It took me nearly 30 years to realize that the Mayflower was an actual ship, not just a lie like Washington and the cherry tree. We were told "truths" in grade school that are now suspicious. In my defense, I call myself a victim of public education. Call me ignorant. Call me gullible. Call me a poor patriot. Just include a life vest with your words because I will undoubtedly swim like a stone when this ship goes down.
But 1620 was so long ago. It's so long ago that it's hard to imagine it being an actual year. Did the pilgrims look back on 1619 and lament? Did they kiss each other at midnight with their pilgrim lips and look forward to the new year with naive hope in their pilgrim eyes?
They set sail into a vastness which might have proven to be fiction. They held on to their visions and their anchors. They weren't even aware of someone almost 30-years-old existing centuries ahead of them. We both doubt each other's existence. We both embrace the vastness blindly. The only difference is they settled.
So there was a Mayflower. But maybe it doesn't matter. The pilgrims could have floated here on a chopped up cherry tree for all I care. What I care about is how many shoes and boots were on the ship. I care about the unidentified passenger who searched for lost pilgrims in the forest and then sailed back home. Why did he return after coming so far? I care about the waves and the storms and the days of boredom with nothing but emptiness and promise ahead.
I'd rather it be fiction. I'd rather tell the story myself and let the souls unfold on a page under the protection of my wing.