Jake is a Zen master and expert bicycle repairman who fixes flats and teaches meditation out of a shop in Bar Harbor, Maine. Hank is his long-time student. The aging Jake hopes that Hank will take over teaching for him. But the commitment-phobic Hank doesn’t feel up to the job, and Jake is beginning to exhibit behavior that looks suspiciously like Alzheimer’s disease. Is a guy with as many “issues” as Hank even capable of being a Zen teacher? And are those paradoxical things Jake keeps doing some kind of koan-like wisdom . . . or just dementia?
These and other hard questions confront Hank, Jake, and the colorful cast of characters they meet during a week-long trip to the funky neighborhood of Central Square in Cambridge, Massachusetts. As they trek back and forth from bar to restaurant to YMCA to Zen Center to doughnut shop, answers arise—in the usual unexpected ways.
Click here to listen to the author, David Guy, discuss Jake Fades on North Carolina Public Radio.