The Id and The Odyssey; Episode 115
The next day Rich was at the boat before 8:00 AM. There was a substantial tool kit aboard The Odyssey. Rich laid out the instructions and read over them. When he was about to drill a hole to for the generator mounts Gordy came walking down the dock toward The Odyssey.
"Where's your Jewish tool kit?" Rich said.
"Curb they tongue you anti Semitic," Gordy said. "That was a joke; so gullible."
Gordy jumped onboard. "Where do you want me to begin."
“Can you start by assembling the generators,” Rich said. “All you have to do is attach the propellers. I’m going to drill the holes for the mounts. If anybody is going to put a hole in this boat it’s me. I don’t want to be bailing water in the middle of the Atlantic and cursing anybody but myself. It‘s easy, anybody can do it.”
Gordy looked at Rich as if he was treating him condescendingly and grabbed the instructions and gave them once over. "I took shop in high school and worked for my Dad awhile. I know which way to turn a screw; righty tighty, lefty loosy."
Rich drilled holes in the stern on both the starboard and port. Once the mounts were in place the generators were attached. The wiring was then attached to the inverters and to the batteries that were stored under the cockpit’s benches.
“Is this overkill?” Gordy said.
“I don’t want to be in the middle of nowhere with no wind and not enough power to switch on my deck lights or the beacon on the mast. The engine has it’s own battery, but if it should fail I can use these. I want plenty of juice. There just ain’t any wall sockets in the middle of the ocean.”
Next they installed the small propane gas heater in the cabin. It was mounted to the wall that separated the head from the cabin. A copper line was ran on the port side do the cabin and to the cockpit where there was a small propane tank under the bench. It was tested and worked fine.
“There that will do it,” Rich said turning off the heater. “This will be for extreme cold. I have a small electric heater not much more than a toaster that only has to be plugged in. In fact, I made it from a toaster and a small cooling fan from a field radio tossed in a junk heap at an Army/Navy surplus store. I actually have three of them. And most importantly it works. It keeps moisture out of the cabin and can keep me warm.”
“Wow, Mr. Wizard,” Gordy said. “I have worked well beyond lunch for nothing; you don’t suppose…”
“A burger, fries and coke,” Rich said.
“I’ve worked for less,” Gordy said.
“Let’s go to the Lobster Pot,” Rich said, “biggest burgers in town and plenty of fries.”
“You sound like a teenager when you say it that way,” Gordy said.
“What do you mean by that?” Rich said.
“Quantity before quality,” Gordy said.
“Given the money in my pocket and the emptiness in my stomach, it sounded pragmatic,” Rich said. “Great learning as driven you mad, thus you have forgotten the delicate balance between capital and commodity.”
“You may have something, there,” Gordy said.
Rich locked the boat. They walked to the Jeep and headed toward the Lobster Pot.
"Why two generators?" Gordy ask.
"A back-up," Rich said, "I want a back-up for just about everything. I‘m even going to take an extra set of sails."
"What if there's no wind for your generators?” Gordy said.
"That won’t happen very often,” Rich said. “I can work off the batteries for days or crank up the engine. I don't want to depend on the engine for electricity. I want that engine to move me out of a storm or into a harbor fast."
"You worried about your life?" Gordy ask.
"I think about it," Rich said. "I know there will be times that I will wonder why I'm doing it. About three years ago my Uncle and I got caught in a bad storm on Lake Erie. The swells were so high. We sunk so low in them that there was nothing but a valley of water surrounding us. My Uncle skillfully maneuvered his little eighteen foot cabin cruiser to safety. I was afraid for my life then and so was good ole Uncle Ralph. How many times have you jumped out from in front of a car or swerved to miss a head on? At sea the risks are far less frequent than the streets in Rockland."
“Hey, Rich,” Gordy said. “I’d really don’t want to go to the Lobster Pot. I got some really good ham at my place. I can make us a couple sandwiches. Sometimes that place gets too noisy.”
“Sounds good,” Rich said. “But I owe ya.”
“Yeah, sure,” Gordy said, “rain check; some other time.”
Rich turned around and drove to Gordy’s apartment.
It was a new complex of thirty apartments occupied by mostly young couples. A bar separated the living area from the kitchen. It was bright compared to Rich’s place. The living area had a large window and opposite it a large window was above the kitchen sinks. He had two bedrooms. One he slept in and the other for storage. Gordy liked bullfighting and several paintings hung on the walls depicting them. There was only the usual clutter one might find in a single news reporter’s place, a stack of newspapers, crumpled typing paper, and an empty beer can.
Gordy made a couple of ham and cheese sandwiches and sprinkled chips into a bowl. "I bet Sam is eating better than this?"
"Yeah," Rich said.
Gordy passed gas and said, "But he can't do that and laugh about it."
Rich grabbed his sandwich and sat on the couch.
"How crude," Gordy said. "We eat only where it is socially proper - at the dinning area."
"Ok than, where is it best to fart?" Rich asked.
"Out your ass," Gordy said.
While eating they talked about the newspaper, Red Sox, Celtics, and life.
There was still daylight remaining when Rich drove back to his apartment. That is when Rich saw her again, Anne Sunders. She leaned into the passenger side window of the car that had left at the diner a week ago.
Rich’s first impulse was to stop and tell the boyfriend how stupid he was. Rich drove by slowly. He saw from the expression on there faces that the conversation was not going well. Rich turned the corner and stopped.
She was wearing red slacks with a matching sweater. It fit her nicely - not too tight or too loose, just enough. She quickly jerked away and the car sped away. She walked away and turned on the street where Rich had stopped and walked toward him. Rich got out and leaned against the passenger side of his Jeep next to the side walk. She smiled politely and continued walking.
"We have to quit meeting like this," Rich said.
She smiled again, "Hi."
"You need a ride?" Rich said.
"No," she smiled.
"Driving lessons?" Rich said.
"No," her face brightened, but continued to walk away.
"Hey I don't know any other way to put this," Rich said, "but can I have your phone number. Maybe we could get together sometime."
Rich immediately thought, “that seemed to sound so incredibly cliché and awkward.”
She stopped and Rich trembled. She smiled, "I don't have a phone."
"Oh, ok," Rich smiled pathetically and got in the Jeep. She walked on.
Rich drove away and mumbled, "I don't have a phone. That's a good one. Why not just say get lost ya freak."