trans-neptunian object

losing time

nov 15 2023

what they won’t tell you is that their love has an expiration date.

it’s not really about how kind they are so much as how intolerable you are -- even the kindest, most open-hearted and downright naïve of individuals has their limits, and those limits are worn out pretty damn quickly when they’re forced to be around you for any significant amount of time.

and so time itself becomes a currency: how long until they tire of you? until all that’s left between you and that line is a single misstep? until they realize that the cost of keeping you afloat isn’t worth the result, and it never was? sure, it’s nice to think that someone would dive down after you, but is there really any point in dragging themself to the bottom of the ocean when you’re already covered in weights?

realistically speaking, you are dependent on their naïveté. if it weren’t for them, you would’ve drowned years ago, but you always have to wonder if that might’ve been the better option. if they’ve considered it, too -- the hospital bills, the arguing, the ghost living in their house. dead weight.

but they don’t say anything, and you don’t say anything, and the failure weighing on your shoulders feels so impossibly huge and tangible that you don’t know how anyone else wouldn’t see it, but that’s how things work in this family. you don’t say anything.

instead you try to atone in other ways. offering to help out. not setting boundaries. not telling them when you’re struggling. the needle is always crawling towards the other side, but maybe, hopefully, folding yourself into nothing will set it back a bit. buy you enough time for... what, exactly?

the urges aren’t nearly as frequent, but you think about it a lot. you’ve known for years that it's inevitable.

you used to be a lot angrier, back then, arms bruised from being dragged out of the riptide and not much to show for it except for the water you’re still coughing up all these years later -- what happened? you hated them for pushing you forward even as your legs buckled, but now here you are, senselessly dragging yourself along the rocky path, and what is any of this even for? what future could you possibly be dreaming of?

you keep asking yourself, day in and day out, why am i getting out of bed? why am i eating? why am i taking a shower? why am i not dead already?, but the words just wash over you. and you continue.

the clock is ticking. the passage of time hasn’t felt real for a while now, but you can hear it all the same, the incessant tick-tick-tick piercing your eardrums every second of every day of every year. you’ve managed to tune it out somewhat, but the feeling is always there, just under the skin, a constant pulse in your veins. telling you soon, but not how soon.

you wake up for the thousandth time. it’s past lunchtime, and you’re dehydrated and overheating under the blankets, but you don’t want to get out of bed so you just grab your phone and scroll for a bit. a couple more hours wasted on that.

sooner or later you’ll run out of ways to distract yourself. and it’s there, in that awful silence, that the ticking grows louder. the seconds counting down. the needle drawing closer and closer. the numbers leering at you. you don’t have much time left, they say. better put on your best act.