6

 Inside we talk with Julie and Sparky in a confused uncomfortable way. I go alone down to the long, musty basement where there are many old brass and walnut beds in a long line, all made up with maroon and brown wool blankets and down pillows. As I leave I notice Julie sleeping in one of the beds. She wakes up and says "I just love the old smell," meaning of the old bedding...
 There is a picture of John F. Kennedy sitting in his rocking chair in a study, books behind him on the shelves (many with green bindings), and someone is saying "You can almost feel the Lincolnesque quality in this picture," not surprising since at times Kennedy sports a scraggly reddish beard. But there is something more to that picture: a sense of abiding alertness, commanding presence, a vigilance in the interests of the country and the intellectual capacity to lead it well. I think of Thucydides' portrait of Pericles...
 I am looking for Sera in an extremely crowded outdoor cafe, almost like a ski resort; two big, macho men are leaving and I overhear them say something disparaging about Sera, something like "Well, she sure went for you!" — "Big deal." I find her in the crowd and we talk briefly. Then somebody says an adult is needed to supervise kids on the beach, someone to sit on the rock, so I leave to do that. And looking over my shoulder I see Sera walking out into the cafe carrying a bottle of red wine on a silver platter, like a waitress...
 I walk a path up the rocks and discover a long Georgian or colonial house, brick and white wood, set above an expanse of seaweed covered rocks, a single scrawny dark tree growing there. In the distance I can see the deep ocean, other houses by the beach, the road along the coast, but in front of me is a brackish olive green morass, crawling with crabs and crackling as water ebbs through it. I stand staring, motionless...
 There are many women there, I want to fuck one or two and spend time trying to meet and seduce them; we are all in a large ballroom or skating rink. Something else is going on, however — a distraction, as if everyone must get ready to leave on a trip...
 There is a man hovering around, possibly the husband of one of the women. She suggests I meet her later at her home next door to make love. I readily go there, but warily make a noise before entering. As I scratch at the door I see a man's shadow move in an adjoining room, and I flee. I suspect that the woman had set me up to be killed or beaten...
 The party or conference cocktail is being hosted by a man in a blackface mask colored green, wearing white gloves and tails. The caterers are in costume, offer hors d'oeuvres and soups with a singsong patter. They are embarrassed because no one eats, and I am embarrassed for them. I go to the company web site, which chimes "you are beautiful," and I look at their different theme restaurants - a tacky spanish style cocktail bar with a drum set playing solo; a seafood diner with cartoon cutout nautical characters along the wall behind the acoustic folk singers...