November 21, 2005

Lost Package

A package arrived at my door, and inside was a box labeled “The Past.” The packing slip said, “1 of 3.”

I opened the box and spent all day poring over the contents. Oddly, the more familiar and threadbare it all was, the more fascinating I found it. After I put the box on a shelf, I kept returning to it and taking little peeks, although I was looking at things I’d looked at countless times.

Next day a package came to my door, and inside was a box labeled “The Future.” The packing slip said “3 of 3.” I thought, “Funny, the third package arrived before the second.”

I itched to look inside this box but somehow I couldn’t make myself do it, even though I had reason to hope that the contents would be pleasing. Superstitiously, I felt that by looking I would spoil what was inside. I put this box on the shelf underneath the first box, and daydreamed about what might be in it.

Next day I waited at my door but no package came. I called the shipping company and they said it was on its way, but it didn’t arrive the next day either, or the day after that. I’ve called every day since then and they keep telling me the same thing: it was mislabeled but they’ve got track of it now and it should be delivered shortly. They’ve told me that so often, I don’t believe them anymore.

It’s not so bad, though, because every time I look at that first package, it’s got more stuff inside to play with.