If I Could Bottle up the Perfect Day

If I could bottle up the perfect day I would have too many bottles to store because so many days have felt like the perfect days.

I would have a collection of bottles weighted with a base of sand and then filled with ucky lake water. The water would be constantly rippling to represent the waves my grandpa’s boat made and the splashes my strokes caused and all the laughter my cousins and I hollered up to the tree tops.

The next shelf would hold the bottles of books. The right book can make a day perfect. Where a wrapper would be on a commercial bottle, a script of the text would run. Where the pop bubbles would bounce around, the images created in my mind would chase each other, powered by the voices in my head that narrated each part. These bottles would be arranged in the order I read them.

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On another shelf would sit a series of bottles holding the voices and memories of my favorite experiences. One would have to echo with chants and tennis shoes. It would be decorated with the metallic tassels that fell from my pompoms and the bows my teammates pinned in my hair. It would smell of sweat and love and whatever the good old days smell like. A few special people in this world would have matching bottles. The bottle next to it would sound like Susa marches, bad jokes and all of it would be out of tune. This bottle would be full of reeds, ruined from overuse and marked-up sheet music. It would always be warm to the touch because of the constant air circulation and the hearts I learned in band.

Beside that bottle would be five small ones with blurry glass that becomes less blurry as you go down the line. I wasn’t even two when my first sibling was born and don’t really know what this day felt like. I know all five tasted like a hospital and someone’s cooking who was not my mom. Each bottle is a little clearer. The second one would feel like green fleece because that’s what I was wearing when Georgie was born and the third would be spotted with little yellow rabbits like the one I picked out at the drug store for my first sister. The fourth and fifth would rattle with joy because by eight I loved being an oldest sister.

There would be bottles half-filled with holding hands, clean classrooms, unworn graduation caps, unpicked flowers, open roads, uncut Christmas trees, an organ playing Canon in D, blank invitations, churches with stained glass windows, houses that aren’t homes yet, capped pens, cookie dough with unpopped popcorn  and strangers with similar souls, if I could bottle up the perfect day.

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