Imagine your perfect day. In your perfect day do you imagine a fish head in your dinner rations, having the job of keeping the fire going while the others lay bricks in the snow and wind, or getting two extra cigarettes toward the end of the day?
For Ivan Denisovich Shukhov today was a perfect day for these things and more. A prisoner of a Siberian Gulag camp in Russia, a prisoner rarely feels like it is there day. Some have been there so long, they do not know what to do with themselves when they leave.
"The end of an unclouded day. Almost a happy one. Just one of the 3,653 days of his sentence, from bell to bell" (Solzhenitsyn 98).