Please frogive my typos. I know this is sloppy butI’m freakijg out right now and don’t have time to edit. just wanna get my thouhgts sorted out in the hopes maybe i can decide wht to do. maybe somebody can give me advice....
I guess I should start by introducing myself name is Arnythidora. And I’m probably the only Arnythidora living on earth. Maybe the only Arnythidora ever to exist in human history.
Yeah, it’s a weird name. See my parents were both hueg nerds for Greek mythology. And their favorite story was the one of Pandora and the jar. That's the one where Pandora, the first woman, was gifted a beautiufl jar from the gods, crafted by hephaestus-- and it came with a warning that sh emust never open it. of coruse, curiousity got he better of her, and when she opened it she unleashed terrible curses on humanity: greed, sickness, death, insnaity sorrow, death...and all the rest of the evils of the world....
Actually, ‘favorite’ was the wrong word. Thar was the story they obsessed over. They were constantlay fixated on it. And they often wondered what kind of paradise life woudl be like if pandora had kept hte jar sealed. They naned me after that story— when I was a little kid they told me my name meant “refuses gifts”. It's almost funny that the myths said pandora married Epimetheus-- the god of afterthought and regret.
Also I guess I shiuld jsut come out and say it: they weren’t really nerds. That word doesn’t go far enough. See, they were believers. THey were polar opposites in almost everything-- except their belief. Mom was extremely neat, and propepr. Fastidious in all things. Her handwriting was small and careful. Dad's on the other hand was nearly impossible to read-- atleast for the casual acquantacne. He seemed chaotic. HE was absent minded. Where she would never step foot outside the house without tending to her appearnace, he'd walk out in pajamas or torn sweats and even go to the grocery store that way.
Like i said just about polar opposites except in that one thing. THey both fully bleived all those greek mytsh. They thought zeus and hades and hephaestus and allt he rest were real. tHey weren't worshippers though. They thought eh greek gods were cruel at worst and uncaring at best. But they thought theyw ere real.
And I suppose if I’m being hobest, so do I. At least I do now.
But I’m getting ahead of nyself. Before I can apologize I neee to explaon what happened.
Last night my video doorbell caught motionoutside while I was sitting with a book.
But I didn't see any body on the view finder.
I figured it must be an animal, like a fox or raccoon or something that darted by and triggered the motion detector but left the fieldof view. I got up out of curiousity to see if I could if maybe it woudl come by again and I could spot it.
And when I looked out the front window i saw movement near the eaves of the roof over my porch. Then it came into view: a drone. It was hovering there, and it had what looked to be a cardboar d box clamped to its belly.
I flicked on the porch light to get a better look.
No company label on the box. Nothing on the drone either. It was jet black. Didn't even seem to have a light. At the time I didn't realize how weird that was. But drones pretty much always have bright littrl LEDs on them. For visibiility and whatnot. But this was like sleek black shadow. And the box was kinda strange too. No tape marks.
No visible flaps or folds either.
well I waited for it to drop the package. But it just sat there hovering.
Maybe for 15 minutes it just floated there. Like it was waiting.
I mean, the battery life on those things can't be indefinite. you'd think it delivery drones would be programeed or piloted or wahtever to drop off their packages asap and return to their dispathc.
But the weirdest thing was how it seemed so perfectly still. I haven'te seen drones flyring around that much, but the few occassions where i have they seem to kinda drift around even when they're not actively in motoin. This one wasn't budging. Wasn't swaying at all.
It's not like it was a huge windwstorm outside but it wasn't entirely calm out there either. I could see the tree branhes sorta gently waving so I knew there was some slight kind of breeze. But the drone...
Well it just seemed odd. Out of place almost.
finllay iopened the door. Maybe I shouldn't have. but curiousity got hte better of me.
Right when I opened the door, the dsrone silenty landed on the porch, detached from the box and flew away.
On the top of the box was a note. the writing was worse than chickenscratch i recognzied it immediately. My father's.
My head felt like it was spinning. I almost thought i imight faint. It wasn't just weird to get a package and a letter form dad-- delivered via drone in the middle of the night.
It was impossibe.l.... dad and mom had both died 3 years ago in a car accident.
I thought perhaps it was a prank. Maybe even a prank pulled by dad himself. Maybe he had written a letter and arranged fora friend to send it to me years after his death... but
well it didn't feel like a joke. I plucked up the paper, it felt oddly smooth, like soft fabric.
It said: "Arnythidora, we were right to believe. your mother and i have met pandora here in the fields of the underworld. Hades has permitted her contact with her husband- god, Epimetheus. And without his knowing, we have conspired to send epimetheus this letter along with out plea. We asked him to beg hepaeustus, he who crafted pandora's jar, to craft a new container and send it to the surface. If anyone can convince hepaestus to regret his the craft's of his past it will be Epimetheus.
We asked him to craft send this new container entirely empty and ready to be filled. If you're reading this letter, then our message was recieved and Pandora's husband has succeeded. after so much human suffering over so many years, you finally have a chance to refuse pandora's gifts! Be wise, you are our greatest pride. Love, mom and dad"
I looked down at the box. Looked closely.
That's when I realized it wasn't even cardbaord. It was entirely smooth, entirely flat, and entirely seamless, except for the simple, flat lid... I touched it. It was cool, like stone.
But when I lifted it, I found it to be light as ari.
I tried the lid, and found it opened easily, though I couldn't discern any hinges or folds.
My head was buzzing so hard it hurt.
and my fingers were trembling.
Sounds insane to write this, but in that moment i was excited. I should have been more skeptical but I believed. After so many years of my youth, always silently judging my parents for their fanaticism, I had fallen into belief like a swimmer dipping into a pool.
But it felt natural and right, and whatever skepticism I'd once held, it was totally gone.
I knew it was true: my parents had pleaded with pandora, and she'd pleaded ith her husband-- the god of regret-- and he'd pleaded with the god of the forge, to send a box to humanity, that would allow us to lock up some of our woes.
And there i was dreaming of the possibilities. a world without pain and death and suffering.
But how was i to catch these things in order to box them?
THey'd flown out of pandora's jar, how could I scoop them back up? IMPOSSIBLE.
but up until that night so was a delivery from the gods, and a message from teh underwold.
wishing beyond hope and hoping behyond reason I said, "Alright then, i guess I'd like to put greed in the box."
And the air around me seemed to de-pressurize. It was like I was in a cyclone, but all the air was blowing into the box. It's tough to describe, but igues you could visualize a vaccuum cleaner, only hyper powered. actually ou know what it was like? an implosion.
And when i looked in the box, I saw a green smoke, swirling in the emptiness. My heart was slamming in my chest, and part of my brain was kinda desperately trying to makes senese offallthsi. that liltte part of me insisted this was some kind of hallucination. Maybe a dream. Maybe a bizarre lapse of sanity, all brought on by the long sitting grief of losing my mom and dad.
But my eyes weren't lying. The greed int eh box was glowing witha sickly light. I shut the lid, and when I did some small something inside me shifted. I no longer felt any kind of longing for anything material. I never thought of myself as a super materialistic or selfihs person, but i suddenly didn't care at all about my own belongings. and a plan formed in my head to donate the things I didn't currently need-- but before i could make good on the plan I wondered if what i was doing could be undone. I opened the lid again.
It was empty-- or so i thought. On close inspection I saw some dry, green dust, along one of the bottom corners. and i udnestood: Whatever i boxed was here to stay. maybe i could shake the dust out if i really tried, but the swirling chaos that was greed was sapped of all its flowing energy. it looked inert, and utterly trapped in the box. So I had shifted the human condition-- taken greed out of our psyches and trapped it away.
Pandora had let all the evils of our world out, and I never faulted her for it. It was her curiosity that did it. And I felt a burning curiosity now. what else could I remove?
I said, "I'd like to put murder in the box."
Nothing happened. And I puzzled at that for a long while. Finally I settled on the supposition that things-- even immaterial things, elements of thehuman psyche-- could be boxed, but actions could not. I had boxed up greed, but I couldn't have boxed up theft.
Even a gift from the gods had its limits.
And I wondered what i should box up next.
I wanted to do away with murder, and said, "I'd like to put hate in the box."
another vaccuum sensation, and implosion centered on the container. And black smoke swirled into teh box. It was ugly to look at, it seemed to boil over on itself. I shut the lid....
And i thouhght about how badlyl i missed my parents. i thoguht about how much i feared regretted and feared death. And i said, "I'd like to box up..." But I faltered. I wanted tos ay death.
But something in my gut warned that could be a mistake. i mean living for ever could get... really tedious. Miserable even. And what if humanity was robbed of death but kept reproducing. Would we eventually overcrowd our earth to the point of complete misery? it was then i realized that some of the curses pandora released were actually mixed blessings.
And i had already, hastily and foolishly, removed two.
greed and hate. Were there any goods brought by these things, goods that I'd now refused for the whole of humanity?
I thought long and hard about that and decided that removing these two ills really did no harm. and I felt like a hero. almost like a benevolent god mysel.f i had benefitted human kind drmatcically in a few short minutes. And my heart was buning to do more. What other benefits could I bring? what other additions by subtraction... Even though my head was warning me that I would get carried away and do harm if I let my ambition and curiosity get the better of me, my gut was making a loud demand. a strong demand, that I continue.
I wouldn't remove death as a whole, but maybe i could remove someparticularly bad deaths.
I said, "I'd like to box up child cancer." smoke swirled into the box, and where the others had been merely visual, this had a smell to it. It was pungent, and malignant in and of itself. It smelled acrid and vile. I shut the lid imediately.
I boxed up racism. i boxed up homophobia. I boxed up pedophilia and I knew in these I had made no mistakes, but only improved the world for the people who live in it.
I realized selfishness was a little different from greed, and boxed that up. I realized child cancer wasn't theonly bad death and starting boxing up the worst diseases i could think of. I boxed up pollution and boxed up nukes and as much of the machinery of war as i could--- and i spent the past hoursboxing. I even boxed up predatory loans.
but here's the problem: I can't think of anyting else that's purely negative. But i know there's more that should be boxed. I know there are woes in our world that have no redemption, and no silver lining.
But I'm not sure how to find them, and i'm worried I might box up something we'll lateer miss.
Maybe i should just stop. Maybe i should box up the box and call it quits-- an drest content with the knowledge that i havve bettered the world beyond anything i could have hoped in my wildest dreams.
But i can't . I'm hooked on the feeling of righting some wrongs and making things better for the people on this earth.
even though i've alredy boxed up malaria and zika but i'm tempted to box up mosquitos. I can box up th erest of the diseases they spread to make them mostly harmless, but I don't see th ebenefit.
do they do anything for the environment? i don't know. What about ticks? Should i box them up? can i box them up without harming our world. I don't know. But again, i'm so tempted. And i'm afraid of making a mistake and going to far.
Speaking of afraid, what if i box up fear?
I think a lot of human misbehavior comes down to fear. Most prejudice and biasfor instance, that's rooted in fear. And i could box it up right now... but... doesn't fear help us avoid some real, honest dangers?
I don't know what to do and i think if i keep this box i'm going to make a serious mistake. But i can't let it go, for fear that there's more i ought to box up.
I don't know what to do, i need hellp decidieng
damn i can't sleep right now i'm lsing my mind over this. what do i do?!
About the Creator
I consider myself a "christian absurdist" and an anticapitalist-- also I'm part of a mixed race family.
I'll be writing: non fiction about what all that means.
I'll also be writing: fictional absurdism with a dose of horror.