The day was perfect but something was missing.
The day wasn’t perfect on the day the day took place, but later it became a perfect day.
I forgot about the sunburn, but I remembered the precise amount of sunlight as it was filtered through a particular configuration of clouds.
I remember wistfully thinking that so much life had gone by, but I wasn’t older than 25.
Wouldn’t the day have not been perfect, if something was missing? you asked, upon reading the first sentence.
So then, you would rather have a debate about what I mean when I say perfect vs. what you have tidily procured and preserved for your own special databank of meaning, rather than hear about my perfect day?
The day wasn’t one single day, either.
It was a composition of many days.
These were all days spent going places, being outside, walking, being in a museum, in a park, in a library.
How many perfect days were there before my family disintegrated before my eyes, before even I knew that we would never come back together again?
How would you define a perfect day, anyway, if you wanted to rigorously adhere to some strict definition of the word?
On the best day of your life, you still aged, and you likely pissed and shat.
How could you still claim your most perfect day as the pristine example of a perfect day, if you did imperfect things and imperfect things still happened to you, and you still want to adhere to your rigorous definition of perfection?
Of course, you can’t.
So leave me, please, to my perfect day where something was still missing.
But, what did I have in mind when I said that something was missing?
Well, when I was having the perfect day, I had no idea just how perfect it was, and how many other days in the future I would long to get that one day back just to live it again one more time.
More to the point, though, the part that was missing was that the perfect day wouldn’t go on forever. The perfect day had to come to an end.
Well, you say, then it wouldn’t have been a day, but it would have been something else, some other unit of time.
Oh my Lord, I say to you, you must be the life of the party.
Your insistence on adherance to precision is pushing all of my buttons.
Please, by all means, tell me all about one single day that you had in an exhaustive fashion.
No, I don’t want to hear about the Earth’s rotation and its trips around the sun.
I don’t want to read your thoughts on the most spectacularly accurate clocks that can assure you of when a day has been a day, and now what’s next is no longer that day, but a new day.
How about you tell me all about a day that you had that stands out in your memory, and fill me in with every single thing that happened that day, from an agreed-upon starting moment around Midnight up until the next agreed-upon moment, also called Midnight.
Most likely, you will be able to talk for at most fifteen minutes about your example day.
But, is it possible to tell me about a fictional day that takes you an entire day to tell me about it?
Would you not be tempted to elaborate at least at some length on the more meaningful moments that took place during that day–what you or your fictional character was thinking, as well as providing the thoughts and impressions of others whom the character encountered?
Could it be possible to make a single day go on forever, just in your telling of it, or your re-creation of it, or in your new creation of a day?
Of course, back here in the real world, the clocks will continue to meter out time at a pace that doesn’t necessarily bend to your will. You might become convinced that you have stopped time or bent it backwards, but you will continue to grow hair in unwanted places, and more and more of it will turn white. People around you will live out their lives, happy to accept that their perfect days have come and gone, and now it’s time to move on.
But, what if you could reach the One who set it all in motion, and have a conversation about making time move a little differently for you when you needed it to?
Nothing overly special, no favors of immortal youth, or getting to go back and correct all of your mistakes.
Just to be able to take a day now and then to relive a perfect day in its entirety, perhaps even relive more than just the day, but other days like it, and all of the things you missed because you were too blissfully self-absorbed to pay attention.
I would be remiss to forget to mention that the other thing that was missing from the perfect day was you. I didn’t share my meaningful memories with you, or anyone else. I kept them to myself. I wrote about them in my journal that nobody read. Perhaps God was there, but if God was, God didn’t collaborate in a humanly meaningful way. God may have been too busy just making sure I didn’t get mugged or run over by a bus, or God may have made the perfect day and left, or God may be responsible for why such an average sort of day has become a perfect day in my mind, over time.
And, to be quite frank, I must ask if a perfect and perfectly complete day would necessarily be so perfect after all. If there was nothing missing from my perfect day, then why should I still be alive? I’ve lived out the most perfect day there is to be lived, if that were the case, and now no day will ever quite match that exhaustively perfect day.
Now that I think about it, it seems like the day has become even more perfect, because of the fact that something was missing. But, if this kind of logic is taken too far, then wouldn’t a day that was missing the most attributes and variables required for perfect day status become more and more perfect the less perfectly seeming the day got? And, what would this look like–would the most perfectly imperfect day be so because of its exceptional ordinariness, or its exceptional awfulness?
This may all sound like sheer stupidity, and maybe it is. But, why can’t I decide to invent the perfect day as being one that lasts much longer than a day, though not forever, and go back and insert someone to share the perfect day with me, and add in whatever else is missing, until I have constructed the ultimate perfect day, which is to be sought at all costs by all human beings everywhere? A day filled with poetry and art museums and hiking up beautiful mountains and making love in a rainforest that is on a beach and also on the side of one of the mountains, and also becoming filled with the sweetest, happiest, most exquisite feelings that pharmaceuticals ever provided? A day filled with bliss, but not that goopy, sloppy, drunken bliss that causes you to forget most of the good stuff, but rather, the kind of bliss where you are at your most mindful, hyper-conscious, keenly aware, intensely tuned in, utterly engaged, manically immersed, wholeheartedly submerged–until you are in such a state that you can’t sleep, die, or forget a single thing that is happening around you?
Why not demolish these incredibly unhelpful and uninteresting timekeeping devices altogether? Until the word “day” takes on a kind of meaning that means eternally awake, bright, full of light and love, alive, and all of reality, cosmic, conscious, supraconscious and sensual pulsates through it in such a fashion as to render you and the day you are experiencing one glorious uberbeing of oneness that doesn’t ever destroy (except if you mean destroy darkness and evil), but doesn’t destroy your self though yourself has been utterly transformed and now abides and transpires in such a fashion that the word self has no real meaning, and the concept of perfection and the path to attaining it or the road down from the mountain of remembering it are all intertwined into one glorious state that has always been perfect, and was only missing the moment you came to realize all of this–THAT is what was missing from the perfect day.