• Styles Yugen

Liminal Time

You’re up late, the last night before leaving to home the next. Outside the streetlight buzzes and the aircon across the street rumbles as it has every night since you’ve been here. Inside is your bastion, in here is an island of the familiar in the ocean of the strange. This new place you’ve been to, seen some of, eaten your way through the best and worst they’ve to offer is about to become strange once again.

You lay in your unfamiliarly familiar bed, thinking of home just a day away and there’s little between you but travel--nothing more than the wonders of modern technology to fling you across the surface of a vast world. A flight. A train. A car. Inventions to transport one from one place to another: transitional devices for liminal space.

It’s there even now, the stairwell just outside your hotel room, even the hallways out here give you that strange almost unexplainable feeling. A certain uncomfortable crawling on the back of your neck that is nothing more than your base instincts yelling at you, begging that something’s off.

It’s not.

It’s just a product of the world of today; architecture that’s similar across such a vast world, so similar that it’s more a product of humanity than anything. Hotel hallways. Abandoned gas stations. Even the deserted mall across town that you go to sometimes. All these places have parallels across the world, a certain familiarity that you shouldn't have because you’ve never been. But you have been, just in a place, a different time.

It’s a shame, really, that architecture and design have descended to this. So similar across such a vast world that our brains scream at us that something is wrong.

But there you lay in your hotel bed with the street light buzzing and the aircon rumbling: it’s the same feeling. Uncomfortable familiarity not with a place but with the experience, the time in which you exist. Those last moments before you leave a place forever, to travel to another. Either the night before, the morning of, or something between. It’s the feeling of laying down what you’ve seen, what you’ve done, and preparing for what’s to come. Liminal time: the time between times where you lay awake at night wondering what comes next.

Styles Yugen, signing off.


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Science Fiction and the pursuit of escapism, 2020.