The Diagramming of Sentences
A tale of love and grammar.
I am a specialist in the diagramming of sentences. Sometimes I sit at my desk and draw diagrams all day long. Such noble, rational, tree-like graphs: subject, verb, direct object along the main trunk; adjectives, adverbs, prepositional phrases branching off so gracefully!
Always, I carry reams of paper covered with my diagrams. I show them wherever I go, to whomever I meet. For shouldn't someone try to promote order and systematic thought in this all-too-chaotic world? I have made it my mission to do so.
Lately I have taken a lover. I do not think that she likes this preoccupation of mine. I confess that I am coming to understand her point of view. At night, in bed, the pages of diagrams that I use in lieu of sheets and blankets slip and slide around, coming between us, blocking our embrace.
Finally, last night, she broke down and sobbed in frustration. “Oh, please don't cry,” I said. “My finest analytical achievements are as nothing beside the flash in your eyes, the tremble of your lips, that say that we were made for each other!”
She smiled. The crisis had passed.
Life, methinks, does not always lend itself to diagrams.