It was already dawn.  Michael had left Bliss Carmen alone with her third slice of carrot cake at the all-night restaurant they had found on Bloor Street near the Spadina subway—Bliss’s home base—and was now on the subway, on his way to the apartment he had rented on the second floor of a Victorian house on Indian Road, not far from High Park.  
     He was making desultory attempts to read the scruffy old Penguin copy of Sartre’s The Age of Reason he always had with him.  He had resolved to read through Sartre’s whole Roads to Freedom trilogy, subway ride by subway ride.
     But he grew increasingly distracted by the guy sitting across the aisle.  He was distracted because there was something feral about him. 
     Perhaps not really, probably not really, but he was hunched and furtive and had small prune-pit eyes in a spreading, flaccid face, and a mean little mouth, tight as a dog’s anus.
     He was sitting directly opposite Michael and he, too, was contending with a book.  As he concentrated on his page, which happened only sporadically, he pursed his mouth into a tense little knot.  His eyes, almost lost in the uninflectable vastness of his face, grew somehow smaller and as dense as almonds.  He skulked and scowled over his book, as he were a dog just given an old bone.  His book seemed not so much a prize as simply a possession.  He acted as if he didn’t really want it very much, but now that he had it, well goddammit, he was going to keep it very close to him.
     Michael was curious about what he was reading—he was always curious about what people were reading—and leaned and shifted in his seat in order to try to spot the cover.  The man seemed somehow to know that Michael would do this, and looked up angrily, his eyes narrowing, his eyebrows raised, quickened by something like alarm.  He was like a hungry animal maniacally guarding its kill. 
     Michael quickly pretended to be looking at something else, and, partially mollified, the man returned to the agon of his book. 
     Intent, now, upon knowing what the feral man was reading, Michael tried once again to see past his beefy fists to see the cover.  The man looked up again quickly, just as Michael had craned his neck to get a better view.
     “What do you think of the Mayor?” he asked Michael abruptly, roughly, putting the book on the sear, cover down.        
     Michael was taken aback.
     “The Mayor?”
     “Yeh, the fat guy, that Tamburlaine.”
     “I don’t know.  I don’t really think about the mayor much,” said Michael.
     “Oh yeh?  Well, I do.  All the time.  The Mayor is gravy.”
     The man stared at Michael malevolently, knotting his features, tightening his mouth even further.  His eyes grew hard and yellow as dried peas. 
     “Gravy.  And potatoes.” Then he uttered something like a growl.
     The train was slowing down.  Michael decided to get off no matter what the stop was.  He turned once more to look back at the feral reader.  He could see the book cover now.  It was Dan Brown’s Angels & Demons.
     The man met his gaze.
     “Meat,” he said again to Michael.  “And gravy.”