Friday, 5 February 2010

Man in the Box

I am the Man in the Box.

I live there. The Box is my home. I grew up there. I have explored it far and wide and I now know every nook and cranny of it. I have observed its perfect angles and admired the beauty of how the lines blend into another. I have made certain deductions and I am now 100% sure that the Box is either situated on a hard surface and attracted by a massive object, or that it is moving linearly with constant acceleration, with me inside it, pinning me to one of its sides, which I call the floor.

That was a long time ago. By the end of my teens I was sure I knew all there is to know about the Box. But time and time again, it would surprise me. In fact, the surprises were so regular that their appearance wouldn't surprise me any more. I have refined theories and changed my tastes and philosophical beliefs quite a number of times.

But that all came to an end at some point. No more surprises. That is, until the really big and, dare I say it, last one. You see, attached to the sides of the Box were 11 letters. I discovered them from back when I was a kid. There was a 'D' on the floor, an 'S' on the near end and an 'E' quite close to it.

I was a youngster when I made a remarkable discovery! I had already found the 'I' and the 'G', but not others. I was bored, so I started scratching around one of the letters. Often it is the case that such destructive behaviour is what leads to advancements in knowledge. By proceeding to tear apart the very fabric, I had witnessed a very interesting property: the letter would detach from the side of the Box!

(Actually, I later thought hard about it and questioned myself whether they had this property before that day or did they somehow get it over time. I found it miraculous that I did not discover it sooner. But finally I came to the conclusion that it was irrelevant.)

I was so excited! I quickly gathered all letters I knew of and the enthusiasm pushed me to find 'N' and 'C'. The other's were harder to find. There was the 'H' that was stuck up on the ceiling. I had known about it right after the first 3 that I found, but I couldn't reach it. Was I ever so happy when I finally grew tall enough to grab it. Then there was the case of the 'O' which, would you believe it, I found in my back pocket! Now that was quite a shocker!

There was a gap between the last letter and the one before that. The fact is, I had already found the 'R', but only far later did I act upon analyzing the letters in depth and made another stupendous discovery. It is after a lot of experience and countless surprises that you come to a point where you realize there are some certain patterns all around you. That is when I turned rigorous and started studying my surroundings systematically, especially the letters. It even now amazes me that such regularity lead me to find something that was quite irregular. There is regularity in irregularity, and irregulars among the regulars. That is my current belief. The letter 'R' was in fact two 'R's stuck back to back! I checked the other letters, but 'R' was the only one with this unique property. For what purpose were there two 'R' letters I had no clue.

Soon afterwards, irregularity struck me again, but at a higher level. On opposite sides of the Box, at exactly the same coordinates from the corner (I measured this once), there were two dots. I had not thought about this before, but they could be detached the same as the letters. Incredible! Different kinds of objects, but with the same property! What beauty!

So there I was, with a bunch of letters and two dots. I scoured the edges, I travelled the Box far and wide, studied, analyzed, observed, admired, but nothing more. Nothing surprising happened again. Until now, that is. I was jumbling the letters around, when it happened. Somehow I think I put the dots in the right place. Again, I am amazed that I had not put them in that same position in one of the numerous occasions when I played with the figures before. But then again what strikes me is that I was just moving them subconsciously around. It must have been some pattern that my brain had seen and told my arms to place the figures in that way. It almost seems like something else was in control.

I had no fears, for I had no enemies. There were a spider and two cockroaches. I was frightened by them when I was a kid, even though they did nothing to me, and I would stay away from them. But after I grew up, I wasn't the bit affected by their presence.

Now, however, it is the worst feeling of my life. It rushed through my whole body at great speed. My heart started pounding hard, ready to burst out of my chest. My body followed by shaking vigorously. Not even the End would give me that kind of feeling. In fact, I am quite sure of it, it feels like there wouldn't be any End.

The ceiling of the Box split, a bright blinding light burst inside and the top gave way.

I was the Man in the Box....