Plunk. Plunk, plunk, plunk, plunk. Plunk, plunk, plunk, plunk, plunk. Plunk.

A book I read recently, I can’t now recall which one, talked about the importance of punctuation, of leaving space between words. I thought it was a load of crap, the kind of thing my overly-emotional freshman roommate would nod her head at and say “Wow, that is so true.” Now, staring down at the coffee-stained flyer I grabbed out of the recycling bin I am wondering which mark will give you the space that you need—a comma? A semicolon? A tilde? I don’t even know what a tilde is, but it gives me hope.
After deciding on a standard period I quickly realize the mistake. It seems so permanent, so, final. I guess that’s the point but I’m not ready to commit to a period just yet and so as I reach into my desk drawer, I search through the files stored away in my brain from Mrs. Tracy’s seventh grade language arts class for any combination of scribbles on a page that doesn’t lead to an end.

The white out dries and I am disappointed that the white of the white out doesn’t match the white of the paper. Suddenly I am overcome with anxiety about which is worse, the fact that I have made an irreparable error and tried to cover it up or the fact that I have made it more obvious. Now, thanks to some schmuck trying to get rich off of other people’s mistakes there is a huge glob of Liquid Paper glistening, radiant in the fluorescent light, the perfect piece of evidence. Exhibit A.

After some time I decide that the glob punctuates the words I have typed quite nicely and I turn out the light. I wait until I hear you lock your door and then I climb the seventeen stairs to your landing, fold the paper in half and silently drop it through your mail slot. Running back down the seventeen stairs, I take only eight steps and slam my door shut. Before I can fall asleep I check the dead-bolt three times to make sure it is unlocked, just in case.

Finally, I give myself over to sleep and as soon as I do I am plagued by foam-tipped white out brushes that split and multiply like the brooms in that one segment of Fantasia with Mickey Mouse. They drip and ooze, filling the castle with gallons upon gallons of perfectly pristine correctional fluid.
When I wake up the next morning, the smell of the stuff still lingers in the room. I see a small puddle on my desk that looks like spilled milk, a drip hardened and still at the edge the blotter.

Out of the corner of my eye, I see a piece of paper, a flyer advertising the Russian Culture Club Barbeque folded in half and resting with its corner stuck in the mail slot. I leap out of bed and pick up the paper. Clutching it to my chest, I make a show of closing my eyes and whispering a quick prayer.
Inside all it says is Thank you.

Thank you with a period.

Just to double check, I look up “punctuation period” on my internet search engine and it confirms my worst fears. Used for abbreviations or to signal the end of a statement. I write “Fuck Mrs. Tracy” on a sticky note until it is covered in black lines and the ink is smeared on my hand and fingers. I never liked grammar anyway.


~ by ettaqueen on December 27, 2010.

One Response to “Plunk”

  1. love this one.

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