearly everyone can go to college. Going around the world will expose me to people and places that most people have to read about. Everything you learn in college you can learn from a book. I’ll get books. Think about it; two guys come in and want a job. One guy says I went to college for four years. The other guy says he read all the books the guy who went to college read and plus sailed around the world while doing it. The other guy worked at a dairy stand during the summer. Who do you hire? That’s something I can take anywhere.”
Sam smiled broadly. “My god, you have passion.”
Rich stood up. “I’m leaving in the fall. I guess that’s my notice.”
“If you sell your jeep, what will you buy with the money,” Sam said.
“An extra set of sails,” Rich said.
“Practical, and wise,” Sam said.
“I’ve got to go,” Rich said. “I have some things to do.”

Rich left Sam’s office with a sense of relief. Thinking something is one thing and announcing it is another.