Break The Window by Mai Hem

Creative writing in response to Superimposition (UK-HK), by artists Hin Nam Fong, Melanie King, Samson Pak Hang Wong (Power of Place). 

As an insignificant and isolated face in one of hundreds of windows that look out through weathered glass, there is a dragging feeling that traps her inside the reverberations of
mistakes and missed opportunities. She exists in a concrete prison of monotony and despair, consumed by the mounting mould of what could have been, and what should never have

She regrets what she has built but the foundations have fused into her soul. And so she attempts to paint yet another watery coat of lurid emulsion over the tainted, cracked and flaking layers of wallpaper. As she stands on the rubble, she believes she is stuck in a predetermined cycle destined to repeat the past. The emulsion dribbles down the walls onto the floor, congealing with the soil in-between her bare-footed toes.

The dust of repetitive construction and destruction sluggishly suffocates her lungs until there is no air left. It grips at her throat repressing her voice. It clouds over her face the with toxic artificial particles of a previous and a past that persistently sting her eyes. If only she could just wipe it all away and start again. Has she unfortunately absorbed what someone carelessly left behind, or has her reckless life building created a thick film of pollution that refuses to clear?

Sporadically she finds fleeting freedom in the liminal sky; an escape from the lonely loop, only to come crashing back down into a bleak reality; only one of many possible perceptions,surely, she doubts? And the gap that existed between despair and hope collapses in again.

There is no time, yet unceasing time is all there seems to be.
Her exchange with another has swallowed her spirit until she no longer recognises the grime-stained reflection of her hollow facade in the window. She has no identity. She has suppressed her emotions and has no sense of where she belongs in a story she created for herself. She is merely an ill-fitting transparent mannequin of many personalities she has unsuccessfully occupied.

She finds herself slumped awkwardly on a skeletal chair, as an insensitive shard of sunlight slaps the side of her face. And in a limbo state that echoes with the sound of distant promises and simulated laughter, distracting conversations that have fickly travelled to others burn with blatantly bogus authenticity.

In this silent shock of self-awareness, a shattered strength, that had struggled to support the crumbling walls of her mind, starts to climb wearily up the rusted rung scaffolding of her spine.

As a wispy welcome cloud softens the harsh light that’s been blinding her, it only reveals the scattered stains of traitorous shadows she’d cast upon herself. She cathartically acknowledges her habitual darkness before transitorily choosing to recognise and embrace the embryonic elucidation on the other side of her window.