Quote of the day: OBSERVATION

May 26, 2010

OBSERVATION

I make no bones about my obsession with observation. I enjoy making notes. Jotting things down. I prefer not to be stared at when I’m furtively staring at others. There is a subtle art to the sneaking of glances. Timing is everything. To look as though all your attention is completely absorbed in the subject of your notebook when, in fact, you are lurking; waiting for the moment he picks up his coffee cup, takes a chomp out of the donut then unabashedly sucks the sticky sugar off his fingers while continuing to scan the Racing Form. These are the ripe spans of time where you seize the opportunity to look deeply into the essence of a man; see the source of his greed without his having the slightest clue. Still, you have to be constantly alert; wary of not getting caught by his quick glance. In the flash of an eye he might become aware that you are a witness and begin subtly altering his every manifestation; playing out the illusion that he is in total control of his character or worse – he might become hostile and paranoid. I’ve seen it happen. People hate to be seen. They hate the sensation of eyes on them; being looked at for what they are and not what they imagine themselves to be. Very few people can handle the blatant stare except children under five. This has been my experience anyway.

— Sam Shepard, “Costello”

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