Paraphrasing the ancients, I'd rather be first in a small pond than second in the ocean. Maybe I'm not paraphrasing them. Maybe I missed the point. Maybe I can't swim. I can't. Maybe I'll always come in last in any body of water into which I dive. At least I tried to float. (Turns out holding your breath doesn't help.)
Oh well. So I missed my chance at expanding myself into the largest empire. I can take pride in the fact that I am an expert in the field of shrinking and disappearing, though. I guess I should say that I could take pride, but it won't fit into my backpack. Pride always takes up too much space and right now I'm trying to live inside the negative.
And inside my negative existence, I still roll the names Romulus and Remus off my tongue. Romulus. Remus. Sharing the womb, you were conceived by force from a planet we are on the verge of understanding. The verge is only a cliff and the cliff has guardrails. I'm only going to peer down, despite the desire to fall. You will always be just a lonely dot in a sky I can't define or see.
If I can't swim, then at least let me be an island. Let me be a sanctuary for the indigent, exiled, and unwanted. Let me be a shore you won't desert. I will burn your ships to prevent you from leaving. Let me fix you another cup of coffee so you will linger a minute longer, bathed in the morning light that leaks through the closed blinds.
So I close my eyes, plug my nose, and dive. I shatter what was seconds before a still mirror. I sink into a space neither large or small. I touch the floor and begin to explore the ruins. I wait for you to paraphrase my remains. I remain.