The Id and The Odyssey; Episode 127

Color Him Gone 


Rich actually felt a sense of relief. He otherwise would feel like a traitor behind enemy lines.
He grabbed hold of a cardboard box that was on the floor in the hallway. He entered the newsroom and walked over to Rudy who was typing.
Rich extended his hand. “Rudy, it was nice working with you.”
Rudy looked up as if he swallowed something that had not been chewed. “What!”
“Yeah,” Rich said. “I think Sam and I have arrived at a conclusion he already had in mind.”
Gordy jumped up from his desk. “You got to be kidding me.” He lowered his voice to a whisper. “What the heck happened?”
“Sam said he had three guys coming in for interviews today and would hire one of them to start immediately.”
“Did you do something to set him off?” Gordy said.
“Yeah,” Rich said.
“What?” Rudy said.
“That will be between him and I,” Rich said, “but I hate to leave you guys. You’ve been great friends. I’ve learned a lot from you. Look I got to get going. Sam gave me 15 minutes to clear out.”
Sam leaned into the newsroom. “Let’s get busy, everyone. Hurry it up, Larsen, get cleared out.”
Rudy and Gordy returned to their work. Rich walked slowly to his desk and dropped the box on the floor. He spun the chair around and watched until it came to a stop. “Rudy, Gordy, there’s nothing here I want.”
Rich left without further word.
On his way to the Jeep Rich reviewed some things he needed to do before casting off. He wanted to spend some time with Edna. He thought about giving Butch a call and spending a couple of days with him. “Red Sox,” Rich thought, “I’d like to take in a few games in Boston. Why not drive down to New York and catch the Yankees. It will be the last taste of Americana for two or three years.”
Rich drove back to the apartment. He told Al he was moving out and going to live on The Odyssey until he sailed. He also told Al to keep the rest of rent.
“Before I go there’s something I’d like to do,” Rich said.
“What is that,” Al said. “I’d like to take you and Alice out to eat and I’d like to trim your trees and paint the garage.”
“You don’t have to do that, Rich,” Al said. “You’ve been a good tenant.”
“And you have been wonderful landlords,” Rich said. “You’ve been more like my grandparents. When I come back I‘ll look you two up.”
“That would be nice,” Al said.
“I got a few things to do,” Rich said, “but I’ll get in contact with you and we’ll set a time.”
Al and Rich embraced.
“You’re making this tough, Al,” Rich said.
“Good,” Al said.
Rich spent the rest of the morning moving his personal belongings to The Odyssey.
Rich did not trust Sam or any influence he might have. He went to the bank and withdrew all his money and closed out his account.
At the end of the day he grabbed a bite to eat at a diner.
On his way to the marina he drove down the alley behind The Beacon. It was dark. He noticed a white van backed into the back dock and unloading olive drab wooden boxes. “Military,” Rich muttered. He steered into the cross alley and parked. Two men carried the boxes inside the press room. Rich saw through pressroom window the boxes were being taken to the basement; a place in the building he had never been.
“That’s why Sam wanted me out of there immediately,” Rich thought. “He’s afraid I might find something and put two and two together. He should have given me an assignment in Hawaii if he wanted to get rid of me.”
Rich’s curiosity was now intense. He remembered something; he still had a key to the back dock from when he was a janitor. He drove to The Odyssey and found the key in the pocket of his winter coat.

Rich returned to The Odyssey with his mind racing. He busied himself and his mind packing his belongings away and tidying up the cabin. However, his mind was scheming.