Johnny America


Per­fect Day


Illustration of hands photographing a latte and magical puppy.

In four days, it will be the first. To­day is Fri­day, the twen­ty-eighth of May — Tues­day will be Tues­day, the first day of June. Al­most halfway through the year. Five months in, in four days. I’ve man­aged to fail at my New Year’s res­o­lu­tions — the frac­tion I even man­aged to start. But if I start now, I can turn it around be­fore mid-year.

In four days, I will be per­fect. Start­ing then. Tues­day will be a per­fect day. Tues­day, I will be my best self. 

I will awak­en ful­ly rest­ed af­ter a slum­ber of prophet­ic dreams; I will make love to my wife — pas­sion­ate­ly, ex­pert­ly — who will thank me for the right­eous rail­ing by cook­ing us a break­fast of buck­wheat pan­cakes, which are not on­ly trend­ing on In­sta­gram but tru­ly are more de­li­cious, and good for one’s bow­el and chakra alignments. 

As I leave for work my cell phone will ring. The voice on the line will be di­rect: “We’re sor­ry, Derek, but the of­fice has burned down. No one was hurt, thank god, but there’s no need to come in for at least a few weeks. You’ll be paid of course, but no, please don’t come in and there’s noth­ing you can do to help, and you’ve al­ready done so much for the com­pa­ny this year, be­tween your ex­treme hand­some­ness and competency.” 

“Okay,” I’ll tell the of­fice man­ag­er, “right back at you.”

I’ll text my wife that I’m head­ed to the cof­fee shop for a lat­te then a mat­inée, as I know she’ll be drift­ing in­to a morn­ing nap af­ter our her­culean hor­ni­ca­tion ses­sion. “Uh huh, uhz, lu­vz…” she’ll whim­per as she sets down her phone. Mean­while our cats will ges­tic­u­late be­tween them­selves, ne­go­ti­at­ing who will sleep atop her per­fect­ly tou­sled hair.

On the way to the cof­fee shop, my moth­er will call me and com­pli­ment me for be­ing such a thought­ful son, for omit­ting to call her on Mother’s Day and so not re­mind­ing her of the painful la­bor she en­dured while birthing my sis­ter, who she will spon­ta­neous­ly ex­claim is the in­fe­ri­or child in com­par­i­son to me. I will de­fend my sis­ter as a point of sib­ling hon­or, but in my heart I’ll know my mother’s dis­parag­ing words about my sister’s nu­mer­ous faults are ac­cu­rate and said with­out malice. 

In­side the cof­fee shop, I will be scout­ed as a run­way mod­el and signed for a five-year mod­el­ing-slash-book deal with the new Ford Models/Picador Books conglomerate. 

The head barista, the fa­mous artist Jeff Koons, will hand me an adroit­ly pre­pared hazel­nut lat­te craft­ed by a troupe of ar­ti­sanal as­sis­tant baris­tas. A per­fect rep­re­sen­ta­tion of a pup­py will be swirled in­to the frothed milk, look­ing up at me lov­ing­ly, qui­et­ly, as all the best dogs do. I’ll snap a cell­phone pho­to­graph of the lat­te and auc­tion the pho­to­graph in­stant­ly on a non-fun­gi­ble to­ken on­line gallery, while I’m still stand­ing at the counter. The Bit­coin pay­ment will ar­rive a heart­beat lat­er, mint­ing me a new bil­lion­aire. I will not tip Jeff Koons, for he is a pompous ass.

I’ll call my new­ly-signed agent and re­tire from mod­el­ing-slash-writ­ing, be­cause as a bil­lion­aire, who needs to work? I’ll call the of­fice man­ag­er and re­tire from en­gi­neer­ing, which has been my day job for years, and is my day job still, to­day — for four more days anyway.

But next Tues­day, in four days, will be per­fect. I will restart my New Year’s res­o­lu­tions as ef­fort­less­ly as I lift heavy boul­ders, as eas­i­ly as I leap over speed­ing locomotives.

Filed under Fiction on May 28th, 2021

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