Mac knows when it is Wednesday, without having to remind himself. He has the feeling like looking over his shoulder on Wednesday. That's the day if he gets to McDonald's early enough the complimentary morning papers aren't too messed up. Not missing parts. Certain parts.
There's back booths in McDonalds. Especially when the local Old Coot's Club is thinned out by various illnesses. Where nobody can look over your shoulder. You can look at something without someone seeing you looking at what you're looking at.
The ads. Especially when they're new, the insert booklets, when nobody else has gotten to them first, making creases and fingerprints and stains.
It makes him jumpy. Still, there's the images, amazing that women will let somebody (lady photographers, he's sure) take pictures of them like that. The sacred and unspeakable shapes. He feels like he's opened a door he wasn't supposed to at first, but then finds out it's kind of okay. (But not really.)
A cotton-white triangle. The very deepest of signals.
From having been caught and popped in the head as a child peering unabashedly in the Sears' catalog. But not by his father. Popped hard.
Mac has visited the counters with the magazines in the convenience stores. The ones. . . everybody knows the ones. He has even purchased them, on one or two experimental occasions. But they don't work.
Not his father.
To see only partly is to see the most of all. The unrevealed. Real women in public places pulling and tugging and covering if they think you're looking--this in the booths at McDonald's is a revelation. A freedom, if you're not caught.
Infinity in the disappearance tucked and spiraling away between modestly-turned legs.
And when it's not Wednesday Mac has one other resort: the department stores. With their wire carts by the door and free ads inside, pristine. Walking fast (no one can look over your shoulder) through the store, flipping pages, glancing up now and then. As if he were looking for someone.
An actual person.
Someone not there.