Box

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            It was about three months ago that they discovered The Box.

            I don’t know why I’m here. If Bruce hadn’t been pestering me about it for so long, I’m certain that I wouldn’t have come at all. I glance over at the sign on our right for the eight millionth time. “Wait: Approx. 6 hours”. Over three thousand people were waiting in line ahead of us, and a few thousand more were behind. Bruce and I have been standing here for the entire day, and I am starving.

            “We’re almost there,” Bruce teased.

            “We are nowhere even close,” I moaned.

            “More than halfway,” he shrugged. “I mean, the first sign we saw was fourteen hours.”

            I tilted my head back and stared up at the sky. The sun would be setting soon. We had only packed four sandwiches, two apiece. We were idiots to think that that was enough. I’ve gone through five water bottles, it’s swelteringly hot outside, and I wish that I had just stayed home and watched Netflix all day.

            The line inched forward. I was starting to crave those slight movement, but at the same time, I hated them. One step forward. Wait three minutes. One step forward. Wait three, maybe four minutes this time. Forget watching TV. I wish I were dead.

            At the end of the street, barely visible, Bruce and I finally can see the building. They’ve set up a big dome for it, making it look all futuristic and stupid. “The Box! Tickets only five dollars!”

            I remember seeing the ads back when it was first discovered. “Scientists have found a source of infinite happiness!” reporters declared on the news. “And now they’re selling it at the cheap price of four ninety-nine, and they’ll let you experience ten seconds of pure bliss.”

            Things escalated quickly. I know people who have stood in this line six or seven times, and are always willing to come back for more. Unemployment has risen, I hear. People quit their jobs to wait in line. Idiots.

            Bruce has already been through this line once. That was a month ago, and the line was only ten hours long back then. In my mind, that’s not much of a difference, but Bruce has been badgering me to go ceaselessly because, “The line will only get longer.”

           We take another step forward, and I catch a glimpse of a cop walking by on the other side of the street. There are a lot of cops wandering these lines. Just a few hours ago (wow, I can’t believe that I can say that so casually), we saw a guy freak out, storming through the line, punching people out of his way. Turns out that waiting for fourteen hours isn’t an option for some people. They want their dopamine now.

            It was kind of funny, in retrospect. This guy just went wild. He was charging up the street, shouting his lungs out, shoving people that tried to stop him. Apparently that happens pretty often. I’m honestly pretty surprised that he’s the only one that we’ve seen so far. Bruce saw three people try to run to the front when he was here his first time. It’s the only excitement you get when you’re waiting out in the sun.

            I swear, this is the only time in my life that I’ve wanted it to rain. To feel the cool water hitting my face, wiping the sweat from my brow. I crack open another water bottle and start chugging.

            They say that the stock market’s crashed. That’s pretty funny.

            They say that this inventors of The Box are now the richest people on the planet, in just three short months. That’s kind of amusing.

            People are saying that after the economy falls apart, waiting in line for The Box is all that anyone will bother doing. That’s fairly humorous.

            Another three minutes pass. One more step forward.

 

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