The Boxes 

A man in prison was asked to write a confession. Not a confession of his crimes, which were mostly manufactured, imaginary things, but a confession of his true feelings about existence. Confessions such as these would be published and stored in a museum of existence that anthropologists and philosophers were building. The man wrote of boxes. He was born in a box full of chrome, glassware and sterilized beds. He grew up in a cinder block box by the sea close to a railway where steel boxes rolled by from time to time. In the north, as a youth, he rode a box on wheels to another big box every day to fill in boxes on paper with words and numbers. A teacher gave him a beautiful dictionary with a cardboard box cover since he was good at words, and so he read this every morning as the rectangular box full of commuters rolled through frost, mist and snow. Later on, he got a job teaching in a box himself, and rode various boxes to this great box filled with smaller boxes. During the day, in one of these smaller boxes, he wrote in chalk on a black box and taught words to students who filled their paper boxes with words. At night, he rode a rectangular, underground box back to his neighbourhood of gray, concrete boxes stacked to the sky and surrounded by gray, boxy trees. In his own quiet box, he drank old vines, smoked, read about southern countries, listened to tango and fado from a radio box and watched the mute, gray cat stare into the nothingness with her ice blue eyes until he fell asleep. Once in a while, on a clear weekend, he would fly a box kite the colour of candle flames from a stone beach, wishing he could rise into the blue sky. The man was tired of his box life, he confessed, as he wrote in the box of his cell in the box of the great prison. At the end of his confession, he began to write of fairy tales he had heard as a child, of lands and times when there were fewer boxes. Even traveling boxes were better then; they were painted blue, yellow, and lamp black; they had large, fancy wheels full of spokes and were drawn by smoking horses. And there were great golden fields full of lilacs, lavender, and chamomile, white mountains of blue veins, and rivers that went anywhere but in a straight line. Exhausted, the man confessed that he would rather have lived as the poorest man in that other world full of texture and shapes, and at the very least, he would have preferred some rambling golden fields and some plane trees on cobbled streets with curvy lampposts. It would have been worthwhile existing then. 

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