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Hyphen: Tell me how you gоt into all this.
Question Mark: It was not my fault, was it? They wanted me to sign some papers. And I did – I put my name at the bottom of each page. It was them that found it queer – question mark for a signature. So they made me sign with a cross. I’m not illiterate you know. Such a request upset me. All right, I’m not easily upset, but I really could not put a cross on those papers. Everybody can do that. So I put a star.
H.: Asterisk you mean.
H.: Why didn’t you simply write your initials down?
Q.M.: Would you think of such a thing when they ask you to put a cross?
H.: Not sure about that.
Q.M.: Besides I thought of my ex. Then I thought that all the x-es are y-s. Aren’t they?
H.: I think you’d like to be a star yourself. That must be the reason.
Q.M.: Wouldn’t it be wonderful? An asterisk is often like a real star – always high above…
H.: Not in a footnote, though.
Q.M.: Even then. First she appears in the text, a bit above the line, flying above the other punctuation marks, above the letters, above everything. And her reflection goes under the line of the page – as if in a lake or so.
H.: She must be very lonely…
Q.M.: Even if it is so, nobody else can divide a text.
H.: You’re also a bit taller than the others. And you can be a part of a title – no other punctuation mark could. I never saw an asterisk in such a position.
Q.M.: My grandfather sometimes played that part.
H.: What, being part of a title?
Q.M.: Yeah. An exclamation mark can have such a function, too. Besides, I have recently seen an asterisk just below a title. It impressed me a lot.
H.: Now, I really don’t understand. What aren’t you satisfied with? You can be part of a title, of a dialogue, of a monologue, of any part of any text…
Q.M.: Not any, I can’t appear in a juridical stuff for instance. Neither in a cookery book.
H.: Anyway. And you can have the company of every letter you’d like.
Q.M.: But not every punctuation mark.
H.: Hm, true. I haven’t seen you much with any of them. Sometimes with your grandfather; once or twice with the three dots. Sometimes you go out with me, although it might be considered out of date…
Q.M.: But you are like the three dots then. And I like you much, much more actually. You are very expressive.
H.: But you want another man, don’t you. You’re as transparent as water.
Q.M.: Like a TV screen.
H.: You can tell. Who’s he.
Q.M.: The full stop.
H.: You’re insane!
Q.M.: I am.
H.: You can’t stay next to him!
Q.M.: Impossibility strengthens the desire.
Q.M.: And if, no, when I become a star – an asterisk, I mean – I may well stay next to him…
H.: Now, really, I’d more easily see you in the arms of the parentheses than with him. What would people say…
Q.M.: How do you mean?
H.: A question mark next to a full stop! It’s scandalous!
H.: Because… Because there is nothing common between you, is there?
Q.M.: We can communicate well. All the talks I’ve had with him enriched me a lot. It simply works. I don’t think there could ever be anybody else I can better talk with…
H.: What are you talking about? I mean what do the two of you discuss?
Q.M.: I don’t remember. It’s always from a distance, you know. The other day we were talking about the islands and the submarines, and the big bang. About everything… Oh, I terribly miss him.
H.: What do you like so much in him?
Q.M.: Everything. He’s perfect. So complete, so harmonious, so wise and good and useful. You may forget about his existence while reading his texts – so good is he in his work, so precise. He can express everything. And he puts an end to everything…
H.: I don’t think there’s anything special about him. A plane full stop.
Q.M.: Don’t be jealous.
H.: I’m not! Even if you manage to get closer to him, let us suppose you even marry him, what kind of children would you have?!
Q.M.: Don’t be mean!
H.: Why not, after all it’s how we all end up.
Q.M.: I can also be mean. We can have semicolons, for instance.
Q.M.: Didn’t you know it was the sign for a question mark in medieval times?
H.: Look, I just remembered I had a very important appointment. But I think you have to think about the situation you are in. It is a sinking ship, if I can put it this way.
Q.M.: I just love him. He’s perfect. He has nothing to do with any ships.
H.: You’ve mentioned something about ships.
Q.M.: No! Submarines.
H.: Isn’t it the same? Sorry, I have to hurry. I have to fetch my girlfriend from the sauna, or something bad may happen…
Q.M.: It’s not the same. The submarine can go to the bottom of emotion. Of any emotion.
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