Caught in a Web


Caught in a Web

A World Where Life Is Always Elsewhere

By Fred Wistow

November/December 2016


3:21 a.m.

Awake.

One single solitary endlessly-repeating gnawing obliterating thought utterly consumes me:

Did that sonuvabitch respond to my email?

My body urges me to get up and find out.

“No,” my brain answers, “you can look in the morning.”

My brain is quite aware there’s no need for urgency. Soon the sun will be up and so will I. And within a minute or two after that, I will, as I do every day, as if I have no choice, position myself in front of the computer where—expectant, hopeful, yet filled with dread—I will religiously perform my morning devotion and discover what’s happened to the world since I last checked just before bedtime, as well as what the world has since delivered to my inbox, which this morning might even—fat chance!—include the sonuvabitch’s response.

“Look now!” my body insists.

“No.”

“Yes. Yes. Yes,” etc.

“Don’t do it,” my brain says to me (whoever “me” is).

“Go.”

“No.”

“Yes.”

“NO!”

My body shuts up. Middle-of-the-night torment has subsided. For a moment, in its place, middle-of-the-night peace.

Then, unexpectedly, before I even realize it, “I” seem to have decided something. My body has overcome my brain. “OK, dammit. YES! I’ll go look.”

Angrily, I throw off the covers. Determined, I sit at my desk. Manfully, I click the mouse. The computer, merely napping—never off—blinks awake and I’m confronted with a…

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