Moving Boxes

We recently moved to a new home, which meant we were in possession of boxes upon boxes upon boxes. We started out at the old house with everything (well, about half of it mostly everything) packed neatly into boxes.

We forked over extra to have professional movers for a few hours, but amazingly we had much more stuff than I would have figured, so the movers did half while we took care of the other half. Carload after carload, and a truckload from a friend as well, before the movers came to do the rest.

And then, after they were gone, amazingly the stuff at the old house seemed to multiply, as if they were not boxes but dividing cells. At the new house, our two truckloads worth of stuff had somehow become three, and the boxes were everywhere. We’d get one room cleared and boxes would double in another room. We’d unpack and put stuff away, unpack and put stuff away, unpack and wonder why we have so much stuff when I really want to be a minimalist and put stuff away. I’d turn around and where there were two boxes, now four sat.

“Oh, for Pete’s sakes!” I said.

After we had gone to bed for the night, I pretended to be sleeping, then snuck out of bed. I grabbed the flashlight I had hidden away for this purpose and a granola bar. Just in case I got hungry. I crawled across the floor slowly and stealthily, for about 3 feet before I realized the hardwood floor was murder on my knees. So I just got up and walked quietly down the hall and slipped into the dining room where the entry to the garage was.

Cracking open the door ever so slightly, I could see in the dim garage a circle of boxes. These boxes had little cardboard arms raised high as if praying to some kind of Cardboard God. The boxes did not have eyes, because that would be ridiculous and you’d question my sanity. But, they did have mouths, and they were chanting.

I can’t tell you what they said. I don’t know how to lipread cardboard boxes. I’m betting it was nothing good, because within a few moments, several boxes popped into existence around them.

Aha! I thought. Mystery solved. Cardboard God-worshipper boxes creating new boxes through devotional chants. Why hadn’t I thought of that before?

I flipped on the light in the garage. The boxes froze, then spun around to face me, their cardboard mouths snarling, their hands now holding cardboard spears, and bandannas had been tightened over their boxy heads.

I don’t want you to worry. I survived to write this. It was much easier done than you would have thought, but I’m going to dramatize it for your benefit. Just so you’re entertained. Just a little smidge of exaggeration.

“Bring it,” said I, before snapping off one bite of the granola bar for fuel. Nutty.

The boxes advanced, rocking corner to corner toward me with spears pointing toward my neck. They had underestimated me. Quite understandable, since boxes have microscopic brains. I grabbed the Windex sitting on the shelves over the laundry sink, then flipped like a science fiction space knight warrior dude through the air over the primitive boxes and their clones, landing on my feet as gracefully as a cat.

I proceeded to drench them with the Windex,  spraying until every ounce of blueness had left the bottle. In the end, the boxes were piles of wet cardboard with cardboard mouths fixed with dismay.

I hereby proclaim this house as being anti-cardboard. They can just stay out. No more of this cardboard cloning. No more Cardboard God worshipping.

If only I had this much success with plastic bags. THEY are the stuff of nightmares.

By J. Parrish Lewis

J. Parrish Lewis was born and raised in Maryland. In his youth there, he and his brother had many adventures in the dogwood forests near his home. His nostalgia for these adventures has strongly influenced his characters, their relationships, and their perspective on the world they inhabit. He moved to California’s coast to earn his degree in communications and now lives with his family in the San Joaquin Valley. Lewis is profoundly deaf and uses American Sign Language to communicate. He enjoys hazelnut coffee, captioned movies, and walking his dog.

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