Lapsing Into a Comma

Graphic courtesy of The Mothership Looking back on it from yesterday's vantage point, last week had such a dreamlike quality that I wondered if I had been in a coma. Looking back on yesterday from today's compos mentis vantage point, I now understand that I wasn't in a coma at all. I was in a comma.

Although it may seem trivial at first, the difference between the two goes beyond mere semantics. When one is in a coma, the smallest task becomes tedious, and disagreeable. Simple pleasuresmouthwash and peanuts come to mindlose their fascination, and begin to chafe. Friends stop calling. Strangers cross to the other side of the street, and household pets seem indifferent, or even hostile.

But last week wasn't like that at all. Mouthwash was as much fun as ever, the dog wouldn't leave me alone, and I received just as many telemarketing calls as before. Really, last week had more in common with using a comma as the final punctuation mark in a sentence; there was the sense that something ought to come next, and it shouldn't be blank space.

On the other hand, spending a week in a comma doesn't have to be ruinous. I'd like to believe there's a lesson to be learned from every impediment, which may explain today's special optimism. I may not remember it tomorrow, but today I'm confident in my new understanding of punctuationality, and oblivion.



  1. Thanks for the fun! My favorite bit: "Simple pleasures—mouthwash and peanuts come to mind." A friend asked me today: "Is punctuation inherently eccentric?" After reading your latest post, I'm tending toward a "yes."

  2. Glad you enjoyed it! And yeah, I think punctuation is inherently eccentric. Plenty of proof out there, and in here of course.