The setting – a train station with a 1940’s feel, but the place is amorphous, unimportant.
Striding ahead of me, a chicken-like bird, the color of a blonde-ish Rhonde Island Red. She is fluffy, too fluffy and too large, to be a chicken, although she reminds me of those Polish ones with the puffy heads. Ultimately, I decide she is a grouse.
She is wearing a mink stole similar in color to her own plummage. Feeling my presence, she turns around. A glittering brooch keeps her stole wrapped securely in place.
We engage in quick, Oscar Wilde-ean banter. I admire her wit, her polish, her assertive air. I immediately note the obvious – she speaks with a Russian accent.
“You are from Russia?” I ask.
She doesn’t deign to reply, the question is too stupid. Of course she is Russian.
Our conversation devolves, and the grouse makes the observation that American men are not real men. Russian men are real men, but not American men are not. Although I’ve respected the grouse so far, this comment rankles. “That is not true,” I tell her. “My dad is a real man, and he is an American.”
The Russian grouse scoffs. She thinks my comment is aburd and sentimental. I can tell there will be no changing her mind. This conversation is dying on the vine and I am ready to be done with her.
And that’s when Pumpkin pulls the covers away from my face, insisting that he be fed. I recall the dream I just had and think, “Thanks for the entertainments, Brain!”