Expiration Date

How long do you have to live?

Most people would think that question seems overly existential. A dramatic statement about death.

For many people it is not.

It’s a question of how long you have to live somewhere. When you live on borrowed time you are always looking at the clock. A date set by administrators and visas, a date ever present in the back your mind as you try to make friends and a home.

An expiration date on your life.
A time limit on your thoughts.

Even if you have all your papers in order and a plan for what you want to do, the decision of your life is out of your control. The whims of those who get to decide your fate usually follow protocol, but what if they don’t?

There’s no family to fall back on.

All that stress and anxiety leads to a simple question:


The burden grows as the reality of giving up and moving on gets more and more attractive. It is so much more real, especially as options fade away and that expiration date draws closer.

Why bother risking it all to feel unwelcome for another year when you could go home to a nice meal?

Why stress out about documents I wouldn’t need if I were somewhere else?

Why would anyone do this to themselves?

As the questions stack up my heavy heart keeps beating.

How long do you have to live?

Listen to Episode 122 — Youth, Homeless, and Richard Nixon:

Written by John Bauer of Comatose.

Comatose is a weekly series of amusing anecdotes, insightful commentary, and pithy stories. Every week three contributors are featured in short segments. The segments, though often unrelated, are tied together using music and narration to set the scene. Relax and enjoy the ride while listening to topics as varied as love, birthdays, and reciprocity.

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