Dante’s Tenth Circle

Emailing: the eighth deadly sin. Expecting not to be misunderstood via email: the ninth deadly sin.


An inoffensive email: the ninth, tenth, eleventh, and twelfth wonders of the world.


I stare at the screen, gnawing my nails to the bone. But what does it mean? Who was it that said it’s a natural law of the universe that whenever anyone reads an email, they hear it in the voice of the most critical and angry relative they have?


Of course. Who else? According to that law, I’m hearing the voice of my paternal grandmother. But no, couldn’t be; she always refused to speak in English. Said it was a lazy language and took a lot of pride in Telegu, her mother tongue.


Could probably make more sense of an email in Telegu than an email in English. And I can’t read Telegu.


Don’t think they make keyboards in Telegu though.


You think Indiana Jones had a tough time decoding tomb inscriptions in the search for the Holy Grail? Gee, let me just show you my inbox on an average night.


Phone call after phone call, hashing, rehashing, and panning for hidden connotations the way the forty-niners panned for California gold. If this sentence means that, and that implies this, which in turn suggests this other thing, then does that mean I’m a terrible person who is running my life into the ground?


Hm. Maybe. Or maybe I’m just reading too much into this and words on a screen are just words on a screen.


I look at the clock. Two hours have passed. If I only burned two hours in Hypothetical Hell, I must be growing a brain somewhere in that head of mine. Keep it up and I risk getting smart.



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