Morning Pages, August 31, 2018
I am a man, but I don’t understand men very much. I write mostly about women, because that’s more where I’m comfortable and interested. The men in my books tend to be cyphers and cameras to more interesting characters. But I should try to write from a male perspective more often. Here’s one attempt, while thinking about men “staying within the lines” while also being predatory.
I listen to music and I look at the pretty girls on the subway. Two to three seconds. Any more is awkward for everyone. I want to look. Seeing someone pretty in the morning is uplifting. I don’t want to make anyone uncomfortable, and the old advice of seven seconds is too long today. That’s a metric that’s definitely taken a blow since I learned it. Milk is about the same price as it was when I was a kid, but back then, you were told seven seconds was okay. No harm done under seven seconds. But today it’s three at best. It feels good to look. I don’t mean anything by it. I might remember them forever or they could be forgotten moments after I leave the train. It isn’t up to me. I can’t help what my mind decides to keep. I can’t help what my eyes decide to fix on. But I can control how long. And I’ll follow the rules. If it’s seven, I’ll look for seven. If it’s three, I’ll look for three. I’ll do what I can. I’ll take what I can. What I get is diminished all the time.