the 12:05 to chicago

the train was late.

he snapped his watch closed, pocketed it, and rocked back onto his heels

his friend remained seated on the bench, idly leafing through a glossy magazine, only reading headlines and colored, full-page advertisements.  turning the page to a voluptuous cartoon woman selling eyeliner, he asked,

‘say – what do you think is the most dangerous animal?’

the standing man, now on the balls of his feet, did not turn while adjusting his cuffs and asked, ‘how do you mean?’

‘i just read this story about circus tigers, and-‘

‘you never read the stories.’

‘yes, fine, i just read a headline about circus tigers turning on their trainers in iowa. tigers seem a rather dangerous animal, and i got to wondering what you might think is the most dangerous animal.’

‘without question a man impatient and in love,’ said the standing man, again eyeing his watch and the notable absence of the train.