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Photography by Lionel Chee

Desperation. It’s ignoring the silent whisper of the last hope lost, plunging yourself deeper into a whirlpool of self-degradation. Spiralling amidst the frothy whites, you hold tightly to the slightest ray of light, grasping at that which grows more distant, with each passing moment, with each gasping breath.

Perhaps you’ve felt it before, perhaps more than once. A wretched heart aching with each beat as a loved one leaves, water dripping cruelly from parched moribund lips, flashing thoughts in rewind on fifteen floors of concrete, dialing a final number on a phone that no longer beeps – in a world of only darkness where no light can prevail, you fan a burnt out ember, blind to these efforts so futile. Believing what you want to believe, seeing what you wish to see. Funny how acts of desperation, through hopefulness of hope existing, reveal the hopelessness of one’s own forlorn despairing.

You tear your heart open, you beg them not to leave; you grasp at water sloppily with palms so flat and unyielding. You scream for help inside your head while your toes tether on the edge. And your cry goes answered, not even a peep.

It’s (false) hope for the hopeless that keeps you breathing, that gives life to your heart to keep on beating. A fine line cuts; a thickening veil of denial, it fills the deepening void of despair, of hopelessness, of desperation.

“This, too, will pass.” The words barely audible under bated breath from hope – or is it madness; a trickery of the mind that believes in that which does not exist. For hope is a fleeting thing, and ever eluding, that does not promise, but seduces with a word: “maybe”.

Your flailing arms may evoke pity; you may receive what you seek. Your loved one may return, new life breathed into your soul; your mind spared real-life vertigo, a voice that lifts you from the shadows. But for all the rewards, they are mere ghosts. Not love, not sincerity, but words and gestures coaxed.

It’s not the whirlpool that sucks you under, nor the waves that drown you out. It’s the fog in your mind that engulfs you; it forces sense deep underground. Surroundings melt away, your goal is all you see.

A tunnel vision becomes you, blocking all instincts to flee – from the insanity that fuels this senseless mission that bares weakness for all to see. Try to escape it; no efforts could go less fruitfully. The fog will engulf you. As it engulfs me.

#art #photography #singapore

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