BOX
BY J.B. MILLER
*
Apologies to Nicholson Baker.

"What are you doing?" he asked.

She said, "I'm sitting in a box."

"What kind of box?"

"Just a box. I got it with the 27th-inch Sony Trinathon TV I bought at--"

"Stay with the box," he said.

"Oh, okay. You want me to describe the box?"

"Yes."

"It's, um, cardboard..."

"What kind of cardboard?"

"What kind?"

"Is it corrugated?"

"Yes."

"Is it rough on your skin?"

"Sort of."

"Are you naked?"

"Yes. Naked in the box."

"Are you wearing socks?"

"Yes. My socks are in the box."

"Good."

"Should I be eating lox? Should I be in detox? Suffering from the pox?"

"Don't try to be amusing."

"Am I sly as a fox? Is this a series of shocks?"

"Come on..."

"I've lost all my stocks. Are you getting off your rocks?"

"I'll hang up if you keep on like this."

"Sorry, sorry... But when opportunity knocks..."

"That's it." He was about to hang up.

"Wait!"

"Are you ready to be serious?"

"Yes. I'm in the box. Sitting in my socks." She giggled, but recovered. "The interior is smooth."

"Oh. What color is it?"

"The box? It's, uh, brown."

"What kind of brown."

"Uh... Chocolate brown?"

"Okay. Milk or dark?"

"Milk?"

"Milk chocolate or dark chocolate?" He was getting impatient.

"Oh. I guess milk chocolate."

"It's smooth on your skin?"

"Yes."

"Can people see you?"

"Not really. The box is on the floor."

"Is your ass cold?"

"No. My ass is sticking to the bottom of the box."

"Is your pussy stuck to it?"

"Not really. But my ass--"

"I think your pussy is stuck to it."

"Yes, you're right. It's completely stuck to the bottom of the box. I'm what you might call 'cunt-stuck.'"

"Stop it."

"But it's true. My cunt is stuck. I might have to call the fire department."

"Are your arms inside the box?"

"They are now."

"Play with yourself in the box."

"There's not much room..."

"Play with yourself."

"I am. I'm playing. Play play play."

"What are you doing?"

"I'm playing with myself. In the box."

"Describe it."

"I'm, uh... Pinching my nipples and rubbing up against the side of the box."

"Are there flaps?"

"Flaps?" 

"On the box."

"Oh. Yes."

"Are they inside or outside the box?"

"Outside."

"Okay. I want you to scrunch down in the box and fold the flaps closed."

"Okay."

"Are you doing that?"

"Hold on..."

"Are you scrunched down in the box?"

"Yes."

"It's dark in there, isn't it?"

"It's pretty dark."

"What are you doing?"

"I'm trying to breathe."

"Are you being mailed?"

"Maled?"

"Mailed. Posted."

"Oh. No, I'm being sent UPS. My tracking number is 4973540..."

"Are you on the truck?"

"I'm on the truck. Vroom vroom."

"You're being knocked about in the back of the truck. There are other boxes."

"Oh yeah, it's box city here. We're having a box orgy. We're boxing..."

"That's good."

"It is?"

"Yes."

"Oh, we're boxing, all right. I'm getting KO by a split decision in the third round."

"Well, that's--"

"It's a TKO by a 7-3 in the second half..."

"Try not to get technical."

"I'm feeling boxy. My box has moxie."

"Hmm, I like this..."

"My box is getting foxy. I'm feeling sexy in my soxy..."

"Hmm, yes..."

"I'm getting soggy by proxy..."

"Yes..."

"The door's opening."

"What?"

"It's the UPS guy. He's wearing a pair of these little brown shorts. He has very thick, muscular thighs..."

"Forget the UPS guy."

"But he's coming for me. He's picking me up. He's taking me somewhere."

"He's taking you to a warehouse."

"No, it's a school."

"A school?" he said skeptically. "No, I think it's probably a warehouse."

"I think I know the difference between a warehouse and a school," she said indignantly.

"But you're inside the box. How can you see?"

"I'm peeking out of a hole in the side."

"You never mentioned a hole."

"Well I'm mentioning it now. I'm looking through the hole and he's definitely taking me to a school."

"Okay, a school. Whatever. The UPS guy is carrying you into a school."

"Yes. I can hear the chattering of children behind walls. I think they're in a gym. They're playing that violent game where they throw a ball at you."

"Basketball."

"Not basketball! They throw the ball direct at you, trying to hit you, then you're out."

"Oh. Dodgeball."

"Right, dodgeball. I remember having to play at high school. I tried to hide, but the instructor, Miss Pinchley, yelled at me and made me come out to the open and I got hit so hard I had a purple welt the shape of Brazil for three weeks."

"Are you sure it was Brazil?"

"I think so. Why?"

"No, it's just that Brazil isn't really a very distinctive shape."

"It was my welt. I should know what it looked like."

"Well, presumably you were looking at it upside-down, unless the weld looked like Brazil upside-down to other people. Or did it look like Brazil in the mirror, in which case it'd be Brazil in reverse?"

"Look, it was just a welt."

"Did you secretly enjoy getting it? Like a purple badge of honor? Are you into spanking?"

"I'm not into getting hit by a heavy rubber ball in my right thigh."

"What's the sound?" He could hear squeaking in the background.

"I'm being moved again. They must have brought me to the wrong address."

"What's the squeaking?"

"The hand-truck squeaks."

He heard some banging and then a muffled grinding sound. "What's happening?"

"I'm back in the truck. We're moving."

"I once ordered something from one of the Adam & Eve catalogs."

"What was it?"

"Actually, it as a doll. One of those full-size sex dolls."

She was laughing. "You're not serious."

"It was a joke, really. But I was very curious. It's not so much that I expected to get off on it, exactly, but I was very interested to see how it might work."

"And did it?"

"Yes, but not in a sexual way. She turned out to be--"

"She?"

"Yes, Veronica. She turned out to be shorter than I'd expected, so she fit into a lot of the clothes my ex-girlfriend left behind. It was surprising how well she looked in them, actually, especially a little Nicole Miller black dress that showed off her terrific legs. The sex was acceptable -- nothing more -- but we liked to have dinner together and then watch TV, mostly old 'Thin Man' movies and RKO musicals. I have a lot of tapes. She liked William Powell. She used to sigh every time she saw him. Well, it sounded like a sigh, but it was usually her air leaking out, so I'd have to inflate her a bit."

"Give her a blow job."

"Well, essentially."

"Do you still have her?"

"No, I... We were celebrating our first anniversary with a lovely candlelit dinner I'd prepared of tortollini with artichoke pesto and a superb Chilean wine, and..."

"What? What happened?"

"We were lifting our glasses in a toast and she must have gotten too close to the candle and she just... caught on fire. I put it out as fast as I could, but it was too late and... I had a little ceremony and buried her in a dumpster behind the Wal-Mart."

"Why there?"

"Oh, I'd just gone there to see if they carried anything like that."

"Wal-Mart?"

"They claim to carry everything, from toe socks to automatic weapons. But they have some gaps."

"Evidently."

"So I ordered one from a new catalog. I wanted something more realistic."

"But it hasn't come yet."

He was laughing.

"What's so funny?"

"No, it's just that... Veronica had a difficult time coming. I'd lick her in this very demonstrative, counter-clockwise manner."

"You gave the doll oral sex?"

"Veronica, yes. I wouldn't have minded it so much, but she always tasted like polyurethane."

"Did you sleep with her?"

"Oh no. She always stayed in the box. I used to talk to her in the box. Except for dinner and TV time and then occasional sex, she was always in the box."

"So this is a very specific fantasy for you."

"Not a fantasy, a... a remembering."

"When did you order the new one?"

"A few weeks ago."

"What did you order?"

"Something much more expensive, more realistic. You know, with voice recognition and speech capabilities."

"It's amazing what they can do nowadays."

"Oh yeah." He heard some bumping. "What's happening?"

"The truck has stopped... they're opening up the back door."

"How do your nipples feel?"

"Bumpy. I'm being carried... They're putting me on a handtruck again. I'm being wheeled into a building."

"A warehouse?"

"I don't think so."

"After Veronica caught fire I didn't think I could go through with another model that posed a fire hazard. So I ordered something more substantial."

"I think you made the right decision."

"I know, it's time to trade up. Veronica was fine for as long as it lasted. But I think it was just a plastic phase I was going through."

"I know what you mean. I used to be into Star Wars figurines, but now..."

"You're into the real thing."

She laughed. "Exactly. I have Darth Vader back in my living room...." There was a pause.

"Hello?"

"I think I better hang up now. We've reached the apartment."

"Okay, Nice talking to you."

"Same here."

"Soon."

"Yeah, soon."

As he hung up heard the buzzer sound, and he walked, with great anticipation, to the door.

(From The Satanic Nurses and Other
Literary Parodies
to be published by

St. Martinís Press in January.)

(

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