Wednesday 30 January 2019

Time travel is real, I have proof

It's a Wednesday, a hump day, a beautiful weather day, a tricky-for-my-fam day, a kind of down day. Until it wasn't. Until – until – something a little bit lot magical happened.

Rewind to earlier in the week, and Salpal (mum, for the unacquainted) found an old Canon camera of my late dad's, which was encased in a waterproof jacket. Fortunately for the camera, there was no battery inside, meaning its insides were free of leakage after 20ish years of abandonment. First little win. Salpal puts a new battery in and the film inside makes its distinctive whirring winding noise. She pops it out, hands it to me and suggests I get it developed.

Don't get your hopes up, Brogues. I repeated this necessary mantra to myself to avoid disappointment from the potential of quashed expectations. I secretly couldn't swerve their inevitable heightening though. Please pleeease let there be something, just a little singular petite out of focus picture. Anything!

Fast forward a couple of days and I'm handing said film into Snappy Snaps, along with one of my recently finished, unexpired films (I thought this would also soften the blow of disappointment should the expired film return fruitless). But fruitless it wasn't.

I beamed and, I won't lie, squealed a tad when I received the slightly hazy, pinkish, developed exposures of my 7 year old self in the bath – literally exposed – with my 2 year old little sibling. Some of which I haven't published here because, you know, modesty. They instantly brought Leila and I right back to that bath time, our mum sat on the side playing with dad's funny looking camera.

An actual time pod. 'Mundane' moments from the year 2000, frozen and forgotten until the year 2019. Within a fraction of a second, the tenner I'd spent on the film's development became a priceless piece of nostalgia; a preservation of childhood, but experienced in the now, as if our past and present selves were co-existing simultaneously. I realise this is all very hyperbolic by now but really and truly, it's how it felt; feels.

And so, inspired by my unexpected (and most welcome) Wednesday high point, I've made a mini pact with myself to continue this time freezing exercise in a more intentional way: every now and then, I'm going to hide away films at various points of my life – pivotal, seemingly insignificant, whenever – and resolve to develop them in years to come. It's easy to get obsessive about future plans and momentous moments, but it's the minute by minute, everyday sh*t we're living through right now that's the magical stuff. I'll revisit it on film one day.

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