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Robert wandered the gallery and by mentally destroying unsuspecting females, found it increasingly easier to thwart his desire. He finished the second quarter of his four-hour observation feeling freer than he could remember. He also had two good options for his column: one, a babysitter, probably from the Caribbean, pushing an infant in a stroller, pointing to objects in the paintings and saying things like, “Look little one, there is a dog. Do you see the dog?”; and the other, a man in a bowler hat who methodically studied every painting in room after room, each time bending toward the canvas, adjusting his monocle, and uttering a brief “hmmm.”

By the end of his third quarter, Robert was ready to leave after deciding that the Caribbean caretaker and child had won the day’s contest and would appear in his next column. By now, he hardly noticed the women, and when he did was able to turn away without a sense of loss.

Of course, that was yesterday. Day two might deliver new daunting challenges. He was breaking several rules by returning to the same place and doing so without taking a day off from observing. But he had momentum and wanted to repeat his success before moving on to new scenarios.

Again, he was in the door at eleven sharp. He challenged himself by not picking a destination. He simply strolled in, his wandering gaze upping the risk of prurient thoughts.

He passed a girl who reminded him of Asian Girl. Rather than yield to the anticipated ache in his groin, Robert began the task of deconstructing her femininity.

She walked fast, almost gliding. Her butt wasn’t as round as he’d first thought. Actually, it was a little flabby, and her legs too short. She was squat. Yes, and she had no class, this squat Chinese girl fingering calendars and mugs and postcards representative of a past exhibit being sold under a “50% off” sign. And not to seem racist, but her eyes were basically slits and her facial features flat, the blandness covered by too much makeup.