The knob of time

This coffee shop is on a mezzanine opposite and above the airport entrance. Messing with the knob of time, I see a world that is ever transforming.

Position 1: Movement

Only see “things” that move: a never ending stream of people. When they enter through the sliding glass doors, they all have that “now what?” expression. Do I turn left or right? Where is that departures display?

The moment passes quickly and with renewed purpose, they all turn left. Businessmen with smartphones, dads with laden trolleys followed by mums with offspring. Elderly travellers walk at their own pace. When I adjust my speed filter, I can pick them out easily.

Position 2: Still (long exposure)

The speed filter slows a little further until I only see that which is immobile. A world of concrete pillars and alu windows. Deserted check-in desks and advertising. Immobile lights and a shop with magazines.

Position 3: Freeze

All of a sudden, the people reappear but stop in their tracks. The world of the living merges with the world of immobility. Actors on a film set.

This frame tells its own story. A snapshot of a thousand lives. Each with its own stories and expectations. For one instant they can stop worrying and exist in the infinite peace of the moment.

Position 4: Action.

The world resumes its pace instantaneously. A child drops its dummy and reaches its little arms out, powerless as the dummy recedes in the distance towards the edge of the child’s universe. Squeak. Mum does a double take. Squeak. Empty mouth. Five steps take her to that same edge of the universe and returns quickly to an abandoned and grieving child. All is well. Mummy is here.

Position 5: Infinity.

I drop my smartphone in slow motion and see it recede into my own infinity. A deep stillness settles around me in a world that has slowed down as it does when we are in an accident. Seconds become minutes. I see the world as in the Matrix fight scene when the camera whizzes around two fighting men suspended in the air. A frozen world. There is just me walking on a stage. I admire even the smallest props in amazement. Everything seems so real!

Position 6: Off.

The moment passes but I am not sad. I smile because I know that this moment will never pass. It doesn’t know how to. Just leave the knob of time off every now and then.

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