Smooth, dark and perfectly square with beveled edges, the unexpected small chunk of marble peered out of my mailbox. No address, no label, no packaging, no explanation. Just a two-inch square cube of marble. It’s moments like these, when confronted with a hitherto unimagined circumstance, that I am reminded how ripe the world is with possibility. If this little block of stone can appear without warning, who knows what else might be shimmering just over the horizon waiting to be found?
The most obvious explanation is that someone in the building requested a work sample from a stonemason who accidentally dropped it through the wrong mail slot. But let us not dwell on practicalities. Instead, I beg your indulgence while I wax rhetorical: from my point of view a mysterious little cube appeared, but somewhere probably not too far away another party is puzzling over the disappearing side of this conjuring trick. For them, a perfectly expected and presumably wanted object has receded from their sphere of influence. It’s all the more remarkable for it being such a particular object. A pen, an earring, a train ticket, keys and coins and broken bits of zipper: these are the sorts of detritus people tend to leave in their wake. A gleaming palm-sized blockette? What a curious thing.
If there were a label or address somewhere I would try to forward my little chunk of stone on to its rightful owner. As it is, I’ve no choice but to house it until it decides to remove itself in search of more favourable climes. Until then, every time I look at it I will remember that the world is never so far from the wondrous and fantastical as I generally think it is.