Wednesday, March 08, 2006

The following was inferred from viewing the Fedex tracking page:

The little feller took off on the mean streets of ShenZhen China, where it took a Rickshaw to the Fedex place, crawled into a little box, and waited.

Then it heard a noise outside, strange voices. He heard boxes being moved around outside, but not his. He waited, and he dreamed of living in America.

Then it happened. His box moved, and he felt himself being lifted into the air. With a crash he fell still again, a little shaken up.

It took them over an hour to load the plane, and then, the engines roared to life. He felt the vibration under where his toes would be, had he toes.

Comfortable in his plastic sleeve and pressed in on both sides by Styrofoam, he fell asleep.

Then he was in Anchorage Alaska, where thieves, one of them helped by an airport employee, took my little Ipod ice-fishing. They caught a halibut, spent the night in an abandoned igloo, and drank Captain Morgan's all night.

He woke up in a pile of seal furs on a bed with a teenage hooker named Kirima. Her skin was white, and she was built like a woman. Big hips. He lay there for awhile and listened to her breath. Her apartment was tiny. A poster of 50 Cent hung on the wall. He crept outside while she slept off her hangover. He was impervious to alcohol; he had no mouth.

And then, "Back-In-The-Box" for my little Ipod. The plane took off, and for hours he stayed awake, feeling the plane dip and bank, and finally the wheels touched down, in Indianapolis IN. He was in America at last. He was free.

It was around midnight. His plane wasn't due to leave until 4:30 in the morning. The ol' red-eye. He got off the plane and looked around the Fedex facility. Nothing but fork-lifts and boxes. The fork-lifts were driven by night-shift workers, who in turn were driven by coffee. He shook his head and made his way to the front gate. The security guard, just a kid really with a tattoo on his arm and a nose-ring, nodded without saying anything.

"Shouldn't you be in school kid," Ipod wanted to say, but he didn't. Hell, if a kid that young had to take a crummy job like this, guarding some shipping facility in Indianapolis, he probably dropped out of school.

The streets were abandoned. He walked for an hour before he found a place open. It was a little all night diner, "Happy Chef," where, at this hour, there were nothing but cops and drunks out on the streets, and a few truckers.

And Ipod.

He sat down. The waitress, a girl in her late twenties, he imagines, gloomily came to his end of the bar. He ordered coffee.

"Here from the Shipping place?" She asked, not really caring.

"Four hour layover," Ipod said. "I'm headed for Grand Rapids."

The girl shrugged her shoulders. She didn't care. "What'll you have?"

"That depends on when you get off work sweetheart," Ipod said. He was thinking of the girl in Anchorage. That seemed like such a long time ago. He might not get a chance again. Once he got to his destination, it would be nothing but MP3s and image files. USB connections weren't as sexy as the connection he was trying to make with the waitress.

"I already got an Ipod," she said, "And I don't get off 'til six. You probably take off long before that. "but she smiled for the first time, and he realized there was a pretty girl behind the tough, bored waitress facade.

"Maybe I won't take off at all. I could stay here. With you."

"Yeah right, I've heard that before. A Samsung plasma was in here just last night, probably said the same thing. They all make these promises."

She looked hurt. What electronics device had she fallen in love with? Who had broken her heart?

I'm tired and this is stupid, he thought to himself. He paid and left.

But before he left, he turned and looked around. She was watching him leave. If he had had arms, he would have given her a little wave.

He went back to the Shipping Facility. The guard was reading something, a thick book for a stupid kid, Ipod thought. Maybe he'd read the guy wrong.

The conveyor belt was humming out the side of his plane, so he hopped on and waited to be sorted. He'd just got there, and he was quickly placed in the right bin and released for shipment at 2:36 AM.

He boarded the plane with a heavy heart. He thought about the girl from Indianapolis. What brand of electronics had hurt her? He would never find out. But he would never forget.

He was seated next to a noisy box of kids books from, headed to Grand Rapids also, the box said. Ipod turned the other way and tried to get back to sleep. Next stop, Grand Rapids Michigan. He wondered who he'd be working for.

He didn't wake up until the plane landed. A bleary-eyed Mexican scanned him at 5:30 AM. The trucks were lined up like soldiers, ready to deliver their toys, good news, bad news, and money to the citizens of a sleeping city.

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About Me

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I am the author of 5 books: Android Down, Firewood for Cannibals, The Cubicles of Madness, Robot Stories, and most recently, Various Meats and Cheeses. I live and write in Michigan. My website is at