Dear Juliet, You Poor Sap:
I’ve passed through the tunnel of graffiti love notes – unharmed by tottering human towers attempting to immortalize their romances on the clean wall higher up – and stand before you in your courtyard, beneath literature’s most famous balcony. Well, I stand before a bronze statue of you (proof of your existence!) at the ancestral home of the Dal Cappello family (Cappello, Capulet – same diff) redecorated with movie props and “evocative excerpts” from the play.Nothing a timeless love story realized in masterly poetry can’t distort a bit, as evidenced by the throngs of moony-eyed tourists vying for elbowroom.
According to legend, the heartbroken, lovelorn, forsaken, etc. should affix a letter detailing their romantic woes to the wall of your house and you’ll make it right, presumably with all the ease and success of your own amorous efforts. Seriously – and with every respect owed to such a celebrity character, albeit one who is 13 – who thought it was a good idea to write to you for romantic blessings? You and beau die, to the successive despair, fury, exasperation, and apathy of 8th grade English students everywhere. Romeo and Juliet is not romantic: it’s a horrifying tragedy, a grisly warning for all potentially rebellious pre-teens about the mortal hazards of defying overbearing Asian parents – did I say Asian? Not all overbearing parents are Asian. Mine are, though.
Anyhow, you’ll excuse me if I harbor doubts about actually leaving this letter for you. I also don’t much fancy that 1,039euro fine for vandalism (in accordance with Art. 639 of the Penal Code) and am short on gum, which seems to be the contraband adhesive of choice. Then again, you can’t really go anywhere but up from nonexistent, so I suppose I’ve got nothing to lose. Maybe I could learn some from your extreme sexual precociousness (the age thing freaked me out when I first read the play, and freaks me out now).
Could I just ask, though, how do you feel about the other bizarre superstition that haunts this place? You know, the one that you really feel: the conviction that rubbing your right boob imparts romantic luck? Again, the age thing weighs heavily on my prudish sensibilities, as do the creepy snapshots I inadvertently took of middle-aged men clasping your boob and flashing their pearly whites (I honestly just wanted a picture of you, but they just kept coming).
To conclude, as I’m sure you’re a busy gal, something of love would be nice. Anything. Please.
I’m off to pay money to see the bed where you and Romeo first diddled, or fake diddled in Franco Zeffirelli’s classic 1968 adaptation.
Wish I were better versed in Shakespeare and could make a clever reference here,