the inquisitive one

The inquisitive one was in the living room, reading.

The doorbell rang. The inquisitive one was in the middle of a good part. With a sigh, the inquisitive one set down the book, hopped down the stairs, and opened the door.

No one was there. The inquisitive one almost shut the door. But a large van was making motoring noises while pulling out of the driveway. The inquisitive one looked down, scanned around, and saw a tiny Amazon box, off to the right.

“Ooo, my stuff arrived!” exclaimed the inquisitive one.

Smiling, the inquisitive one picked up the package, brought it upstairs, and got out the scissors. That was when the inquisitive one cut the box open, removed the stuff, cut the box some more, pushed it flat, popped the plastic bags, and put the box and bags in the recycling bins. Finally, the inquisitive one placed the stuff on the coffee table and resumed reading. In the middle of the good part.

Two or three hours later, the doorbell rang again. The inquisitive one was in the middle of a good part in the same book. It was turning out that the book’s whole first third was a good part! The inquisitive one blew air out of the nose in annoyance. Hopping down the stairs and opening the door, the inquisitive one again made the astute observation that no one was there.

A different delivery van was making van noises and pulling away, so the inquisitive one looked down and to the right. Nothing was there. But down and to the left was a stack of five or six medium-sized cardboard boxes, piled to a height of three or four feet.

“Ooo, more stuff!” exclaimed the inquisitive one.

Smiling, the inquisitive one picked up half the boxes and brought them up the stairs. Then the inquisitive one went back downstairs to retrieve the remaining boxes.

It took a while for the inquisitive one to unpack all the boxes, recycle the materials, place the stuff on the coffee table, and get back to the good part.

The inquisitive one had planned to do activities that day other than read, but, as it turned out, the middle two-thirds of the book was also a good part! That was why the inquisitive one was reading on the couch when, three or four hours later, the doorbell rang.

Making a low growling sound, the inquisitive one slammed the book down, stormed down the stairs, and threw open the door.

A stack of fifteen or sixteen large boxes was directly in front of the door. The stack was so tall and wide that it obscured any delivery van that may or may not have been driving away. It was unclear to the inquisitive one whether vehicle noises were being made because, right then, the inquisitive one was exclaiming,

“This is getting ridiculous!!”

The inquisitive one had no more time to read that day. There was also no time to do any of the other planned activities. The remainder of that day was spent unpacking and recycling. But, finally, the inquisitive one, exhausted, smiled at the neat stack of stuff on the coffee table, and the absence of cardboard or plastic lying around anywhere, with the exception of some dust, and staggered off to bed.

One or two weeks later, the inquisitive one was sitting in the living room, reading.

The book wasn’t a page-turner, but it was interesting. The inquisitive one hoped to finish that chapter that day.

Suddenly, a drone flew through a window that the inquisitive one had left open for that purpose. It was carrying a cardboard package. It landed, unwrapped the stuff, and placed the stuff on the coffee table. Taking the cardboard and plastic with it, it flew out.

This happened eight or nine times over the next two hours.

In the meantime, the inquisitive one finished that chapter, and also the next!

The inquisitive one closed the book and smiled. A neat stack of stuff was resting on the coffee table.

“Woo-hoo!!” said the inquisitive one.

Cancelling all other plans, the inquisitive one spent the rest of that day unpacking the unpacked stuff. The inquisitive one got the scissors out, cut open cardboard boxes and recycled them, cut open and recycled plastic, frowned at pieces of Styrofoam while trashing them, studied instruction manuals, screwed and snapped pieces together, plugged stuff in, programmed stuff, put stuff in cupboards and closets and on dressers and countertops, and in general exhausted the poor self, before staggering off to bed.