That credibility spot upon which the Stormont parties and governments have been jogging for the past several months is getting smaller and is about to vanish.
Smaller in terms of belief and believability.
If all the watching and listening at Parliament Buildings and at Stormont House on Monday was in the hope of hearing something new; something that would fit with a deepening and depressing political crisis, then the parties and the governments failed that test.
This was a same-old day; predictable soundbites, more or less the same scripts, the playing out of a blame-game in a place that has run out of ideas.
Pretend politics in a pretend Parliament Buildings.
DUP leader Arlene Foster repeated her “common sense proposal” of last week; restoring the Executive immediately, putting ministers in post and working on legislation on culture and languages.
It was an old offer wrapped in new words; rejected not just by Sinn Fein but by others.
On Monday Nichola Mallon of the SDLP likened the idea of an Executive before an agreement to “building a castle on sand”.
The north Belfast MLA dismissed the idea as “absolutely ludicrous”.
Michelle O’Neill called for “a short, sharp, focused negotiation”.
What has been happening for the past eight months? What would be different now?
You either have a stand-alone Irish Language Act or you don’t.
You either have marriage equality or you don’t. The same applies to a Bill of Rights and a legacy process.
These issues have been talked to a standstill.
Indeed, Alliance MLA Stephen Farry believes the trenches got deeper over the summer months. His party is arguing for the appointment of an independent mediator to facilitate the talks.
Farry believes the trajectory is direct rule, but said this is not inevitable.
At Stormont House, Secretary of State James Brokenshire spoke of a window of opportunity that is closing rapidly.
That same window has been closing for months. Like everything else at Stormont it is stuck.
There is no good Plan B.
Closing the Assembly? Stopping salaries? Direct Rule?
If Humpty Dumpty falls off this Stormont wall once more, then it will take a very long time to put it back together again.
The next steps have to be agreed London and Dublin steps; two governments on the same page whatever that page may be.
It could still be another Assembly election. Brokenshire has not ruled out that possibility.
Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney will meet the parties on Tuesday.
We will listen again, but don’t hold your breath.
Just watch that ever shrinking jogging spot.
We seem to be waiting for the inevitable; decision-making taken out of the hands of those elected back in March.
A political failure that won’t easily be fixed.