The Perfect Day

It is a day that one keeps in reserve as the perfect day. While going to work, accomplishing necessary tasks—housework, cooking, grocery shopping—it is the day in one’s daydreams. Sitting on the much-anticipated screened porch, rocking in a cushioned chair, reading, reading, reading, in perfect silence.

Except that it isn’t silent at all. Always, in the distance, the shush of cars and trucks on the interstate, miles away, yet persistently present. Hundreds of little birds, chirping away continuously, sweetly transforming me into Disney’s Cinderella. Less euphoniously, my neighbor’s chickens add a comic note, and occasionally, the barred owls in the woods confuse the day with nighttime calls. Even the breeze adds a murmur, lifts my hair, forces me to put my bookmark under my phone on the peacock table.

The screen door is on the latch, but it still voices a tiny creak in the wind. When David leaves it open, it blows back and forth. It opens on a rising scale, “Creeeeeeaaak!” and closes sliding down, “Creeeeeaaak. Bam!” The sound stirs an ancient memory somewhere deep within, although I can’t remember a time in my life when I’ve had a screened door. Why is it so familiar, so soothing?

I can’t sit for another minute. Even though the cushion is soft, and the rocking soporific, I must move. I get up, walk through the house, up the stairs, into the dim family room, and plunk into another chair to write.

A perfect day.

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