I have been thinking about experience.
Such as: I want to go to New York next weekend to see "The Gates," among other things. But there is work keeping me here, student conferences, friends. And I don't really want to see "The Gates." I want to say I have seen them.
I can imagine them: the same cold wind as here, brown coats, brown trees, the flicker of orange like Niagara slickers. Is that enough? In the end, will it matter whether I went there in my head, or in my red vinyl boots with the broken heel?
I wonder how many things I've done just to say I did them, or worse, just to write about them. On some level, this must be the case. I drove to Nashville for a concert. I dyed my hair in the hotel room.
But there are so many experiences that didn't happen: going to LA by myself to see my play performed, trapeze lessons, grad school with my ex-boyfriend. I don't talk about the time I almost moved to New Jersey, or almost went to circus school. Well, actually, sometimes I do.
Right now I am writing about an experience I didn't have. I thought about it a lot. But it didn't happen to me. I didn't do it, and I wonder if I will ever truly be able to write about it until I do.
Right now I am experiencing Pennsylvania, and winter, and bicycles, and tea.
Right now I am experiencing this chocolate cupcake.