A smartly dressed girl, smallish, bones delicate and well-proportioned, light brown eyes, light brown hair, alpine features, the same who had insouciantly checked me out at the supermarket in Brattleboro earlier that day, drinking a pointedly better-than-ordinary coffee in a Starbucks-like chain coffee-shop (I don't drink coffee, so I have never actually been to Starbucks or any other coffee shop like place. I would if I had time and didn't always have children with me). I walk up to her, pull a fried chicken tender out of a pocket somewhere on my person, and dunk it in this girl's coffee. I remember nothing else. The dream stopped with the dunking of the chicken tender.
This was yesterday. Today I was walking down the main street in Brattleboro and a good-looking girl, robust and giving off a glow of sorts, passed me with a dog. I would not have thought much more of it but that just after we passed a car sped past from which a man shouted, with great hostility in his voice, some extremely vulgar things--you can imagine what they were--that were obviously aimed at this girl. I am not often present at these kinds of scenes, but it was very nasty, and it is easy to see how if one were exposed to this even a couple of times a year, she would not have any very high opinion of the run of men. Some years ago when I worked for a courier company in Philadelphia, I had to partner sometimes with a guy who was fond of shouting at women this way, with the same malicious hostility in his voice. He was quite a lowlife type. I don't know how old he was--I would guess mid to late 30s, which I considered ancient at the time--but he was overweight and greasy, and had no kind of education or refinement. I noticed when we would go downtown or to the UPenn area he especially enjoyed screaming at women who were obviously professional or belonged to the wealthier classes. I did not disguise the fact that I found his behavior mortifying. The case was not hard; if he had been an open misogynist who nonetheless maintained a harem of attractive women, I probably would have been more conflicted. He of course considered me sheltered and deluded about the real natures of women, which I am pretty certain he considered to be nothing good, though I can't recall the details. What stays with me though is the degree of absolute venom that this guy, and a lot of these other truck drivers, felt towards women, and especially educated women. It was really vicious, and I had kind of forgotten about it until today.