I have never passed a day in Spain, or wandered the hills of Peru. I have not seen the alps, in all their towering glory or spent a hour in their snowy recesses, enjoying the sunshine, or the snow, or whatever they have near the alps. Perhaps if I had, I might have lived.
I have never given birth to a child, heard a small voice call me mother, nor felt a tiny body burrow against me in perfect slumber, eyes winking out like small stars, a tangle of limbs and quiet breathing. I bet when I bring life into this world, maybe one day; at that hour my heart will break into a million pieces. Then, will I have lived?
Under pretense of life I have met strangers in coffee shops, climbed blue mountains near my home, and swam in muddy lakes where fish have bit my toes. Day by day, I have moved from infancy towards womanhood, like some kind of lapse of long-forgotten judgement.
And at last; I am myself. No more but that, myself, I--a part divided by curiosity and habit, a sum over parts; a dash of color on a masterpiece that spans time and space, small and hidden under some other pigment.
It is here that I ask, Have I Ever Lived?
And what is living? I know nothing of England. How do they run their parliament? Do they even have a parliament? Why are people so factitious about the Queen? What is a day like in the life of a person who lives in England? I picture them all watching telly and dreaming of fish and chips, and using the loo.
Those mythical beings who live over land and sea in that faraway place called "England" don't even know I exist. They don't wake every morning and draw breath from my body and wonder, what will I do today? Nor does the thought of me ever cross their mind. And my ideas of what they eat and sleep and say and do are just shadows, just ideas of the real England--and I'll never capture it.
Like a girl about to close her eyes in sleep, I view the world. But before I fall to meet my pillow in repose, sometimes I glimpse that which I never dreamed existed, silhouetted in the distance under the recesses of my eyelids. And I wonder, what if? Because, after all--
And I'm still here. Living. Breathing. And thinking about you.