A gust of wind snatched up the drawing, lifting it high and out of reach. Rudy chased it but the gust carried it into the water. He brought it back, soaked, the pencil marks smudged irreparably.
His mother held the limp paper up against the sunlight, carefully shaking out the wrinkles. She pasted it flat onto the top of a picnic table while he gathered a dozen small stones to hold it down. The evaporating water raised the texture on the paper, pocked it with craters and peaks, softened the lines of the drawing into a dream of itself. It was beautiful. Sometimes, she told him, a thing had to be destroyed to become perfect.
Rudy inspected it, thinking about what it meant to be perfect, feeling he could never be destroyed. He didn’t know a storm was coming and bringing waves. Or that before the day ended he’d know the meaning of destruction with no hope of perfection.
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