The Boxes 

The lecturer leaned back against the blackboard, covered with chalk pictographs, and asked everyone to imagine a myriad of boxes, all of them empty, all of them impossible to open. Now, she asked, what are they? Physics! said one. Epistemology! another called out. Some said the human heart, others shouted out world religions, department stores, pulmonary diseases, bank accounts, the modern city, wasp nests, libraries, television, questions, the way. And one joked, the final exam! And then the bell rang, and it was time to depart. 

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