By now, I was light on possessions, be it money or medicine. I had long ago used up mushrooms I carried from Florida. I had no way of knowing that between my parent’s house and I lay a ferry boat. I also did not realize that the ferryman would require paid fare before I could gain passage. One of Jennifer’s neighbors wandered over looking for some help moving house. Terry and I volunteered and after spending about a half a day loading a moving van were rewarded with some small cash. Terry found a way to turn some of our booty into cannabis which we shared. I was able to head off toward the ferry with resources to pay the ferryman and a small taste of pot should anyone need it.
It was late afternoon when I walked up to my parent’s house. Draped over the deck railing was a banner proclaiming, “Welcome Home Rob.” By its worn expression and saggy look, it had likely been hanging a long while awaiting my return. It was possible my mom did not realize the slow pace of my journey and hoped I would come over as soon as I returned to this country. This was one of the many adjustments we had to make over the next week or so while I took a light break from my pilgrimage. Both parents were not expecting their son to show up barefooted, broke, homeless, and with no intention to change that affectation. My dad quickly laid down his rule. “You can stay three weeks, by then you need to get a haircut and a job,” he said. Mom colluded; she was just glad to see me.
I intuited that a discussion about my goal to not have a job would be fruitless. I also decided to not waste my time trying to convince him to give up his. We were on different beams and that was OK. The haircut was not important, but since I was probably going to get the boot because of my lack of job stance, I decided to hold on to my ponytail. In the brief time sojourning on Martha’s Vineyard I found none of the spirit I was seeking. Instead of that sharing caring atmosphere was one that felt like a band of service workers awaiting the landing of wealthy hoards that could be relieved of their money. There was a feeling of Robin Hood in the air, but not one that would care for the stranger. I felt I would not be staying the full term of my Dad’s ultimatum. Shortly before I left, my dad offered me a pair of old sneakers to replace my bare feet. I took the sneakers and left my bare feet for my next visit. My mom handed me a ticket to give the ferryman and another to be used for a return. I headed toward the setting sun.