My Perfect Utopia
Alexander Leonov, Grade 12, Meridan State College -
“Mr. Smile, I simply can’t understand what this utopia is that you keep babbling about. Can you start anew?”
The corners of Mr. Smile’s mouth twitched as he glanced at Mr. Frown, his biggest critic. Every time Mr. Smile proposed how to transform his vision into reality, Mr. Frown always had to reduce his dream to ashes. Always. A subsequent pause ensued, short enough to remain punctual but long enough to send Mr. Frown a message. Then, Mr. Smile repeated his speech in front of his fellow board members.
“In my perfect utopia, everyone wears a smile on their face. There are no wars, poverty, or sickness. Forget about crime, homelessness, discrimination, rampant corruption, the list goes on… the only thing you need to remember is that we are all equal and compassionate to – and how do you propose we do that?” interjected Mr. Frown.
Ignoring Mr. Frown’s question, Mr. Smile continued, “and do you not want to live in such a world? Where everyone is happy, and life is good? Where it doesn’t matter what type of face you have?”
Mr. Smile’s face brimmed gleefully as he noticed Mr. Ugly, Mr. Poor and a few others mutter in agreement. Yet in the corner of his eye was a protruding Mr. Frown, ever so adamant in his opposition.
“Now, to address the elephant in the room…” began Mr. Smile, but before he could finish, Mr. Frown asked, “Where is Mr. Rich, Mr. Sickness and Mr. War? I’m sure they would love to hear about this “proposal” of yours…” Mr. Smile, slightly annoyed by this question, replied, “I’m afraid they… couldn’t make it.”
“What do you mean they couldn’t –“ but Mr. Smile already gestured at the PowerPoint behind him and proclaimed, “We will begin by making all pay equal; this will solve wealth inequality and fix our crippling poverty.” Mr. Frown, who was starting to lose his composure, inquired, “Mr. Smile, with all due respect, do you realise that Mr. Doctor will be payed the same as Mr. Janitor, right? Do you truly find this acceptable?”
“Mr. Frown, you are just a doubter - a thorn in my side that I would rather not trouble myself or these sensible gentlemen around me. If you do not mind, I would like you to excuse yourself from my meeting.”
“Mr. Smile, you are a terrible leader. I hope no one here is ignorant enough to give your ideas credence, replied Mr. Frown angrily as he stormed off.
“Careful Mr. Frown, you nearly lost your face!” shouted Mr. Smile, uncertain if the wind carried his message. “And we all know what happens if we lose our face…” The board nodded in appreciation, if only a little frightened. “Sorry about Mr. Frown, we will finalise this meeting tomorrow.”
Mr. Smile was the last to leave, briefly checking the mirror on his way out. And if only for a second, he could have sworn Mr. Cunning was staring back at him.