even virgins

Solving an electrical problem on a motorcycle takes experience but the likelihood of a mechanic with dog shit on his shoes solving an electrical problem in a dark room is about as likely as a boy accidentally making a woman climax while trying to lose his virginity. No, the only hood this mechanic is going in this dank hovel are the hoodlums that have been living in this abandoned apartment but no matter he was home and he prayed to make it home so the least he can do is hold up his end of the conversation with himself an hour ago.

“If the motorcycle makes it back home without getting us ran over or pulled over, then I will do what it takes to make it street-legal again,” says the mechanic at a gas station in Studio City, some 30 miles from his home. All he had was a backpack filled oranges and a motorcycle that had no headlight, turn signals, brake or taillight. The lack of lights means that no one will see him on the freeway, which are likely filled with drunks anyway. He could take surface thoroughfares but any cop that seems him roaring on a dirt bike without lights is going to assume he is drunk when he’s sober save being medium high. The only fitting option was Mulholland Drive, a ribbon of road atop the Santa Monica Mountains whose fog-shrouded corners means that the road will be open and empty on a night like this.

‘This is a safety issue,’ he thinks to himself but as bad as continuing on is there are no alternatives since his other motorcycle is leaking gasoline and he has work in nine hours. “Why does this shit have to happen to me?” he thinks. Whether it’s Charlie Parker squawking into his ear or the fill-in-the-blank possible ways tonight is going to end, he clutches, starts the motorcycle and pulls out into traffic. “Then again better me then someone else,” he thinks crossing Ventura Blvd and riding up to Mulholland Drive.

With only a high beam to illuminate the road ahead, he rides up into the hills and succeeds in only getting lost once on his way to Mulholland Drive. The road is empty and the street quiet, as head turns right onto the famous street. A mile ahead is a Mercedes sport utility and he follows behind the lumbering vehicle that makes his own presence more noticeable. Couples couple at scenic viewpoints as he makes his way home 35 miles per hour at a time. Whenever possible he follows behind traffic to be more conspicuous but eventually everyone turns off or away and it’s just him, the road and a moon a thousand feet above the twinkling lights and flickering signage that is the San Fernando Valley.

Arriving at Sepulveda Blvd he passes an idle Highway Patrolman busying himself with paperwork before turning south to ride under the floodlights of adjacent highway construction. Passing UCLA he turns right heading westbound on Wilshire Blvd before heading south on Barrington Avenue. He passes home and stops at the grocery store to pick up coconut water for yoga tomorrow, quarters for laundry and an energy drink tonight.

Arriving home he begins a load of laundry, skims the motorcycle’s schematic and decides to start getting started. His workshop was an abandoned studio on the ground floor of his complex so he hops over a fence, lets himself in and walks around to the front door. Retracting the deadbolt he opens the door and fetches the motorcycle, which is parked next to some trashcans next to his other motorcycle that also isn’t running. He wheels the bike atop pavers and finagles the bike through the door frame. The only light is recessed and does little to illuminate the bike so he walks inside his apartment and grabs an unused lamp and a fresh light bulb. One of the four electrical outlets is working so he plugs in and begins removing parts until the stench of shit becomes overpowering. Sweeping the light across the room sees a trail of shit leading from the backyard to his feet that he tracked in from outside.

He walks barefoot inside, grabbing his toolbox and a notepad to help separate symptoms from disease. A few ideas are jotted down and he begins wiring up new old turn signals. Although one turn signal was missing a capacitor it began illuminating once it was wired to power. Next he turns his attention to the brake light, which he thinks is suffering from a faulty connection. He removes couplings, cleans with sandpaper and alcohol and reassembles the harness but it’s still not working. He replaces the bulb and both the tail and brake light begin working. Hurray, life is grand.

He turns his attention to the headlight and removing the bulb from it’s housing he sees that one of the bulb’s filaments is broke, which explains why the headlights don’t work but the high beams work fine. On a lark he goes upstairs and rummages for a H-4 bulb and finds one in a damaged headlight bucket. Cleaning the connections he snaps the bulb into place and for once tonight there is light in the room. Haha, he might be unstoppable but it’s getting late so he wheels the bike out, grabs his laundry and knocks the drywall dust and shit from his shoes before going to bed. It takes experience and patience to solve electrical problems but even virgins get lucky sometimes.