Got to the office earlier than usual today, and took my Starbucks cup for a little walk through the building. I was looking for the kind of slow-engine roll-over that thousands of people do in thousands of offices every morning. Hey, how’s it going, nice shirt, any plans for the weekend, please stop raiding my stash of jelly bellies, etc.
But I was thwarted: this place was completely, unequivocally empty. I felt like I was wandering a post-apocalyptic world, with vacant office chairs still turned towards vacant doorways, as though expecting the warm, familiar rears of their owners to arrive at any moment. In a building that usually has the muscle and velocity of a European train, this stillness was a little eery.
Here’s what inMotion sounds like without people: soft, cerebral hum of overhead ventilators, CPU fans whistling dust into the air, and the faraway trill of a fax machine moulting pages of Caribbean cruise announcements to the floor like exotic feathers.
There’s something rogue and seductive about finding yourself unexpectedly alone in a place that is usually cluttered with people. It’s as though you’ve cheated circumstance and have somehow slipped into a little moment in time which was never meant to exist. I think this must begin in the soft, mouldable days of early childhood, when we are constantly supervised and accompanied and escorted and shadowed by adults. Being totally alone becomes both a terrifying and exhilarating prospect. We wish our parents would disappear, but then when it seems like they have, we are hysterical… until we discover them calmly washing dishes in the kitchen. We want to be alone. But not that alone.
Which is why I felt relieved when I heard the perfunctory chirp of a car horn out in the parking lot, marking the end of my obscurity in this cavernous space. But it’s an uncanniness that I will revisit as often as I can. You feel differently about a building after you’ve existed inside of it solely by yourself. As though the building has now acknowledged you, personally.
Just as Nietzche said, when you gaze long into the inMotion studio, the inMotion studio gazes into you.