He whisper-sings the punch line. “Toot toot, peanut butter.”
Little peanut sitting on the track/Her heart was all a-flutter/Along came a choo-choo down the track/He pauses, nudging me, and whisper-sings the punch line. “Toot toot, peanut butter.”
The locomotive comes hissing and clanking up the rails, gliding to a stop in front of us. And because it’s a beautiful train I hate it even more. It is circus-gorgeous, festive almost, in its flamboyant blues, cherry reds, and neon yellows.
“They sent the Jupiter, Peanut,” he says and I try not to grimace at my childhood nickname. My father lets go of my hand and steps forward, smiling as another steam cloud explodes from the train’s smokestack.
“The old Central Pacific Number 60. Look at the chassis on her. She’s a beaut.”
I don’t want to know about the chassis. I don’t want to know whether they sent the Jupiter or the Storm or the Bullet or the gravy train. I don’t want to be here at all.
Dad runs his hand along the engine, petting it a…