Mr Koreana…the man who could stop time.

August 29, 2016

The man who much prefers to introduce himself as ‘I trade coffee.’ Hardly inspires much faith as someone who possesses the extraordinary power to stop time. But that is only because one is necessarily led to belief such an act would require some métier extraordinaire.

For Mr Koreana the accomplished practitioner of stopping time – required only the most mundane of what I can only refer too as living a life dissipation.

He had a habit of wandering into museums with no precise intent and purpose other than to fashion himself as an allegory of one of the many exhibits, he frequently peers at with an expression of mild interest.

Like a man who seems different from all other men only because he did not suffer from being beholden to time. His pace and demeanor embodied the listlessness of a man who wished to be nowhere, yet beneath it all there was an unmistakable deliberate intent to even suggest he meant to everywhere at the same time, like the contradiction of the many caged exhibits in a museum – radiating their life stories as best they can across the the sea of time thru two inches of bullet proof glass – to Mr Koreana, who was accustomed to being the sort of man who never ever felt like so many other men, the weight of being anywhere specific except where he found himself at any point in time was the first precondition of being of able to stop time….to regard time itself with utter indifference…to such a degree on his best walks when he found himself lost and in a place that he could neither recognize or conjure out with any sense of familiarity – Mr Koreana relished it.

That if you didn’t know is the precise attitude that one needs to cultivate to stop time itself – indifference.

————————————————————

Twelve years ago somewhere in Jerusalaem, Israel.

Kamel Bin Hussein the 57 year old Tunisian oud trader had always prided himself with the uncanny ability to read people like the many scraggy lines that crisscrossed his palm. But that morning as he sat facing the oriental in a cafe in the Arab quarter of Jerusalem – he had come face to face with an unknown quantity for the very first time in his life.

This much Kamel was sure of – the man wasn’t your run of the mill faith tourist. That was just a cover like the I love Jesus tin badge he wore. Sure, he could have very easily passed for one of those wide eyed sappy Asians who could usually be counted to make up the numbers for a Church led tour to the Holy land this time of the year…but this one was very different, of that Kamel was certain.

He too purposeful…too at ease…too dangerous, though he masked it, it showed in his square jaw line and the deliberate way he carried himself…like a matador. Or maybe it was the deliberate manner the man who wore sunglasses held the slim glass of mint tea with only his thumb and little finger with the rest sticking out – his uncle had once told him, this was the way Sudanese rifle horsemen drank their pipping hot tea on the saddle, with the three fingers holding the stirrups with only the thumb and the little finger balancing the thin stemmed glass.

The oriental spoke an uncommon sort of Arabic – an old vernacular variety, one where he stretched his vowels, placed his verbs at the beginning of each sentence. His ‘nehs’ were strained and exaggerated and ‘acks’ silent to even come across as non existent on the abbreviated ‘meh’ ‘yin’ and ‘Kah.’ It reminded Kamel of the strange way his grandfather spoke only to his granny…when they were alone in the dark and didn’t want the children to listen in – she was a camel trader’s daughter from Khartoum. As Kamel looked at the man wondering whether he should scam him. He wondered to himself…was he there…..maybe he was a mercenary…..a wanted man on the run…a legionnaire deserter. Somewhere between these smouldering thoughts, Kamel must have realised the man wasn’t worth the risk of scamming…besides he had crisp one hundred dollar American bills and somewhere between his second hot tea, he decided to put in a honest days wage. “OK, I will take you there…but it will cost you.” The stranger did not bargain and began counting off the notes with a rasping sound. “Why do you want to go there? There is nothing there except snakes and scorpions and miles of pipelines.” The stranger smiled.

Three hours later they were standing on a rock promontory in Isawiyah, North East of Jerusalem overlooking the no man’s stretch of land on Mount Scopus. The man traced the faint water pipes that crisscrossed the desert. He took pictures with a Nikon – he was good with the camera…too good.. thought Kamel….maybe he used to work as a spy for the French in Africa….or maybe he killed for them…it’s hard to tell with this one.

“We need to get closer.” The man boomed startling Kamel out from his reverie like a flock of pigeons exploding “No. Any closer and they will start shooting. This is a restricted area. We shouldn’t even be here.” The stranger smiled and drew on his cigarette as he begun to cut the wire fence with Leatherman pliers as Kamel looked on in horror. The Arab had a feeling this was going all wrong.

The following day, the watchman at the Hebrew University opened the front doors of the Department of Agriculture as he done everyday for the last twenty years – there was nothing unusual that day except coming across an Asian tourist who had lost his way and wandered into the grounds asking for directions back to the Hyatt hotel – it happened from time to time…not very often…but enough not to draw any suspicion. After all a hidden gap in the row of hedges just off the Commonwealth Cemetary was a short cut used by many who knew the University grounds wells – from time to time, someone would accidentally be funneled into the a University grounds..it didn’t happen very often…..nothing unusual at all….what was very odd however to the watch man was the peculiar way the key turned on the barrel lock of the door that led to the faculty that day. It felt looser than usual. But since it lasted only a split second, the watchman thought it might have something to do with the frosty weather – it was after all winter in Jerusalem.

Sometime around mid-day, a high security Chubb filling cabinet housing experimental vane pump designs for jet fighter aircrafts in an annex opposite the Department of Agricultural studies was found unlocked. Since nothing had been removed and all the blue prints were still in their slotted security coded trays in chronological order – the head of department simply closed the filling cabinet and locked it again.

It had happened before. Nothing unusual…. Researchers were after all a careless and forgetful lot. They have no sense of security. Nothing to worry about. Everything seems to be the way it always has been and will probably be….nothing unusual at all….except maybe a tin ‘I love Jesus’ badge on the floor next to the unlocked filling cabinet, to which the watch remarked, ‘bloody researchers…they are all bleeding Christians aren’t they!

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