Well, I wasn't gonna tell the true story cause I didn't want to have to type it, but my conscience has been torturing me and when Jesus finally catches up I want to be able to say 'Bill? Yea. I'm with him.'
Dr. Berens had already departed for Michigan, planning a return trip through the Finger Lakes in New York. We'd spent the morning and afternoon on Martha's Vineyard, hiking around the island and generally relaxing on our third perfect day in a row. The weather had been ideal all week and Saturday was no exception: temperature in the mid seventies with that ocean breeze mixing the salt, seagulls and sunshine into an East coast cocktail that keeps you coming back. We were properly sunburned upon our return, and ready for a BBQ.
Saturday night was like home away from home. So far our trip had yielded some nice local fare - clam chowder, bluefish, scallops and the ubiquitous shrimp cocktail - but nothing beats a home cooked meal, especially when an outdoor grill is involved. Bill, it turns out, can cook. One onion, one enormous red bell pepper and a pile of chicken became a marinaded delight as he tended the grill, keeping pace with the conversation and lubricating us all properly with a red from Down Under. He'd invited a few of his local friends over and the stories were flowing. These people weren't fooling around. They'd been around the world, they were probably going to go around again, and unlike many of my friends they could remember most of it.
Munching on fajitas and a delicious spinach salad we dedicated fifteen minutes to solving the world's problems. Politics. Everything everybody said was probably right, and none of us really agreed. Classic. The only way to settle it, the only way to settle anything, really, was a no-holds-barred game of foosball. Unfortunately, Bill didn't own a foosball table.
What Bill did own was a monstrosity of rusted metal, twisted plastic and the detritus you find on the floor of a hardware store - random washers, nuts, bolts and I think I saw a band-aid. This ... this was a contraption. If you took a high school metal shop class and locked them up with an erector set and three tabs of bad acid this is what you'd find in the morning. It was beautiful. Mad scientists had assembled this thing in the Antarctic, sailing around in the Glomar Challenger. Call it a side-effect of the Ocean Drilling Program. At the end of the voyage Bill had taken it with him. I'm glad he did. (Later we find that, mounted upside-down on his VW van, a gas station attendant in West Texas had mistaken it for a pig feeder. We were not surprised.)
Playing foosball on this device didn't evoke memories of childhood's arcades. This was vicious. The thing used golf balls instead of ping pong balls. Seriously. Very little of it wasn't solid metal so dislodging a dead ball involved slamming the table as hard as possible with one of the rods. It was delightful and terrifying to me at first on account of my external genitalia. I got used to it. (The fear, that is, I still haven't gotten used to the genitalia.)
Back upstairs for some ice cream, rum and a walk along a sunsetted beach. Discussions of hurricanes, heavy rain and the rich bastards who were ruining it for the locals. A bigger house, a louder car and the future is coming. It can't be helped - tomorrow we head back home.
Sunday morning we slept in, cleaned up the cottage and slowly drove up the coast and back to Logan. A 5 day getaway, worth every second of American Airlines and its torturous 1974 'astrojet' coach seating.
Can't thank you enough, Bill. You've got a beautiful family, a lovely garden and a fantastic life carved out of the Cape. We were honored and overjoyed to be included, and I'm almost sure this sunburn will be gone by tomorrow.
-Ryan and Sally