Everything is perfect

Anita Hetzenauer
Everything is perfect
The sun is glued to the sky like a yellow buttercup. Two small, white cotton puff clouds borrowed from a laundry detergent commercial hang in the heavens nearby. They are bored, of course. Naturally they are only present for decorative purposes. They would much rather be rolling around over the ocean and growing into thick fat storm clouds. But this morning they received the thankless task of playing a world in perfect order. A Sunday, in order to be a real picture book Sunday, absolutely needs sunshine and a couple of isolated small clouds in order for everyone to be satisfied. The pessimists can be discouraged because of them and certain that tomorrow it will rain. The optimists can be pleased that only a few clouds remain which will certainly be gone soon. Puffed up on the horizon or sucked up by the camera held in the hand by someone who doesn't really know if small clouds in the sky are good or bad, a picture is taken to provide, in case of the possibility that they grow into being the catastrophic storm of the century, an up-to-date photo for the newspaper or otherwise sold as a picturesque postcard. Picture book Sundays also absolutely require a young girl in a summer dress and straw hat. Blond curls are naturally essential. Here we see her sitting in a park. Between small, cute flowers of course. She is sitting on the ground wholly absorbed in her play. Soon we see her as a loving doll mama immersed in weaving a wreath out of daisies. However, here we see the first scratch on the surface of this picture book idyllic scene. In front of the girl is something brown. Artfully piled high, but still a pile of poop. A huge plop of dog crap as big as a small dachshund. Certainly from a St. Bernard. The smaller of the two clouds yawns as it notices the pile. It slides nearly imperceptibly in the direction of the ocean.

The small girl stares at the pile in front of her and inspects it from all sides. The hem of her dress touches the object of observation. A small streak of the pile attaches itself to the dress fabric in an act of symbiosis. The girl does not notice. She also does not seem to notice the smell given off by the pile. Carefully, a small fingernail with red nail polish residue scratches a tiny hole in the mountain. Nothing happens. Only the smell becomes more penetrating. The fingernail with its red polish residue becomes more daring. It drills a deep hole. Then another and another. The entire mountain is riddled with holes. The girl is done. Proud, she raises her head and calls out as loud as she can, “Mama, Mama look here!” And here we see the next scratch on this Sunday picture book idyll. The second cloud stretches out a little longer in order that no one notices how far its one end has moved away from its designated position.

Mama does not come. She sits on her bench. Wrapped in buttercup yellow sunshine and drugged by the obligatory birdsong in the air, she orders her daughter to come, simply because it is time for her small snack. Immediately, her daughter runs obediently. This is another sign for those sitting bored in the sky to scoot a few more meters closer. They have just enough time to make a bet on whether the mother will look up from her book when her daughter comes or if she smells what her dear daughter has been playing with. The stretched out cloud wins. Happily, it turns for a moment into a smiley as the girl runs to the bench without any second thought to grab the waiting apple with the very hand whose fingernails are covered in red polish residue and brown mountain matter; as she runs away to search for a new toy, she bites heartily into the apply. “How beautiful. What could be nicer. Everything is perfect, just like in a picture book,” thinks the mother without looking up from her book, which is naturally a romance novel.

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