A Tale By: Shad Bookout
It is not a glamorous life but it has its rewards. Sure, in most cases I am quickly discarded once my contents have been revealed but the journey is often terrific. The ends do justify the means. I may be destined for the recycling center, the trash, or to be banished to a dark, musty corner of someone’s attic. I may even continue my life as a bemusement for a few inquisitive felines. But it is the start of my journey and the few days that follow that define me. It all begins in a warehouse.
As I sit unfolded and neatly stacked with my brethren, I await the chime of an incoming order from an internet shopper. While I lay there in anticipation, I watch as others of my kind – both large and small – disappear and begin their voyages. Finally, my day has arrived as a generous worker releases me from my plastic-strapped prison and gently folds me into the form of the box that I was intended to become. A dressing of paper tape adorns my underneath as I am set upon a series of rollers to start my journey.
Before long, I join a series of other boxes destined for places near and far. As I roll down the gantry, suddenly my journey is paused. A lovely worker with a pretty bow in her hair places a cellophane-sealed container into my interior. This is the moment that I have been waiting for. My existence now has purpose; I know that soon, I will be embraced by an accepting individual. As I reach the end of the tracks, my contents are secured by the embrace of plastic inflatables as my lid flaps are lower and sealed with more paper tape. I am embellished with a pretty white label and lifted onto a pallet where I join more of my kind to begin my voyage.
A few hours later, I am whisked off in a truck and placed about a gigantic airplane. It is a wonderful flight. I could really get used to this traveling thing. The wheels of the plane touch down early the next morning and I am sent to another facility. There I wait. Throughout the day, I watch as other packages are positioned into big brown trucks destined for the last part of their journey. Then, as the day yields to the stars of the night sky, it is my time. As I am loaded onto a truck, the excitement of what awaits fills my humble cardboard exoskeleton. And, as dawns light burns the darkness from the sky, a brave man in a brown outfit climbs behind the wheel of my delivery van and we are off.
When we stop at around 2:00 that afternoon, I and about a dozen others like me are placed on a strange metal device with two wheels and pushed into an apartment community leasing office. I let out a sigh of relief as I am placed into a storage room to wait for my owner. Many of my kind are doomed to be delivered to the balcony door of their owners. There they may be subjected to storms, or worse – theft. But the wonderful staff at this community has chosen to care for me so that I may arrive to my owner safe and sound. I even heard one of the staff say that an automated text was sent out to alert my owner of my arrival via their package management software.
A couple of hours later, I am retrieved. I feel the warm hands of my owner embrace me as we head off to my home. Once inside, they gently cut my tape and lift out my contents. The smaller one of the humans then placed me upside down onto their head as though I was a new fancy hat to dress up with. As I am scurried away into another room, I see the smiles grow on the faces of the people who inhabit this apartment. The thing they desired made it safely to them because of me. Tomorrow I may be destined for the refuse. But I go there knowing that I made a difference, and that those who assisted along the way, wanted to ensure that my task would be successfully achieved.