"Well, we've been in there for a half an hour at least,'' he says. In a kind of singsong voice I repeated the plea for tuning and he tried hard to listen. After a while Sylvia sits down on the wooden picnic bench and straightens out her legs, lifting one at a time slowly without looking up. To me, anyway. "No.'' If you try to fix a faucet and your fixing doesn't work then it's just your lot to live with a dripping faucet. They were really slopping things around in a hurry and not looking where they slopped them. The bones and flesh and legal statistics are the garments worn by the personality, not the other way around. Scissors. Later, when we stop, Sylvia has tears in her eyes from the wind, and she stretches out her arms and says, "It's so beautiful. But from the motel courtyard, I see past the cottonwoods that a second darkness, that of night, is about to come on. "An exposer, hey? Chris's expression shows he is really settling into something bad. "Like they were all dead. A copy of Thoreau's Walden -- which Chris has never heard and which can be read a hundred times without exhaustion. It was the ghost of rationality itself. Its value is measured in terms of the skill with which this control is maintained. Within the classic mode, however, the romantic has some appearances of his own. I think about it and add, "That's a child-psychology terma context I dislike. It has no relationship to you, you have no relationship to it, other than to turn certain switches, maintain voltage levels, check for error conditions -- '' and so on. Roads with little traffic are more enjoyable, as well as safer. I check the oil level. What a change through the centuries. "Did you ever know a ghost?'' The classic style is straightforward, unadorned, unemotional, economical and carefully proportioned. A point file. That didn't work. No two are alike. '', "Sitting there, having no mass of its own, no energy of its own, not in anyone's mind because there wasn't anyone, not in space because there was no space either, not anywherethis law of gravity still existed? But now I see that the "it'' was mainly, if not entirely, technology. Inside the empty main dining room of the hotel I find them, looking restless. I don't get upset when scientists say that ghosts exist in the mind. It is semidesert here, everything burned up and dry except for a lake, a large reservoir of some sort below us. What I have here is my list of valuable things to take on your next motorcycle trip across the Dakotas. Barren hills, no one anywhere, not a sound; and there is something about places like this that raises your spirits a little and makes you think that things will probably get better. It is already chilly. Since the basic ideas for this Chautauqua were taken from him there will be no real deviation, only an enlargement that may make the Chautauqua more understandable than if it were presented in a purely abstract way. At the time, like John, I hadn't bothered to learn much about motorcycle maintenance. I am about to answer them but then do not. The lubrication system consists of an oil pump and channels throughout the housing for distribution of the oil. And they knew their problems were over.''. There is no other purpose. And now, while the others are still snoring away wasting this beautiful morning sunlight -- well -- to sort of fill time --. And in the fog there appears an intimation of a figure. I ignore this and pull up by the building. At Herreid John disappears for a drink while Sylvia and Chris and I find some shade in a park and try to rest. Everything's got to be measured and proved. He is still not really awake, and now walks aimlessly in circles to clear his head. It's not a personality clash between them; it's something else, for which neither is to blame, but for which neither has any solution, and for which I'm not sure I have any solution either, just ideas. "This spring they diagnosed it as the beginning symptoms of mental illness.''. No one ever will, except Phdrus himself, and he can no longer speak. "A man is riding along a beach at night, through the wind. Lately there's been a sense of something peculiar about this road, apprehension about something, as if we were being watched or followed. I told him what it was, and was as surprised as they were that I knew it. At the curb I discovered two of the four engine-mounting bolts were missing and a nut was missing from the third. We are in a Western town. Chris wonders what we should do next. `The Ellendale revealer!' I believe in all this too,'' I say, looking out at the darkened prairie, "although I'm not sure of what it all means yet -- I'm not sure of much of anything these days. She looks up and then looks down again. We reach the top of the climb dry again but cool now and stop, overlooking a huge valley and river below. You had the feeling they had just wandered in there themselves and somebody had handed them a wrench. Insect repellent. But for John's cycle, a BMW R60, I'll bet there's not a mechanic between here and Salt Lake City. We did this time after time before realizing what should have been obvious: these roads are truly different from the main ones. That's the way John sees it. This is my own relationship to him. John says slowly and deliberately, "We're not leaving here until it warms up.'' The temperature is fine. My watch says nine o'clock. That means hills. On an air-cooled engine like this, extreme overheating can cause a "seizure.'' It was some years ago that my wife and I and our friends first began to catch on to these roads. I walked out the door, but to my surprise the doorway led not to rooms of a house but into a long corridor. Often a parasite who cannot or will not carry his own weight. The purpose is to bury himforever. The shop was a different scene from the ones I remembered. I wonder. Not a hill, not a bump anywhere. '', "Anyway,'' I say, "it was a good supper. If all technology stopped, tomorrow, these people would know how to make out. No two manufacturers ever split it up quite the same way and every mechanic is familiar with the problem of the part you can't buy because you can't find it because the manufacturer considers it a part of something else. John's voice rasps, as if to cut it off, but I answer, "I don't know. "One of the kids at YMCA camp says he believes in ghosts. It seems huge, overpowering. Two weeks later I paid their bill for 140 dollars, rode the cycle carefully at varying low speeds to wear it in and then after one thousand miles opened it up. The cycle slowed down to twenty-five, then twenty. When you're talking birth control, what blocks it and freezes it out is that it's not a matter of more or fewer babies being argued. She has a very soft voice. He really believes in that.''. So I go on. Cycle boots. I've read an entire engineering volume on contact points alone, which are just a small but vital part of the distributor. Nothing is said. I would like, instead, to be concerned with the question "What is best?,'' a question which cuts deeply rather than broadly, a question whose answers tend to move the silt downstream. Wind and more sun and more smooth road. Details. "It's a problem. What's underneath is a conflict of faith, of faith in empirical social planning versus faith in the authority of God as revealed by the teachings of the Catholic Church. John and I study the map. We just stand there in the hundred-and-two sun talking to this person. Pretty soon he was dodging and filling with all kinds of excuses and, before I realized what his real attitude was, we had decided not to fix the handlebars after all. A mountaineering supply house sold us these years ago. "I don't like any of this. There is a silence and a break in the continuity. After a while John says, "It'll be good to see the mountains again. So I go ahead and we take it slowly. These were spectator manuals. Some shrubs appear. "Then he became a ghost himself.'' On the road ahead a crow tugs on some carrion and flies up slowly as we approach. Oh my God no! Nothing interesting. The mechanics in their attitude toward the machine were really taking no different attitude from the manual's toward the machine, or from the attitude I had when I brought it in there. These were not people running away from technology, like John and Sylvia. We swing the machines into an angled parking place with a tight turn that points them outward, for when we're ready to go. Puzzling. I guess they're kind of mad at me for getting them up so early to ride through that kind of stuff. Now John and Sylvia look at me peculiarly. John and Sylvia don't say much, and John finishes his Coke early and is off to a bar for a snort. It comes to me vividly now because I saw it again last night as the visage of Phdrus himself. gesture. A little slack there, and I get out the tool kit and tighten it up. It's all a ghost, and in antiquity was so recognized as a ghost, the whole blessed world we live in. Roads free of drive-ins and billboards are better, roads where groves and meadows and orchards and lawns come almost to the shoulder, where kids wave to you when you ride by, where people look from their porches to see who it is, where when you stop to ask directions or information the answer tends to be longer than you want rather than short, where people ask where you're from and how long you've been riding. The chisel punched through the aluminum cover and I could see he was pounding the chisel right into the engine head. He did not often swerve to right or to left. Although motorcycle riding is romantic, motorcycle maintenance is purely classic. A lone, elderly person wearing a broad-brimmed hat watches us put the cycles on their stands and remove helmets and goggles. One fragment becomes especially vivid now of a scene in the mountains where the sun was behind the mountain half an hour and an early twilight had changed the trees and even the rocks to almost blackened shades of blue and grey and brown. We are just moving down the empty road. He was after something and he used the knife because that was the only tool he had. That attitude is not hard to come to. I think a little and say, "Well, Indians sometimes have a different way of looking at things, which I'm not saying is completely wrong. Soon Sylvia is up too and her left eye is all puffed up. It is important to concentrate on the knife itself. Road signs indicate detours ahead. You're completely in contact with it all. "We're getting it fixed as fast as possible,'' I tell him. It's to provide a starting point, an example of a mode of understanding of things which will itself become an object of analysis. It was a little twenty-five-cent pin in the internal oil-delivery system that had been sheared and was preventing oil from reaching the head at high speeds. Brillo, for cleaning. Destroyed by order of the court, enforced by the transmission of high-voltage alternating current through the lobes of his brain. Sometimes we have spent a whole evening reading and talking and discovered we have only covered two or three pages. Just a shock wave that hits you. Nightmare. I just want to get at it slowly, but carefully and thoroughly, with the same attitude I remember was present just before I found that sheared pin. He sat down next to me and asked me if I knew his name. It's all parts and relationships of unheard-of things that never make any sense no matter how often you hear about them. We drive down a county road from Lemmon, exhausted, for what seems a long, long time, but can't be too long because the sun is still above the horizon. It looks like a lizard on the road, dry and stuck to the tar. He wanders off down to the reservoir. Now the times are such that others may at last find them of value. He went his own way with unconcern for consequences that sometimes stunned people, and stuns me now to hear about it. That, John, is ridiculous. When they arrive they are both glaring at me. he asked. The "it'' is a kind of force that gives rise to technology, something undefined, but inhuman, mechanical, lifeless, a blind monster, a death force. One change of shirt and pants for each of us. But what is less noticed in the artssomething is always created too. County-road-sign makers seldom tell you twice. Too warm to leave my hand there, not so hot I get a burn. '', "Why does everybody believe in the law of gravity then? Chris says. I didn't check it carefully because I assumed the rain had caused the engine failure. Here and there. I ask her what happened. Flashlight. A collection of legal statistics, perhaps, but surely no person. Meadows must have rain. And I believe now that he was actually offended at the time. After a few blocks the main street goes onto two hard, muddy tracks into a field, past a quonset hut full of farm machinery and repair tools, and then ends in a field. A second flashWHAM and everything brilliant -- and then in the brilliance of the next flash that farmhouse -- that windmill -- oh, my God, he's been here! They've got stamina. He was so swift at this his Stanford-Binet IQ, which is essentially a record of skill at analytic manipulation, was recorded at 170, a figure that occurs in only one person in fifty thousand. While he gets ready and climbs on, they pull out and Sylvia waves. I carry the gear over by myself. So far it's still mostly a passive resistance, flights into the rural areas when they are possible and things like that, but it doesn't always have to be this passive. If the line wiggles, that's good. We are in an area of the Central Plains filled with thousands of duck hunting sloughs, heading northwest from Minneapolis toward the Dakotas. Now and then. And so in recent times we have seen a huge split develop between a classic culture and a romantic counterculturetwo worlds growingly alienated and hateful toward each other with everyone wondering if it will always be this way, a house divided against itself. Nothing to do. It's that only that gets me. But three farmers are coming into town now, rounding the corner in that brand-new pickup truck. They tie things together, thoughts and such. I told Sylvia way back in Minnesota that we could expect a slump in spirits like this on the second or third day and now it's here. '', John shakes his head and pours me another drink. To see him you must see what he saw and when you are trying to see the vision of an insane man, an oblique route is the only way to come at it. If it quits on him in western South Dakota or Montana I don't know what he's going to do. '', John says, "I guess I'd have to think about it.''. I go back over to the scrub pines, hunt around through the twilight for the machete, but it's already so dark in the pines I can't find it. It is important to see this knife for what it is and not to be fooled into thinking that motorcycles or anything else are the way they are just because the knife happened to cut it up that way. There is a perennial classical question that asks which part of the motorcycle, which grain of sand in which pile, is the Buddha. He agreed to use my metric sockets and box-ends. Some channel deepening seems called for. I look at him for a second and see he really is angry. That would have fitted. The road winds on and on -- we stop for rests and lunch, exchange small talk, and settle down to the long ride. The supporting assembly accompanying the power assembly consists of a frame, including foot pegs, seat and fenders; a steering assembly; front and rear shock absorbers; wheels; control levers and cables; lights and horn; and speed and mileage indicators. Not a blade of grass anywhere. Anything to do with valves and shafts and wrenches is a part of that dehumanized world, and they would rather not think about it. It would probably be normal about this time to wonder what sort of U-Haul trailer all this is in. Their speed was another clue. Machete. Points, fuses, headlight and taillight bulbs, chain-coupling link with keeper, cotter pins, baling wire. It has no appeal because the reality he sees is its surface. Perhaps because of these changes the stream of national consciousness moves faster now, and is broader, but it seems to run less deep.