Nothing Seems Really Real Until I See Time Have Its Way

Nothing seems really real until I see time have its way with it.

There was a moment, this past summer, where I was walking around in Seoul. In front of me was a large shopping mall, and it looked like the most alien thing ever. Essentially the shape of a large box, the shopping mall also had a long stairway leading up to the railway station that was in the middle of the mall.

It was almost depressing. It was a kind of feeling that I can only describe as the same feeling I get when I stare too long at a linoleum floor. There is just something inexplicably revolting.

But that doesn’t really describe how I felt in the most lucid manner. So let me provide a counterexample.

When I am at my apartment in Ann Arbor, and I see dishes that are drying in the rack, or a pile of newspapers strewn about, or an old book that I had been reading on the side for the past week, a sense of familiarity arises because I have lived with these items for a good chunk of time. But this feeling of familiarity doesn’t attribute itself to everything that looks old. If I were to go into an antique shop and see an old coffee table for sale, despite the fact that it is an antique, it is still alien to me, because I myself did not live with it.

In that sense, that is why the shopping mall was off-putting for me. To be honest there may be many other factors…but I won’t go into them.

But this does not mean that I hate that which is new and unfamiliar. There is some part of me that wants to take that which is strange, and make it my own. In fact, in the long run, comfort through familiarity is indeed what I prefer. But consciously, there is a part of me that yearns for the weird.

A shopping mall is not one of those things. It was just an example for the sake of starting this post. Cause…fuck shopping malls. No amount of time will make me like those fucking things.

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