Two packages rest beside each other. They’re meant for different destinations.
The first. Swaddled in bubble wrap. Two strips of tape, cut to the same even length, placed on either side with care. Measured and exact. Everything held together just as it should, with as little waste as possible. An address double checked and triple confirmed. Arrived late but full of confidence.
The other. Thrown into a nice-looking but shoddily selected cardboard box. What’s inside does not fit into the corners, unmanageable. Too big. Too sharp. Too much. Its insides cannot be convinced to stay where it is safe. Its insides push out of the paper-cut seams, like a five pound sausage escaping a two pound bag. Bruising and unattended. Angry? It is red in the face. In truth? It’s just gasping for air.
The busted package is beloved when its time has come. An underdog trying to make its way to wherever it belongs. What kind of monster cuts tape with accuracy and precision, anyway? The packages are kept together. Made examples of. Warning signs paraded as opportunities.
But when it comes time for deliverance, only one is sent forth. The one that was loved. Containment and all its benefits. The busted one, damaged goods, sent back to where it came from, its journey left untracked because no one cares, really, where it ends up. As long as they don’t have to look at it, hear about it.
And how else can it be?