The Id and The Odyssey; Episode 111
Reminders of Home
Rich drove to Edmundston, New Brunswick. During the drive there were times he felt as if he was in the farmlands of Ohio. There were gentle hills, slopes, and pastures dotted with cattle and sheep on a green and fertile landscape. Farmers pulled plows and discs across the dirt to prepare for planting. It was a rhythm and cycle of life all too familiar - and a longing.
“Is it time to return?” he thought. “The Odyssey and the voyage, that is where my mental energy should be spent.”
He stopped for long periods of time at lakes and rivers to do nothing more than think. This portion of Maine was lonely, thus perfect.
He stayed the night in the cheapest motel he could find and drove back the next day. He did it for no other reason than to do it. He wanted to think about the preparations needed for the voyage. But he supposed more than anything else to examine himself. “Would it be an indication of maturity to cast my lot with Sam? Should I not do something for the good of others? He is up to something and I feel as if I may be integral to his designs. Is he flattering and encouraging me for his own ambitions? The voyage, the voyage; it is far more than riding a bike away from home. I could’ve called at anytime and returned. There have always been people around or waiting in the wings to rescue me if failure was certain. Alone at sea is daunting and fearsome. Am I really the sort? Am I the sort to be a part of a movement as yet I don‘t understand?”
On the way back to Rockland Rich thought fondly for a moment, “It reminds me of the drives Dad and I took a few years ago. We looked at the map and picked out a place that was an hour or so away. We’d drive there. Dad looked for a bar. They were small towns with nothing to offer except solitude and to hear a few yarns from a lonely local and for Dad to spin a few himself. He drank a couple and then drove home. Those were the good times. Those I will never forget. I listened to Dad spin tales of past glories. I wished I knew him then. I wondered what happened to him, why he turned into a bitter and angry loud mouth rabble rouser? I somehow hope that not be my fate.”
On the way back Rich stopped at a phone booth in Belfast and called Gordy and Rudy. He invited them to his place for a pizza.
They were parked on the street waiting when Rich drove up. Gordy had the beer and Rudy bought the pizza. They settled into the apartment and began eating.
Rudy said, “I find if you go without eating pizza for a while it really taste good when you have it again.”
“Is that true?” Rich asked.
“Oh yeah,” Rudy said. “It’s a fact.”
“How long have you gone without pizza?” Gordy asked.
“Friday,” Rudy said.
“This is Sunday,” Gordy said.
“Exactly,” Rudy said and raised the bottle to his mouth.
“I want to ask you guys something,” Rich said.
They looked at each other and said, “Sure.”
“Before you ask,” Gordy said holding out his hands. “The baby is not mine and she said she was twenty.”
Rich paused and shook his head. “What will you guys do without me?”
“My god,” Rudy said, “they finally hired him as a bus boy at the Harbor Inn.”
“No, Rudy,” Gordy said, “reading and a command of the English language is required.”
“Enough, you guys,” Rich said trying to refrain from laughing with food in his mouth.
“Okay, okay let’s get serious for a moment,” Rudy said.
“Okay, moments up!” Gordy said.
They gave Rich their attention, but still held grins.
“I‘m leaving,” Rich said. There was silence. “I will leaving in a year or maybe as early as the fall.”
Gordy pretended to pull pizza from his ear. “Excuse me, but I had pizza in my ear. It sounded like you said you were peeing in your ear.”
“I must have had pizza in my ear too,” Rudy said.
“Let me check there’s a lot of that going around,” Gordy said. “So when exactly did you fall on your head?”
“About a month or so,” Rich said. “I’ve talked it over with Sam. He’s offered to double my salary to stay and rewrite for you guys.”
“He’s probably paid a lobsterman to tow you out to sea and the Coast Guard not to answer any distress calls,” Gordy said.
“This is serious,” Rudy said.
“Serious as a heart attack,” Rich said.
“When did you say?” Rudy ask.
“Perhaps as early as this fall,” Rich said.
“That gives so little time,” Gordy said.
“For what?” Rich said.
“All the practical jokes I had lined up for you,” Gordy said. “I guess the hole in the boat won’t be a good one at this point. Well there’s always the Limburger Cheese on the manifold of the boat’s engine. That will attract enough seagulls to sink the boat.”
“You should write about it,” Rudy said.
Rich smiled. “I am. Sam thinks it can be a book.”
“That’s outstanding,” Rudy said.
“Rich, I hate to say this, but I’m going to miss you,” Gordy said. “Can you use a cabin boy?”
“How bout a cabin girl,” Rich said.
“Just forget I said anything,” Gordy said.
They talked well into the evening until their eyes drooped and the beer ran dry. Rich showed them to the door.
“We’ll see ya tomorrow,” Rudy said.
Gordy added, “Please can I stay. I’ll sleep under the bed.”
“Good night,” Rich said and closed the door.