The Id and The Odyssey; Episode 93

The Book

The next morning they ate breakfast on board before braving the chilly morning. They loosened the sails and shook the frost from everything and putted The Odyssey out of the harbor to catch the wind.
It was near noon when catching sight of the low laying land mass that curled around the sea like a gnarled finger. The choppy seas abated as The Odyssey circled around the tip of the cape and slipped into the calm waters of Provincetown Harbor. The docked and secured The Odyssey. Rich worked at closing her up while Sam made a phone call from a booth to his friend. They had little gear to remove since Katie had brought what they needed by car. Instead of Katie, Frank picked us up about an hour later in a red Cadillac Deville . He was a tall thin man, perhaps six-five. He had a large face with Lincoln-like features. His hair was silver and wavy.
When we pulled away from the harbor Frank said to Rich who was in the back seat, “No, I never played basketball,” he said and stretched out his enormous hands. “But I could palm a law journal.”
After that Rich faded into the background as two old friends took some time to catch up on subject after subject and person after person, all of which Rich had not the slightest knowledge. They turned from the main road onto a smaller paved road and then to a stone road that weaved through dunes of sand, high grass, and low shrubs. They approached an open garage with Katie’s car parked next to it. Frank pulled inside the garage. Sam and Rich unloaded their bags. They made their way up three sets of stairs that rose gradually to a weather beaten grey two story shake shingled house at the top of a hill. They walked in to a glorious reunion of friends and the odor of Italian cuisine as thick as fog.
Rich was eventually introduced to Sarah, a robust stately woman in overhauls over a man’s plaid shirt. She hugged Rich like he was a lost nephew. “Frankie is English, as cold and damp as a London cellar. I’m Italian, as warm and as bright as a Tuscany sky.”
“Let me show you our view,” Frank said to Rich trying to make up for what Sarah said about his lack of warmth. He gestured to the large window that faced the sea.
“Frankie,” Sarah said. “These are guest. They will stay until we ask them to leave. They got all weekend to look.” She turned to Rich and said, “Hey, skinny boy are you hungry?”
“No,” Rich said and her smile turned to fright. “I took a bite out of the boat before we left the harbor, that ought to last until this evening.”
Sarah smiled and winked at Rich and pinched his cheek.
“Frankie, you didn’t stop to feed these men?” Sarah exclaimed with feigned horror and holding her hands to her cheeks.
“If I fed them then, how would they eat now?” Frank pleaded with his hands held out.
“Tsk, tsk, tsk, Frankie,” Sarah said. “You’re the judge and you know nothing about such things. Guilt, Frankie, guilt would have made them eat. All these years as a judge and he knows the law, but nothing about what makes people do the things they do.”
They ate Italian food that Rich never knew existed.
“Is anyone in your family Italian?” Frank said to Rich during dinner.
“If I should answer yes will I be under indictment?” Rich said.
Everyone chuckled.
“Frankie, you asked that like a prosecutor,” Sarah said.
Frank quickly turned Italian and slapped Rich’s shoulder, “Hey you! You eat like a goomba. You gotta be Italian. Pass da manicotti.”
“Now he gets it,” Sarah said.
“How did you two meet?” Sam asked. “I don’t believe we ever heard.”
Frank nodded at Sarah, “You tell.”
“I always wanted a big strong handsome man. Italian’s are short and fat - well most of them. Frankie comes into my Papa’s restaurant every Wednesday evening. I give him some attention and some free cannolis and the next thing you know he asked me out.”
“Actually I fell in love with the cannolis before I did her,” Frank said.
They laughed and Sarah feigned sadness, “It’s true, it’s true.”
“Now tomorrow Frankie is going to take you a drive around the Cape. I’ll air the house out and tomorrow we’ll eat New England.” Sara said. “Chowder; oregano, and garlic - it’s liable to start a war.”
It was a fun evening. Rich enjoyed watching old friends reminisce. At times the laughter was so great that tears came to his eyes. He contrasted that with his parents getting together with friends or family and the evenings ending when the arguments became so intense the next step would have been to call the police.
Sara showed Rich to his room. It was the finest room he’d ever slept in. It was decorated in a masculine nautical theme.
Rich showered and slid under the covers. He reached over to turn off the light on the stand next to the bed. On the stand was a book, Sailing Alone Around the World by Joshua Slocum. He picked it up and without thumbing through it began reading from the first chapter. After reading interspersed with laying the book on his chest and musing what he read, he closed the book. He laid it reverentially on the night stand and wondered, “Is this my story?”

Rich drifted to sleep.