The Id and The Odyssey; Episode 121
"Where you from in Ohio?" Leo asked.
"I'm from northwest Ohio," Rich said. "We lived in the city and then out on a farm."
"I'd like to get a hold of your parents and tell them what you did for us," Leo said.
"Leo, your kids love you and you probably loved your Dad and Mom so you and I will probably not understand each other when it comes to my parents."
They were silent for a few minutes.
"You love your Mom and Dad don't you?" Leo said.
"Absolutely," Rich said.
Dusty came out of the cabin and snuggled under Leo's arm. Leo pulled him tight against him. Dusty looked up at hid Dad and asked, "Are we going to make it back to Rockport tonight?" .
"That's up to Rich," Leo said.
"As soon as we get to the mouth of the bay we'll get to about a half mile from shore and drop anchor and spend the night there," Rich said. "And as for tomorrow we can go to Rockport, ya land lover, or we can explore around Vinalhavan. It's up to you."
"Vinalhavan sounds good to me," Dusty said. "How 'bout you dad?"
Leo nodded his head.
"I think your Mom is due for a break," Rich said. "She's made all the meals. What if we go to a place on Vinalhavan tomorrow and have some lobster, the best in the world."
"I don't think I can eat a lobster," Dusty said with a pained look on his face.
"We can order it special," Rich said. "So they will bring you nothing but the meat. That's the way I had it the first time."
"I'm going to go tell Mom and Rocky," Dusty said.
Leo gave him a smack on the bottom as he went below.
"I know your going to thank me over and over again for this," Rich said, "but this means far more to me than it does to you. You got a great family." Rich looked at the compass and made another adjustment in heading. "In the last year and a half I've met some outstanding families, the Jankowski's, Dubois', and now the Brinkmans'. I guess there's hope for me and humanity. I want a good family."
"You don't go out and find one," Leo said. "You have to build it yourself. Like a good boat, you start with good material. If the good material isn't formed right the boat's no good. It takes training to know good material and how to put it together. I doesn't happen by chance."
"Are you rehearsing this talk for your sons," Rich said smiling.
"Those were basically my Dad's words," Leo chuckled. "Except for the boats. He talked about houses."
"Your Dad still alive?" Rich asked.
"Oh yeah," Leo said, "he's set to retire the end of this summer."
"I don't recall my Dad having a steady job," Rich said. "On the other hand my Mom did. Dad loved to work behind the bar. You know what that's like? Hiring the fox the guard the chicken coop from the inside of the coop."
"Nobody's perfect," Leo paused to think for a moment. "You know, you can sail this here boat to the stars and beyond," Leo said squinting into the wind. "You can escape the pull of this earth's gravity, but you can never escape who you belong to or where you're from. Love will pull you back - sooner or later, it’s stronger than gravity."
The words were uncomfortable for Rich.
Leo stood, "I'm going below."
"You cold," Richsaid.
"Sort of," Leo said.
"Wrap up in my sleeping bag," Rich said tossing it to him. "I got a story to tell you."
Leo wrapped a blanket around him and sat on the bench and peered again at the sea and stars that surrounded them and patiently waited for Rich to speak.
"I was five. My Mom and Dad my two sisters and I were coming home. It was late. It was dark and rainy. I was in the back seat asleep and so were my sisters. I remember my Mom screaming. I stood up on the hump on the floor. Headlights of another car were coming right toward us. I don't remember anything until I was outside walking around the wreckage. There was not a sound. Suddenly, I heard the moans that slowly rose to cries from my sisters. My Mother moaned and moved, but not my Dad. A lady stopped and comforted me. The police and ambulances came. They took my Father first. He was near death. I rode with my sisters in an ambulance to the hospital. They constantly assured me everything was okay. We got to the hospital. I saw my Father. He laid on a table. Doctors and nurses were working on him. His face was only a mass of blood. I begged to see him. Suddenly I heard him ask if I was okay. He demanded to see me. I yelled to him, 'Daddy, I'm ok. I’m right here.' He settled back on the gurney. Ten years later my Mom and Dad are having an argument in the car. She declares she wants to kill us all and runs the car into a tree. I never connected the two before, but I wonder now about the first one."
Rich wiped away tears and made another course adjustment.
"I want to make it into the bay. The water will be calmer and we can sleep easier."
They bounced and sliced their way through the choppy waters. Rich saw the cabin lights go out from between the louvers of the cabin door. The water became calmer as they began to see lights from the houses at Tenants Harbor and on Owls head.
"I'm going to drop anchor before long,” Rich said. “I'll take care of the sails. Go get some sleep."
Leo stood and let the sleeping bag fall back on the bench. Before he grabbed hold of the door knob to the cabin he turned to Rich and said, "Do you think your Dad would just like to hear you’re okay - again?"
Leo ducked into the cabin. Rich crawled into the sleeping bag, took a brief look at the stars overhead, and fell fast asleep.