The Id and The Odyssey; Episode 114

Shalom, Baby

Gordy rode along with Rich to Portland the next Saturday. They went there to pick up two small wind driven generators and a small propane heater for the boat. They left early because the marina’s store closed at noon. Gordy slept for nearly an hour after climbing into the jeep.
They drove into Bath. “Breakfast?” Rich said.
“Sure,” Gordy said.
“I know a place,” Rich said.
Rich drove to the restaurant that he had eaten at about eighteen months earlier. Nothing had changed. They were greeted with the same “mornin'."
After Rich told the waitress who he was she said, "Oh sure I remember you.” She turned to everyone in the dinning room. "Hey everybody, remember the weird guy that came in here a year and a half ago. Well here he is and he smells better."
Rich told them where he was working and what he planned on doing. The conversation quickly got on to something in the morning newspaper and the only way Rich and Gordy got noticed from that point on was if they talked about what they were.
"How did you find this place?" Gordy ask.
"I stopped here on a foggy morning after camping all night when I came up here from Ohio," Rich said. "The day before I ran into some grumpy ole lady. I began to doubt if Maine was such a good idea. After eating here, I knew I was in the right place."
"Yeah," Gordy said, "I bet you had no idea they called you the weird guy after you left."
"Thanks, Gordy, that spoils everything."
They finished eating and drove to Portland. Rich found the marina. made the purchases, and headed back to Rockland.
"What do you think of my hair?" Gordy ask.
"What do you mean?" Rich said.
"Is it too young for me?" Gordy said brushing his hair with his fingers.
"I'm surprised that you give a crap," Rich said.
"Some hair never goes out of style," Rich said. "I want to look at a picture of myself thirty years from now and not be embarrassed."
"This country is going through a great change," Gordy said. "I feel it, don't you?"
"Yeah," Rich said, "but this country and world is always changing."
"Not like now," Gordy said. "I don't want to be left behind. Growing up, I was the last guy picked and guys picked on. I got to college and it was full of guys like me. I don't want to go back to the last guy picked and the guy picked on. I want to make it in this business. Walter Winchel is a runt, but because he can write he had power. Nobody called him a runt without paying the price."
"Gordy, I think you're better than that," Rich said. "Look at Sam. He sleeps at night and with the same woman. Everybody calls Winchel a pig behind his back. What do you want fear or respect. The choice is yours."
They drove on in silence. Eventually Rich told him about the girl.
As if Gordy pulled the answer from an index card and read it, he quickly suggested, “A six pack of beer and a Barstool Bertha will remedy the situation. Believe me, it works. The last time I thought I was in love I did that very thing," he pulled on his chin. "But I think her name was Betty. Anyway, I couldn’t look on womanhood for at least six months without gagging. Nothing will cure the blues like an ugly drunk unless you got the blues over an ugly drunk. Where were we? Oh right Bertha, Betty, Blues. It’s like having your favorite food when you’re sick. You throw it up and you don’t want it for a good long while. If you don’t want to go that far go down to the Lighthouse Inn, scrape the sticky gook from the floor take it home, put it in a glass, add a jigger of perfume, a jigger of whisky, top it off with the cheapest beer you can buy, stir don't shake, knock down a mouth full and sniff. Now that you got this girl off your mind, let’s knock down a few beers when we get to Rockland..”
Rich cracked a smile.
"Just kidding," Gordy said. "I'm no Winchel. My charm and good looks will get me what I want."
They stopped at the Lighthouse Inn and played pool the rest of the afternoon while nursing two beers between them. Rich drove Gordy home before it was dark.
"What are you doing tomorrow?" Gordy asked just before getting out of the Jeep.
"I'm going to install the generators and the heater in the boat," Rich said.
"Need some help?" Gordy
"Sure," Rich said.
"I got a Jewish tool kit. I'll bring that along. We can repair and install anything with it," Gordy said.
"What's a Jewish tool kit?" Rich said.
"You be dieing to know," Gordy said. "Scotch tape, kite string, a table spoon, and a kitchen knife. Jewish households have existed for decades with those very same elements. They took that with them out of Egypt. Pharaoh wakes up one morning and says, 'Where's my knife. I can't spread locks and cream cheese without my knife. What! The kite string too. Let's go get ‘em.' It's in the Talmud that way."
"Good night Gordy," rich said.

"Shalom, Richie baby, and I do mean shalom."