“Toasted cheese,” Rich mumbled to himself. “I can bake a loaf of bread. I got some goat cheese. I got a pan. I got fire. Sounds like a meal. Toasted goat cheese sandwich, sounds like the new next best thing.”
Rich baked a small loaf of sourdough bread. He sliced it and two slabs of goat cheese. Soon he relaxed at the helm with the two sandwiches and a can of Moxie cola.
“Life is good,” he said looking through the windshield of the pilothouse. The Odyssey dashed onward as if towed by a force from beyond what could be seen or imagined.
“Who can explain beauty?” Rich thought looking out over the vast seas. “Is it me or is it everyone; I see beauty in all things. Sure, there is the grotesque, but beyond that. I’ve spent time on Barbuda’s pink sands and the stone beaches of Patagonia and they are both beautiful. I’ve seen the farm fields of Ohio and desolate forbidden plains of South America; they are all the same. They hold my breath in their own special and secret way.”
“Mrs. Zert,” Rich reminisced, “Cory Zert’s mom. Cory, not a handsome guy. He got his looks from his Mom. Kids talked about how ugly she was. She wasn’t. When I went to Cory’s house she greeted me always with a smile and a good word. How can that be ugly? I miss her, I really do. It is strange how I’ve only thought of her in passing until this moment; a mental discussion about beauty. Isn’t it strange that at this moment a pinup’s smile seems grotesque, insincere, and hideous? Is this trip meant to change my perspective of what is real? Or is it much more what some want others to perceive. From birth, we are manipulated. What does it truly mean to be born again?”
“Am I being born again?”
“Dennis knows of such things. He thinks about them, reads about them, and writes about them. This will make for a long night for the two of us.”
That night Rich sat in the cabin at his typewriter and pecked, “I once knew a man who was born again…”
It was a story he was unable to stop writing until finished. Sunrise appeared when Rich ripped the last sheet of paper from the typewriter and placed it with the others. “40 pages,” Rich said. “That’s week’s work, but a lifetime of thought. Well, I’m young, so I guess that doesn’t mean very much.”