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Tuesday 20th July

After commending my soul to God as I passed under a bridge at eighty mph behind a tractor-trailer that cleared the bottom of the span by the width of, say, a fly's wing, I determined that what the old Moth spirit needed was a bucking up. This whole grinding the faces of the widows and orphans does affect the spirit, you know. The common man has no idea. I drove to the airport and, a mere few hours later, and after having the contents of my navel examined under a microscope and a black light, here I am in the Motheringay manse on Tick Island, opening the east wing, taking sheets off the furniture and shaking the dust off, and trying on last season's seersucker suit and white buck shoes (both tight, inexplicably). John Kerry is here, beloved by all the island's restaurateurs now that he brings a batty old bim who pays his dinner and bar bills, a far cry from his bachelor days when he would go into the kitchen after a meal to congratulate the chef and then duck out the back door. It was Kerry himself who passed on the latest intel about the Tour de France: "Think about it, Mothy," he said in that stridently botoxed manner we're rapidly becoming used to. "Ulrich is straight out of central casting. Nasty eyes, Nixonian jowls. Lance has the clear blue eyes of the hero, the lasered jaw." (At this point Kerry's gaze turned wistful). "Anyway," he said, signaling the bartender to put his current and future martinis onto my tab, "Look at the hills and roads. That's all around the old Warner's lot, where they filmed 'Gunga Din.' The peleton is nothing but stand-ins, the guys who bring you your risotto on Tuesday night in Santa Monica." I sighed patiently. With greatness comes great responsibility. But it's horrid, horrid.


Sunday 25th July

Since I am unable (but in reality would be more than willing) to berate him in Portuguese like his lady friend, and since I stand him drinks without too much abuse, Kerry sees me as his boon companion and has sewed himself to my elbow and dragged me to the Red Sox vs. Yankees game in Boston tonight. I asked him about the elaborate Eiffel Tower backdrop behind Lance Armstrong I saw on television this morning as he shoveled popcorn into his gaping maw. He cleared his throat ponderously, spraying kernels onto a Secret Service agent's neck (which woke him with a start), and warmed up to the subject. The heart sank. "All done with computers," he said. "Think of the audaciousness of a Hanna or a Barbera. Why, take last night's brawl between the Sox and Yanks. That was totally faked on a soundstage. The fans you saw in the background were hired. That fellow," he said, pointing at a cleanshaven Ben Affleck in the next section. "I saw him there. Actor. Obviously out of work. I mean, look at him. 'nuff said."

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