One day, while working at home on a video call, there came a knock at the door. Since I was not expecting anyone I thought: “That’s odd.” As one does. Seizing the occasion, I ended the boring call and ran to answer.
But no one was there, just a dry leaf tumbling down the street, blown by the wind. On the ground sat a cardboard box, about the size of a milk crate. It was addressed to me but there was no indication of the sender, or any mark at all. Only a single line of block letters, elegantly placed towards one corner, read:
IT’S A NEW THING
I picked it up, it had some weight, gave it a little shake, but nothing mumbled.
“Some promotion perhaps, in a cool edgy style?” I closed the door while scanning the neighbour's windows with suspicion, because I knew they were in there watching, and brought it in. Cut the tape with the knife on the table. Under the flap was another line of block text: MAKE IT A KNOWN THING
I opened all four flaps and there lay a most mysterious sight, the box was filled with darkness. So black that nothing could be seen. Almost to the top. I tilted it at various angles but the darkness stayed at the same level and didn’t move. I thought “This is unusually odd, what I can use this for?”
Moved by the instructions under the flap, I steadied myself, took a deep breath, and plunged my hands into the dark. Up to the elbows. It was neither warm nor cold and the box seemed the same size inside as out. Of course it would have to.
Something brushed my hand, what was that? a bluetooth speaker? I had just been shopping for one of those. Or was it, a new necklace for my wife? It had recently been explained to me how the old one is no longer working and a new one is required.
Fleeting impressions of things I’d been thinking of tantalized my fingers but nothing materialized. I decided to quiet my mind of any preconceived notions and began a rhythmic motion in my hands to help do this. Time slowed down, my breathing and pulse rate too.
On the radio came news of the government’s latest attempts to improve the ongoing health crisis. My hands flowed inside the box zen style.
Then, while a commercial played about “reliable customer demographics” through “quantified research,” I felt something more solid than before. But it too vanished. My hands swayed more slowly, now of their own accord. I became acutely aware of every event in the room no matter how tiny.
And then in the weird darkness of the cardboard box, that had been delivered to my door, my hands grasped something solid and held on. It seemed too large, as if it occupied a space greater than it's container. Which makes no sense. Now all I have to do is figure out what I’ve got here. If I let go will I be able to hold it again? That radio is becoming annoying.