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Unpacked Boxes

When the Temporary Becomes Your Reality

By S. A. CrawfordPublished 2 years ago 3 min read
Image: cottonbro studio via Pexels

The brown box is a sentinel of sorts and a gravestone. Festooned with tape that no longer sticks, torn away and replaced too many times, that declares "FRAGILE" with ironic truth. It landed there five years ago, just for a while, and stayed there carrying the sentiments of a dead life as the new one went on without it. Scabbed over, it's disappointment and accusations are the reason that the door to the front room stays closed more often than not,

"Why am I still here?" It asks, "when do we move?"

And I face it time and time again, reaching over its aging head to find a book or dust a shelf. I'm not sure I could lift it anymore; the frustrated hopes it carries are crushing. I can count missed opportunities in its wrinkled form. Every furrowed corner seems to pose a question or contemplate a possibility.

When the sun slices through the window and carves out a bright pool on the floor, those crushed edges become a bemused face that wonders what it was all for. The education, the hope, the anger; I was supposed to fly, not fall. I was given every opportunity. Every chance. Did I make a wrong choice, a fatal one I mean - not the kind we all make?

Or is it genetic? The inability to bring a seed of potential to fruition? If the poison comes from the roots, or the seed itself, can I blame myself for not flowering? The soil in this climate is rocky, but others have managed to grow and spread. Their hardy green shoots strive for the sun, poke through cracks, or grow from boxes like this one.

It will sag and bear down before this is over. I know it as surely as I know the sun rises in the east, it will tatter and twist and gather dust because I cannot bear to put it away - my last thread of hope. My timer - if I cannot take it with me, my single unpacked box, then this will have been for nothing and I will have been beaten down by life before I can see the first signs of crow's feet. What kind of legacy is that? What kind of admission?

When the sun rises tomorrow, I will open it and regard each weary item, no longer sure why I packed them when I could have devoted the space to some other trinket, and I will pack them away again and replace the tattered tape and push it back into its corner and promise that I will deal with it.

I will write and worry about bills and ask myself when it will be over, and then remind myself that I cannot leave just yet. There is work to be done. Burdens that are mine and mine alone to bear.

And I will dream about a small, two-bedroom flat with a patch of grass and my own front door. Sparsely decorated with two old dogs curled on thick, well-loved beds in a living room with one wall painted gold so as to catch the sun as it passes. When the room is on fire with the light that has traveled boundless distances, I will sip hot tea with honey and worry about bills and dream about fitting a new bathtub with a deep center and a convenient lip to hold wine glasses. The bedroom will be abyss blue and the sheets will be forest green, and when I hang Christmas lights they will clash with every decoration I hang.

And there will be no unpacked boxes because I will be home.


About the Creator

S. A. Crawford

Writer, reader, life-long student - being brave and finally taking the plunge by publishing some articles and fiction pieces.

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    S. A. CrawfordWritten by S. A. Crawford

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