Motorcycle Bob in Bangor —
I heard the Harley’s roar outside of my Bangor residence, and knew immediately who my visitor was.
“Shit, its Motorcycle Bob!”
I had just washed the farm crap off of me, and was standing fresh out of the shower, wrapped in a towel.
“Chaya, go answer the door,” I hastily spoke to my wife.
She said “no,” I said “yes,” she said, “you are an asshole,” I said, “I’m naked.”
Given the bare circumstances of the moment, she begrudgingly answered the door. From the other side of the apartment, I heard a booming, 50 gallon steel drum echo sort of voice coming from the doorway. It rattled everything, like the cars of those dorks who drive around blasting bass.
“Shit, that’s Motorcycle Bob.”
Not only did Bob prove himself in that instant to be a real person with a real voice, he proved himself to be real person with a very, very deep and loud voice.
I rushed to get dressed. I could not leave Chaya out there with that voice for too long on her own. Its sheer weight would surely crush her in no time.
I ran onto the scene, and there, I finally met the architect of some of the best comments on this travelogue. After a couple years of internet communication, I met the man behind the comments: Motorcycle Bob, known more simply as Bob L. He was big.
I felt tiny as he swallowed my entire arm up in a handshake. If he had not previously handed over two six packs of beer — a gesture of amiability in any culture — I probably would have been shaking in my pink plastic Chinese slippers.
Motorcycle Bob and his lady friend, Irene, took seats at our dinning room table and began drinking their treat of beer and pretzels. We then talked about . . . everything.
Like old friends catching up on lost times, the conversation flowed smoothly and ceaselessly. Even though this was our first meeting, Motorcycle Bob and I are old friends.
Every time that I solicited advice on this travelogue, Bob has been there with a stock of wit; whenever I stood indecisively at a crossroads, Bob has always held a sign as to which way to go; whenever I have been crinkled up and fluster, Bob has been there to flatten me back out again; whenever I overstep a linking sentence that ties together the wisdom of a travelogue entry, Bob has been at the helm to tie it up himself with a comment; if I ever need anything on this long road, I know that I can just say “Bob, give me . . . .”
And if Bob ever needed anything from me, I would simply do whatever that anything was.
This is how friends operate.
Bob has followed me on my travels for the past year and a half on this travelogue, and he has always kept me up to date on what he is doing through emails. In this way, the travelogue becomes a sharing, of sorts. I babble on continuously about my life publicly, and Bob sends me private letters — like a more stable person probably should.
I really like the people who read this travelogue. I often stand in disbelief at how many readers have become real friends. Sometimes, publishing these travelogue entries feel less like ticking words out into a random sort of ether than sharing a story with friends.
The enjoyment that I take from walking this path far trumps out the drive or need to make money. If I could make a living from this website, I would be a happy man . . . only, perhaps, because that would mean that I could spend my work days amidst an ether that has filled itself with good company.
Back in the initial days of this internet publishing fiasco, I had the errant impression that a large portion of travel blog commenters were either know-it-all limpwrists on the prowl to call someone else an idiot, shallow pitri dish goons looking to prove their riotousness, or horn headed monsters lurking in the depths of the dark basements of somewhere.
I thought that after this travelogue began receiving a steady amount of visitors, the “you are an idiot” comments would begin flowing in droves. I was ready for them. I have been armed with a shield and a sword for a long time, always on the ready to strike out at the inevitable army of goons who patrol the internet in search of a stranger to insult.
But I have very rarely needed to put up any sort of defense. I have now laid down my arms, and opened myself up to the possibility that a real good bunch people are the readers and contributors to this travelogue. I have become proud of myself in the reflection of the company I keep.
I truly enjoyed Motorcycle Bob’s intrusion into the hermit-landia that I etched out for myself in Northern Maine. He proved to be full of wit, humor, and wisdom, in the proper spirit of his comments.
He even laughed at a few of my jokes.