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The Man in the Box

Updated on March 11, 2014

Sometimes I feel like I live in a giant box.
The walls are clear enough to see through, but old and melted, so everything is slightly distorted.
Depending on the day, all sorts of different sounds get through.
Some days I hear everything, and if I close my eyes, it's as if the box isn't even there.
Other days, everything is muffled, I catch every third or fourth word, but the rest sounds garbled.
I try to sleep, I try to get comfortable, but the box just shrinks around me.
I try to relax, I close my eyes and inhale, but no air comes. I gasp and weeze, but the harder I try to stay calm, the more panicked I become.
And the ghosts are the worst.
Not only because they are ghosts, but because of who they used to be.
Once they were family, once they were friends, once they were the people I loved the most.
Now, they appear as ghouls, hardly resembling their former selves.
They haunt and howl and bang on the box at all hours of the night.
They try their hardest to rip though the box, flinging limp, lifeless limbs against the walls, scratching and tearing.
But the box never breaks.
The box never scratches.
The box never fails.
Sometimes I wish it would.
Sometimes I wish the walls of my prison castle would shatter around me, and I would be defenseless against all the harsh, unforgiving evils of the world.
So it would be quiet.
So I could find peace.
So I could be alone.
Other times, I prance around the box, taunting and mocking those who can't get in.
For I invented the box, I built the box out of everything that I am and everything I hold sacred.
More often than not though, I just sit in the box and blankly stare, trying my best to ignore the hell that surrounds me, trying my very best to make the box as big and strong as possible.
I don't know how long I will stay with the box.
I don't know how long the box will stay.
I don't know when the darkness will come or the light will leave.
All I know is that I am the box, and the box is me.
And that's the way it will always be.

© 2014 Ryan Smith


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