And Allister could not look away. Allister wanted to touch the hair. Wanted to reach to the wall and feel the hair. He did not, of course. That would be rude in both worlds. But, if the painting reached for his hair, Allister would not think poorly. He would understand. And he would touch the painting's hair to demonstrate the mutual attraction. And when saying attraction; one, of course, must explain away many things and explain towards many others. But, this was not necessary with Allister and the painting. They stared. They waited for someone to twitch. For someone to smile. And no one would.
It was not a contest, per say. It was an understanding that even a blink would end it, would severe whatever it was that tunneled from the jelly of an eye into the paint of an eye and made it real. There stood the chance that no one, not Allister nor the painting, would ever move. And there would be fear in that, in standing forever, if the rational mind played any part in it. But, this was no place for the rational mind.
Allister would learn soon enough, though. That if you stand in the right place and at the right time (that is to say, in the right museum), the artist will eventually arrive, see the dilemma, and paint eyelids-though you may remain standing quite a long time before this happens.*
*Of course, it is important to remember that this will not happen if the artist, too, is not in the right place at the right time or if the artist is dead-and both cases are, of course, possible. In fact, in the latter case, one will often find the former case.