Saturday, July 05, 2008

Punctuation, Homosexuality, & Massive Head Trauma

The following was the result of a quick glance at a friend's away message... and drugs.

As I looked at Kristina’s away message, something out of the ordinary struck me. An entirely honest and innocent quote, probably picked up from some vapid teenage love series like that wretched OC in the most likely of scenarios, was adorning the white background. “Love can be a comma, a question mark, or an exclamation point.” Clever to an extent, I suppose. Perhaps referring to how it can cause moments to come to a halt, put them into uncertainty, or enhance them with loud yelling.

However, my initial reading of the quotation set my mind a-gasp. I read it as “Love can be a coma, a question mark, or an exclamation point.” This startled me. I thought about it for some time, almost passing out actually. How could two forms of grammatical etiquette possibly relate to the condition of Steven Seagal’s character in Hard to Kill? Or was it Out for Justice? No, it was definitely Hard to Kill. Better yet, why was the word “coma” inserted in a quote about love? I mean, what sad, depraved, French, pig-fornicating dolt came up with this gem?

“Hmm… I need something passionate yet genuine that can dazzle and entice the masses. Soon, everyone will believe that massive head trauma and love can be symbiotic in the same environment.”

Obviously, this fellow’s boyfriend was hit by a transit bus or a San Franciscan trolley a while back. I can already picture him at his mate’s bedside in tears with his job acceptance letter from the Hallmark Company in hand, vowing to never leave his beau’s side until his recovery. After giving up his potential career and awaiting his lover’s consciousness for months, he loses the edge. The right stuff. The bread and butter. The talent. Eventually, everything else too. He lost his career, his home, and his ability to compose a beautiful love aphorism. Even his car keys. And those little bastards are always so hard to find as it is. So he begins trying to write his own personal love maxims.

“Love can be a hammer to help build a strong relationship, a vice to hold it together, or a life-support machine synthetically feeding your brain-dead lover faux vitamins, minerals, nutrients, and anything else to enhance your false hopes that he/she may someday wake and be in your arms again.”

That one doesn’t work out for him too well. So he tries to write something more valid for everyday people. Sadly, his second attempt at fusing love and vegetative lovers was, although - thankfully - shorter, it was twice as archaic and thrice as puzzling. “Love can be a coma, a question mark, or an exclamation point.” What does he mean?!

Of course, eventually, I went back to reread the maxim. I had, in fact, read it wrong. I calmed myself down with some Sally Lund bread and milk. Don’t you worry who Sally Lund is either! She’s good people. The quote was increasingly comprehensible after my sixteenth reading of it.

But then I thought, “I don’t feel this proverb is being very fair to other forms of grammatical correction.” Why does the apostrophe hold no ground in the love-expression-metaphorical-realm of things? And what about the period? Why can’t love be a period? Nevermind. I just answered my own question.


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