Special Delivery

My parents packaged my head at age five. Just left a few peep holes for my eyes and a slit for eating. It wasn’t about disguise, or anonymity, or anything so profound. No, the box was all about being properly delivered to your true love.

The Ceremony of Sealing took place the first Sunday of every month. All recently turned five-year-olds were brought before the community and told to look into a monstrous mirror one last time and say goodbye to their reflections.

“Goodbye, nose.” I sniffled and touched my nose with eyes closed. I wanted to memorize its spritely shape, so I could think of it whenever it ran in the future.

Now I was frantic to notice anything else about myself, lest I should be sealed in a box for the rest of my days.

“Goodbye, lips,” I pouted then smiled, shifting between the two rapidly, in a panic. After all, I needed to know my own smile. I noticed how my top lip protruded just a bit more than my lower, how I only had one dimple on the right side.

“Goodbye, eyes.” This was my hardest goodbye. It was through my eyes I expressed all unsaid. I only remember my blue eyes could smile fuller than my lips.

Then, my parents completed the ceremony fitting the box around my neck.

“You’re the perfect package, sweetie.” Dad whispered as he sealed the thick cardboard into place completing the folds.

“You’re sure to be unwrapped soon.” Mom cut the eye slits with precision to try and give me the perfect view.

I picked up another black pebble and tossed it into fog. Was there a sea down there or just a never-ending ravine? From within my mildewy box, I couldn’t be sure.

The unknown only deepens each day when you’re waiting to be someone’s special delivery.


Written for the Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Photo Challenge. Photo credit: DeviantArt.com.

14 Comments

  1. Bulbul

    That’s amazing! I love the interpretation from the photo & it also resonates closely with the prevalent culture (esp. in my country) of ‘packing’ your body which can only be ‘unboxed’ by some stranger who will be your husband on the wedding night.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. K.Hartless

      Thank you, Bulbul. What a great comment and connection to this piece. I think there are still many places and groups that feel the same. I was certainly raised with those ideals. There was a boxed-in control that was the responsibility of the parents to enforce. I really appreciate your reaction and insight.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Bulbul

        Yeah, I think so too. The patriarchy in the societies also stems from the belief that it is a man’s job to control “his” women’s sexuality (his sisters, mother, wife, daughter etc) which leads to the belief of sacredness of virginity which is also propagandized by almost every religion. Hence, the strict guidelines and enforcement from parents.

        I am glad to know that you liked the comment as I was in double minds while posting it thinking if it might sound offensive to anyone somehow. But, frankly, all credit to your piece which lead me down the road. 👍🥂

        Like

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