The Id and The Odyssey; Episode 118

A Family's Tragedy

Rich stumbled into work ten minutes late Monday morning. He tossed his work on Sam's desk and went to work at his desk in the newsroom. He shuffled to the coffee pot and there was no coffee.
Gordy smiled, "Third desk makes the coffee."
Rich grudgingly made the coffee.
"It better be good," Gordy said.
"My coffee has always been good," Rich said.
"Your ability to make coffee exceeded your ability to write," Gordy said.
"You're a cruel little man, Gordy," Rich said. "All the qualities of wonderful dictators." Rich poured the first cup and sipped.
"You are developing a wit I never knew existed," Gordy said.
"The coffee's good," Rich said.
"See what I mean," Gordy said.
Rich’s phone rang. He answered. “Larsen…Sure…Okay,…Yeah…I got it…Bye. He hung up and walked into Sam's office. "There's a house fire in Rockport. Rudy's out it's your call."
"You go and take the camera," Sam said without looking up from his desk.
The fire was a vacation cabin. Rich made the short drive to Rockport, snapped a couple of pictures, and interviewed the family. They were vacationers from Cleveland. The interview of the family touched Rich. No time before had a story effected him so and why? He just could not figure. Tears welled in his eyes as he talked to them. They put an entire two years of savings into the vacation and in a moment it was gone. It was their first night in Maine.
So overcome with emotion Rich had to pull off the side of the road on the way back to Rockland. “What is wrong,” Rich thought. “Why is that family so different than others. What ever that family has I’m missing. And I want them to hold it dear and never lose it. I just don’t know what it is, but it’s in their eyes, voice, and their breath. I comes from someplace in the heart. I just want a little piece of it.” Rich wiped his eyes and pulled back onto the road.
He arrived at the newsroom confident of the story he was about to write. It started one way and took a turn that left him helplessly drawn into the story. He finished it and took it to Sam.
"I can't take this anymore," Rich said. "That family is devastated. If they weren't so damn tired when they got here last night and left most of their stuff in the car they would have lost everything. That family came so close to death I could not bear it. The fright was so immanent it was as if it really happened. That man got a taste of what it was like to lose everything he loves. I got to have the day off."
"What are you going to do?" Sam said.
"Something," Rich said.
"It‘s not your job to do something or anything," Sam said. "We only report. You got to grow up."
“I don’t get it,” Rich said, “you want feeling into my writing for some cause. I see this as the only cause. How is some socialist revolution, led by beatniks, outcasts, poets, and artists going to help that man and his family. On my way here from Ohio I ran into a family that put everything they had into some trip to California for a job. I saw to it he got a job in Albany. Not a soul was hurt, no one got arrested, no one protested.”
“Like I said,” Sam said, “You got some growing up to do. You have got to think of the bigger picture. I should have known better than to hire a kid who has not the gumption to finish school and educate his mind.”
"If growing up and being educated means being cold, unfeeling, and emotionless than I don't want it," Rich said.

"If you have warmth, feelings, and emotions go do something about it," Sam said and motioned him from the office. “Go find a job in the Peace Corps or become a priest.”