Any avid reader or tenth grade English student will groan out loud and smack themselves in the head when reading this post today because Kurt Vonnegut’s death was in the news all day yesterday, and now I am going to talk about it again.
Actually, I’m not going to write much about his death at all with the exception of the simple fact that he is, indeed, dead. I only wanted to expand on a quote that I read in an article yesterday that stuck with me like a hearty oatmeal breakfast on a blustery February morning when you’re twelve and you have to walk to school with the wind whipping you in the eyeballs and your nose hairs are frozen to your nostrils making them itch. It stuck with me just like that.
Vonnegut said, “When Hemingway killed himself, he put a period at the end of his life; old age is more like a semicolon.”
It made me wonder who would want to put a period at the end of their life when there are so many other wonderful things that could go there! Like Exclamation points!! Although, those are probably reserved for heart attacks and car accidents. What about a hyphen? Would that be like a person falling into a coma for a brief period – then waking to half of their life missing? Most people will get stuck with semicolons and some will love it, drinking in the splendor of time passing like friendly faces on a busy sidewalk. Others will bitch and moan the whole time because “it’s hell on earth getting old and someone please just let me die”.
But even if I must endure the semicolon (and I think I will thoroughly enjoy it while it lasts) I would choose ellipses at the end of my life. The story ends eventually no matter what you place at the end of the last sentence, but something in those three dots makes me wonder if it’s really ever over…
Suck it, Hemingway. Period.