The Blog

Me and a Real Dark Place


I have a fly swatter to protect me
From all that’s wrong with the world
It’s orange and it’s chipped, but it’s a good swatter just the same.

The part of the swatter that mashes flies,
The piece that keeps me safe from interruption and harm,
The top section, reminds me of a spider’s web,
And if you think about it,
A spider’s web is about as perfect as life gets on earth,
And as far as we know, earth is as perfect as life gets. Period.

Unless this life on earth is just one big failed experiment,
In which case, earth is just one good spider’s web from epic success,
Which means perfection is just one masterful insect creation from God.

I like when life works this way:
When a fly swatter does its job
And a web stays together. Whole.
It’s the only time life makes any sense.
When a fly swatter works,
Despite missing some parts,
And a web survives the rain,
Life is made sacred. Holy.

Unlike when the counterattack of the prey
Misjudges the distance
Of the dive-bombing predator on the rain gutter
And swings defensively and feebly misses,
Condemning the fly swatter to shred the web to bits,
And, bit by bit, down the water spout, bit by bit,
The web goes and washes all away.
That’s when life makes no sense, no sense at all.

When flies rule the world and spiders fall,
And down comes the son of God
And out goes the reign of man,
There’s no telling what will save us then.

That’s why I carry a good swatter to protect me
When I’m feeling down
And nothing feels right with the world
Except for a spider web.

A good swatter is all that stands between me and a real dark place.

That’s why a good fly swatter is the next best thing to a spider web
Which is perfect even when it’s not catching insects.
A fly swatter is mostly good for nothing but crushing flies
And flies are usually what stand between me and a good night’s rest,
And a restless night is a dangerous thing
For a man who has climbed atop too many wagons to fall off once again.

That’s why I like my fly swatter best of all,
Even if it’s not perfect
Like a spider web,
Which, if you think about it,
Is the most perfect of all creations.
Even in all of its wonder and symmetrical glory,
In all of its dry, intricate design,
a spider web
Remains inferior
to my chipped, orange fly swatter.
Nothing beats my fly swatter. Not a thing.
Not one itsy, bitsy thing.

About Dan Cafaro

Dan Cafaro is the founder and publisher of Atticus Books, a small press based in Madison, N.J. When Dan is not following his wife around the country, he is known to sit for long periods of time pondering how to live off the grid. Atticus Review is his first literary journal.

Comments are closed.