I spent today primping. 

Ducatis are bikes one primps. 

Comparing the Ducati Monster to the Harley-Davidson Sportster, Richelle announced that it was “Okay, if this bike is more of an art object.”  

Bless her for understanding.

Off and on, I’ve been trying to understand why I see driving 2,500 miles in three days as an opportunity, indeed, as a bonus. I could have easily (and more cheaply) gotten the bike shipped back to Colorado. 

I’ll tell you a secret: I find that the individual miles drag. At a certain point, I had to turn off my phone and actively avoid looking at the Jeep’s odometer. That point came around mile 30. The rest of the miles came painfully.

What I like—what I find irresistible, in fact—is the process of progress, the movement through the triangle of distance, time, and perception. Distance and time exist in a fixed ratio; they are objective measures shaped by rate and hours of travel. 

Perception, however, throws that ratio into the subjective sphere. How one perceives time and distance depends upon one’s physical state, on the time of day, on one’s proximity to the destination, on what is playing on the radio, on the desperation of the moment and the satisfaction of accomplishment. 

The result is that 2,500 miles in three days creates, for me, an immersion into the relationship between objectivity and subjectivity, into the way time, distance, and perception are inescapably entangled. Road trips are explorations of Schrödinger’s cat and the physics of being.

This trip unfolded to the soundtrack of impeachment. I see legitimate differences: Presidents need room to broker; our President is a deal maker. Certainly, Hunter Biden’s appointment to the board of directors of a natural gas company in Ukraine is an insult to any notion of merit over nepotism . 

It comes back to subjectivity and objectivity. America is an impossible unity: Its landscape is too expansive, its cultures are too diverse, its totality is too overwhelming for any measure of singular agreement.  Because of this, it is all the more critical that we force our individual perception to the greater whole.

Even here we are faced with the ambiguity of multiplicity, because my easy turn of phrase, “the greater whole,” could mean congressional impeachment or electoral decision.

Well, to my reading of the two main documents, it is impossible to get around the President’s demand for “reciprocity” (a word essentially synonymous with “quid pro quo”), his unwavering focus on his immediate rival, and his deployment of his personal lawyer. It is just as impossible to ignore his threat of violence against the Whistleblower, a person who displayed true professionalism.

Our Federal government holds us together despite our differences.

We need to hold the President accountable to Congress.

Tomorrow, I’m taking the bike up the mountains to see how it runs. 

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