"Quotation Marks" (a solipsistic essay)
By ice rivers
Let's get started on quotation marks, shall we?
The solopsist in "me" believes that quotation marks can not be overused as air quotes serve to illustrate the illusionary "existence" of "everything". etc. But we've covered that already so let's assume I'm not simply" imagining" everything including everyone who is "reading" these "words". Let's proceed to the problem of quotation marks themselves.
My problem goes back to the first time I ever considered quotation marks, that moment when my dear teacher introduced the concept to us...probably around third or fourth grade.
She said, "Quotation marks are complicated."
This admission encouraged me to overcomplicate whatever she was going to say next.
We had just finished "end marks": periods, exclamation points and question marks. They marked the END of sentences.
Right after hearing about how "complicated" quotation marks were.I learned that they were placed AFTER the "end" mark.
Of course I believed in "life" after "death" in the spiritual realm but in mortal, scholastic terms I was still Mr. Literal. The end meant the end.
You couldn't have these little wings,(") angelic as they may appear, showing up after the sentence had ENDED and thus were themselves, truly "end" marks even though they were not officially designated as such.
Since the idea caused a conflict in my reasoning and since the teacher had already admitted to "complication" with quotation marks, I began a lifelong anxiety about the correct placement of quotation marks.
This is how I overcompensated.
I avoided writing Dialogue.
Since dialogue advances plot, I could never become a novelist.
I became an essaayist.
Even that overcompensation was not enough.
I became a solopsist....putting "quotation" marks around everything as nothing is really as it "seems".because there is confusion between ending and beginning/life and death etc.
This has led me to write a solipsistic essay centered around the complication of quotation marks which means my whole "life". has led to this moment..this writing that I imagine that I'm writing and "you" are "reading".
Cummings once said that "life is not a parentheses."
He didn't say life is not a "quotation". mark..
So maybe it is.