The Id and The Odyssey; Episode 98
Just past Boston it began to snow lightly and by the time they crossed the Connecticut state line it was coming down in huge flakes. When driving through Hartford they traveled only about thirty miles per hour.
“Do you think we should stop in Hartford and stay the night?” Gordy suggested.
“If we stop here we’ll never get back on the highway and we might as well kiss the weekend good bye,” Rich said. “The jeep is made for conditions like these.”
“I hope you know what you’re doing,” Gordy said looking at the snow and wearing a concerned look on his face.
“It’s a matter of not overdriving,” Rich said. “Just stay within the capability of the vehicle, the road, the conditions, and you.”
“In that little a equation of yours,” Gordy said, “everything is stable, but you. You’re the unpredictable variable.”
“Look Gordy!” Rich said. “We are one of the few cars still on the road.”
They crept along slower and slower.
“According to you we should be in Times Square right now,” Rich said glancing at his wrist watch and frowning.
“Life is so unpredictable,” Gordy said. “If we had the Lemans we would have been there by now.” Gordy looked for Rich’s reaction.
“More likely in the ditch,” Rich said.
He laughed and slouched in his seat and pulled his coat over him. “Wake me when we get to New York City.”
Gordy actually went to sleep. Rich plodded on at times skidding and spinning the tires. Rich stopped for gas and Gordy didn’t budge from his fetal sleeping position. His sleepy eyes popped above his coat only after were safely back on the highway and he tucked his head down like a turtle and went back to sleep.
They got off work early to arrive at or hotel in New York City before midnight. Rich crossed the Madison Avenue Bridge at four and they were in their hotel and in bed by five. Rich slept until nine. He looked out the widow of out hotel at the snow covered street below. At times like these his thoughts always drifted to what he would be doing at that moment if he stayed in Ohio. His decision had opened new vistas and introduced a life that he thought not possible. He thought, “it would be grand to have somebody with me for just a day to report back to everyone about the life I was now leading.” At times he thought it all seemed like a dream.
Gordy slithered out of his blankets like a snake shedding skin. He smacked his pasty mouth and stretched. “Let’s get breakfast. I can shower and be ready in ten minutes.”
“Me too,” Rich said.
“The only way that will happen is if we shower at the same time,” Gordy said.
“Okay,” Rich said. “Twelve minutes thirty seconds.”
“You’re on,” Gordy streaked for the shower.
Soon they were walking on the streets to the sound of shovels scraping and clearing the sidewalks.
“Don’t look up at all dem dar skyscrapers farm boy. It’s a give away,” Gordy cautioned. “Ya look like a tourist.”
“I am a tourist,” Rich said.
“For once just be something you’re not,” Gordy said. “Okay!”
Rich walked along still looking up at the buildings. “Which one should we buy?” Rich said. “Looky dar. That’s a purty one. You bring the check book. Daddy always said, money don’t spend itself. What else we gonna do with that there oil money?”
“I’m walking up here,” Gordy said rushing a few steps in front of me.
“Stop it, Gordy,” Rich said. “You’re embarrassing us.”
They ate at a diner called Manhattan Max’s and rode a bus to the Empire State Building. Rich was not anxious to go the observation tower, but Rich figured when a frail fellow like Gordy prods away in front of a crowd of people, even if you will never see them again, you do it. They didn’t stay long. It was cold and windy and Rich had the unfounded fear the building was about to tip over. Gordy laughed all the way to the street. His lack of sensitivity was bewildering to Rich. They rode the subway to the tip of Manhattan Island and took the Staten Island fire and returned immediately. They slept on the way back.
Finally at a prearranged street corner they met with a college friend of Gordy’s, Carmine Luciano, who had the tickets to see Dylan.
“Is dis da hayseed?” Carmine said with a thick New York accent when Gordy introduced them.
“It’s grass seed, city slicker - hay is grass,” Rich said.
“Gordy,” Carmine said, “dis guy’s the genuine article, isn’t he.”
“He’s not that sharp,” Gordy said. “He walks out in traffic lookin’ up at the buildings.”
“Look at him Gordy,” Carmine said. “The guy is Jewish, Greek, or Italian. Do kid fell off a bagel truck and raised by da Larsen’s.”
“What are you doing now days?” Gordy ask.
“Workin’ for my Uncle in da garment industry,” Carmine said. “And I’m doin’ Okay for myself. How ‘bout you?”
“Working for a small paper in Rockland, Maine,” Gordy said.
“Ah, ya oughta get away from Maine. It’s a good place ta vacation or hide out until da heat dies down, but no place ta live. My uncle’s got connections. He can get you in some place down here and da hayseed too.” Carmine smiled and flipped Gordy’s arm with the back of his hand and leaned close, “Look at ‘im Gordy. He’s believing dat stuff about hidin’ out.”
“I guess I won’t be your friend unless I compliment you,” Rich said.
“So compliment away,” Carmine said.
“When did you shave last - an hour ago?” Rich said.
“Let’s get a beer and a sandwich,” Carmine said. “Oh, excuse me, Dat’s a sarsaparilla sodie pop with a dash of cherry for our friend.”
“But in a dirty glass and no straw. Straws are fer sissies.” Rich said.
“Gordy,” Carmine said, “You been coachin’ dis guy.”
They ate at a bar. They had a sandwich that was impossible to place the top and bottom in your mouth at the same time.
Gordy and Carmine talked and laughed about old times at college, running around Boston and old friends. Rich interrupted and said, “I had a dog named Duke back home on the farm.”
Gordy smiled and said, “Sure ya do, now eat,” and continued reminiscing with Carmine.
“And a girl friend named Sally Mae,” Rich said, “she’s a real looker.”
“Dis guy’s okay,” Carmine said and chuckled. “Let’s feed ‘im to da pigeons.”