A Matter of Time
by Noise Pollution
For the last week or so, I haven’t been able to pull myself away from this feeling I’m having. It’s an awful, terrible feeling, but not one I’m unfamiliar with. I’m afraid. Of what? Lots of things, I guess. It’s a little more existential than that, I think. I’m afraid of death. I’m afraid of getting older. I’m afraid of the future. I’m afraid of the very passage of time. The idea that time is marching forward as I type this has begun to terrify me. I only have so much of it. Time is a non-renewable resource in my life, and I expend it rapidly. Every time I look at a clock, I realize that some amount of it has passed. Even if I keep myself away from all time-telling devices, the fact that the sun rises and sets is enough. I know. I can tell, time is passing, and it doesn’t give a fuck about me.
I feel like I’m losing it, a little bit. My grip on everything… it’s loosening as I dwell on this horrifying presence that I cannot contain. Time is a Lovecraftian entity; I have no control over it, but it rules over me. I am nothing to time, and time will one day kill me. Time will kill me, then whittle away my corpse until it’s like I was never there at all. Time will erase all memories of me. It will take away my loved ones, and it will take away their loved ones and so on until even the whispers of my contributions to this world are lost.
Time will one day end humanity. There is no escaping it. Chances are that the inevitable march of time will put someone in power who will press the big red button; the one that ends us all. The fact that humanity has the power to destroy themselves means it is only a matter of time until they do so. And on the narrow chance that that fate is averted, a time will come when the Earth’s resources are scarce, and then exhausted. Time will either kill us, or force us to leave this place behind. If we do survive that fate, perhaps through some futuristic technology allowing us to terraform a nearby planet, or even renew the resources on Earth, the sun only has so many years in it before it expands into a red giant, consuming parts of the solar system in its wake. And eventually, it will run out of fuel entirely, leaving our corner of the galaxy cold and lifeless. On the increasingly microscopic chance that we discover a means to travel long distances through space (a feat which, right now, we aren’t even sure is possible to do a far as the concrete laws of physics are concerned) time still has it out for us, as even the vast universe has a time limit on it. The universe will die one day. And no matter what, when that happens, it’s over.
Time is a horrifying concept. Everything that ever was, is and ever will be will one day be as though it isn’t, and never was. There is no escaping it. Time is more frightening than any monster, or any man. And I’m freaked out.
I know this is all beyond my control, and that logically, worrying about this existential nonsense is doing me more harm than good, but I just can’t let it go. It floats through my head every now and then, and I catch it, and my head clings to it as hard as it can, as though it expects me to solve the problem. My head knows there is an issue that needs to be taken care of, but there is no solution. And it searches through it’s pathetically small stores of knowledge for an answer and comes up empty. And then I get scared. Scared of an inevitability. That’s always what scares me the most. Inevitability. Inevitability is the most frightening thing in the universe, and Time is its master.
The dread that I’ve been feeling over the last week is starting to envelop me. I wonder if I can hold on long enough for it to pass. I wonder if it even will pass. If it doesn’t, I might end up back in the hospital. I don’t know. I’m just afraid. Terrified, even. And I can’t do anything about it. That’s just the way it is right now, and it’s unbearable.