Five-foot-eleven or so in height, bony, scrawny and thin, Eddy couldn’t have weighed more than a hundred and twenty pounds. His close-cropped, dark hair matched his twinkling, dark eyes and permanent grin.

It wasn’t a smile, a sneer or a leer, but an honest grin, as though he knew something that the rest of us didn’t, and he wasn’t about to share it. He knew he was underweight, and he was trying to compensate by drinking four or five bottles of Guinness Stout each day. He said drinking Guinness Stout puts weight on anyone.

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Most of the day, Eddy and I were off doing different things, with me in the hotel kitchen and dining room working as combination waiter and busboy. Eddy, as the car valet and garage boy, was busy picking up incoming Caddies, Lincolns and an occasional strange sports car after they disgorged their luggage at the hotel entrance and then hustling the car off to his huge hotel garage for a quick wash or wax.

For Eddy, it was a never-ending, quick sprint up the hill from the garage to the main entrance to pick up the next car, or deliver a washed or simonized car back to the hotel entrance for the owner’s use, and then a quick sprint back to the garage again. And then, one day, it happened.

He drove a car over the end of the two-foot stone wall with columns supporting the roof of the portico at the hotel’s front entrance, and it turned out Eddy didn’t have a valid driver’s license. The management hadn’t asked him when they hired him. Eddy just looked up at the sky, waggled his finger and said, “That’s a good one on me.”

The hotel had insurance, and the state of Maine’s DMV was happy to issue Eddy a driver’s license. So all was well again and I asked him how did he manage to live like this or what was his take on life? I pass it on to you for what it’s worth.

As we live our lives here, on Earth, he said, there are other folks up there, looking over the edge and playing dirty tricks on us. And when that happens, if you look up at them, smile back at them, and say “That was a good one on me,” then, when you die, you get to go up there and look over the edge and play dirty tricks on us down here. But if you just get mad and sullen over the dirty tricks, when you die, you have to stay down here and do it all over again. That was Eddy’s take on life, and it seemed to work for him.

After that summer, working at the hotel, I never saw Eddy again. I heard he married his girlfriend at the St. Ann’s Church at the point just off Ocean Avenue. So he must be all right.

Orrin Frink is a Kennebunkport resident. He can be reached at [email protected]

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