We visit the petting zoo at the Los Angeles Railway Terminal. Getting to the terminal requires driving for hours up precarious mountain roads, so by the time we reach the zoo, we are angry and exhausted. But we see can already see the animals long before we arrive. There are ducks the size of houses, whose bills could sever a child at the waist. One animal appears to be a cross between an enormous anemone and a birthday cake. It is cream-coloured with little red bubbles, gooey to the touch, and when you try to pet it, it sucks on your hand and laughs. The zoo has many venomous snakes, which alarms me. They are in manacles, for safety, but I point out to my companions that it is easy for a snake to escape a manacle, on account of their shape. My companions tell me I am not being fun, that they don’t know why they brought me. As they turn to stroke the owls, I watch the snakes escape.