The Tides of Brewster Harbor; Episode 62 – Cookies and Photos

Niles found the lyrics to Green Door on the Internet. He read them several times.

“Midnight, one more night without sleeping
Watching till the morning comes creeping
Green door, what’s that secret you’re keeping?

There’s an old piano
And they play it hot behind the green door
Don’t know what they’re doing
But they laugh a lot behind the green door
Wish they’d let me in so I could find out
What’s behind the green door

Knocked once, tried to tell them I’d been there
Door slammed, hospitality’s thin there
Wonder just what’s going on in there

Saw an eyeball peeping through a smoky cloud behind the green door
When I said “Joe sent me”
Someone laughed out loud behind the green door
All I want to do is join the happy crowd behind the green door

Midnight, one more night without sleeping
Watching till the morning comes creeping
Green door, what’s that secret you’re keeping?
Green door, what’s that secret you’re keeping?
Green door.”

With each reading, Niles tried to attach some sort of meaning. “How many green doors are there in Brewster Harbor? Maybe Mildred only made a vague reference to secrets; nothing in the lyrics suggests otherwise.”

Niles locked the office and walked across the street to the Harbor Inn.

He hardly had a chance to shut the door when Shelly looked up from the front desk. “Did you hear the good news?”

“Yeah,” Niles said. “Jessica came in and told me.”

“Couldn’t have happened to a nicer girl,” Shelly said, “but now we have to find somebody to replace her.”

“Well,” Niles joked, “Lucinda’s looking for work.”

“We run a respectable place,” Shelly joked. “Anyway, I think Tom hired her back.”

“Is Charley in?” Niles said.

Shelly cupped her hands around her mouth “Charley! The cops want you – again.”

Charley walked out of the doorway to the kitchen wiping his hands on a towel. “How do you like our intercom? I can hear her all the way to the top floor. How we doing, Niles?”

“Fine,” Niles said, “I was wondering if I could look at some of your photos?”

“No problem,” Charley said. “I could bring them to your office or you can sit at a table and go through. Them.”

“I never thought about looking at them over at my office,” Niles said, “but if that’s possible, it would be more convenient for me.”

Charley moved closer to Niles. “Is there something in particular?”

“Do you have any photos of a green boat?” Niles said.

“Green, blue, red, white, brown, you name it. I got boats of all colors,” Charley said. “That would be in my harbor shots. I keep them separate from the town shots, island shots, and so on.”

“Are they hard to get at?” Niles said. “What I mean, can I get them soon?”

“I keep them in a closet,” Charley said. “I can get them now and give them to you or bring them over to your office after my cookies are done.”

“Cookies,” Niles said, “you said cookies; what kind.”

“Oatmeal raisin,” Charley said.

“Oh,” Niles said and paused.

“You want some, right?” Charley said.

“Since you brought it up,” Niles said.

“Okay,” Charley said. “I’ll get the box of pictures and by then the cookies will be done and I can send you to your office with the photos and a half dozen cookies.”

While Charley retrieved the photos, Niles walked out on the deck overlooking the harbor. A bitter breeze greeted his face. He watched the harbor, lonely and silent. A mysterious tranquility descended like a silk scarf tossed from beyond the horizon, gently shrouding its secrets

The door to the inn’s dining room opened. Charley hung outside the doorway. “There’s a box of photos on the front desk and a half dozen cookies in a bag.”

“Thanks, Charley,” Niles said and turned back to the harbor’s secrets.

Charley closed the door and slowly walked across the planks of the wooden deck. He stood beside Niles.

“Are you okay?” Charley said.

“Have you ever had a truth you don’t like to think about?” Niles said.

“I suppose we all have,” Charley said. “I wanted to race cars. I watched every movie about it. I read about it, watched it on TV, and went to every race I could. It’s terrible to love something that much and be afraid of speed. I go over 60 and all I can think about is how different the impact is 65 rather than 55.”

“The impact isn’t that much different is it?” Niles said.

“No,” Charley said, “but I think about it. Another truth; I don’t know anybody else like me.”

“I want to find the truth,” Niles said, “but I walk away before the impact.”

“You know, don’t you?” Charley said.

“It’s cold out here,” Niles said. “I’ll take the photos and cookies to the office.”


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