Arnon Grunberg

A small kiss

No Staring

While waiting in the American consulate I read a column by Garrison Keillor in the IHT: “New York in July, hot and breezy, the smell of pizza and coffee in the air, and on the subway one is surrounded by women in light summer dresses, the bare shoulders of elegant young urban women whose shoulders tell you they never toted barges or lifted bales, never laid eyes on a barge or a bale except for someone barging into their office and giving them a baleful look. They are swanning along through their twenties and I love to look at them while observing the No Staring rule, five seconds max - but five seconds of a beautiful New York woman burns an image on your retina that will see you through the miseries of the city.”

The No Staring rule, yes of course, but after how many seconds exactly does staring become staring? Five seconds seems a lot to me, especially on the subway.
On the other hand I doubt that five seconds of staring will see you through the miseries of the city.
It would take at least a small kiss to get you through those miseries.