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Lolita and Motorcycle Maintenance

by Leopold Boucouvalas

Having sworn, to never read, another Russian author again, I still kept noticing that black cloth, hard bound “Lolita” on the top of the sock and underwear chest in my living room.

It isn’t a long novel like the “Gulag Archipelago” or  “War and Peace” or my last Russian brain torture tome “Crime and Punishment” but Russian nevertheless.
I think it can sit there for a while longer. 


 I had started reading it for the 2nd time after many years, and it’s more interesting than the others in some way but…
The Russians don’t have a monopoly of drawn out tedium.

“Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance” seemed innocent enough.
I am currently in my first year of my riding obsession, and more than a mere motorcycle enthusiast. An American author wrote the book.  I looked at the cover and it was a so far, so good situation so I decided to bring it home to read.

Shortly after getting into it I realized that the author must have had a Russian bloodline hidden somewhere.  There are parallel stories of the past and present and delusional insanity.  I just wanted to feed my craving for travel and adventure and maybe learn something about on the road maintenance of my bike.

Sure, changing the oil and beautiful scenery in America is buried in there somewhere along with lessons on dealing with a mentally ill son by the mentally ill father. The only other person whom I know ever bought the book told me he could never get through it. I admit that I had to plow through it dying for some choice bits of actual sanity. Sometimes I’m stubborn about finishing books.
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I’ll have to write “the book” myself. No, Zen. Not that there was anything about Zen in the book and not the same tedium but possibly the adventures of what I am going through with repairing my own 1980 bike and my travels. This summer I did a 3 day tour north through Massachusetts and up into the White mountains of New Hampshire.

I love New Hampshire. The people are mostly very friendly, and the natural beauty is inspirational. You can breathe.  At home, it was a ton of fun to get my daughter on the back of the motorcycle and go out into the countryside. She loved it. I’m so lucky to be able to connect with my 18 year old on any level.

They mostly roll their eyes at every bit of advice or question that you have about their life, so the riding was a great idea although once we did get caught without rain gear in a downpour while on Ocean Drive in Newport RI and rode the 25 miles home in the pouring rain.

This started out to be an epic novel, but I think I’ll just blog or post it here instead.