Wednesday, May 21, 2014

A Date for the Ballet

In April I kept getting notices that the Joffery Ballet was doing a special two-week run of Romeo and Juliet. I’m on all the snooty art mailing lists now, both because of my subscription to Hubbard and my membership at the Art Institute. This is fine; this pleases me.

Things that are true: I adore the ballet, which was as much a surprise to me when I first learned it as it would have been to anyone else. I also adore Shakespeare, and while it is as cliche as a teenage girl saying her favorite book is Wuthering Heights, I admit that Romeo and Juliet has always been my favorite of all the plays.

There's some kind of magic poetry in Shakespeare's words that have haunted me since I first watched the play, which was when I was around eight or nine I believe. I do adore Shakespeare. I’ve seen interesting productions of Hamlet, and Macbeth. I enjoyed Titus Andronicus (which hardly anyone likes). I’ve seen and read King Lear, and while I enjoyed his comedies I liked Much Ado about Nothing more than A Midsummer Night's Dream. I like Shakespere's love of violence and gore, his fascination with romance, his wit, his characters. His strong protagonist Othello, and his bombastic Caesar. What is not to love? The man was truly a genius. At the same time, Romeo and Julietwhich is like the cotton candy of all his worksis still my favorite.

After being barraged by all the advertisements to attend, I knew it was going to be impossible for me NOT to attend. I finally broke down and looked at the tickets. Surprisingly enough, there were box tickets available for opening night weekend. Also, these tickets where in the nature of what I considered “very reasonably priced.” Having never been to the ballet quite like this before, I figured hell, why not? and got two tickets.

And almost immediately regretted it because now I needed a date.

I asked the Boy.

“You want me to go to the ballet?"

"It’s Romeo and Juliet.”

“Is it inappropriate for me to chew off my own arm to escape?”

“I could promise you that you’ll get lucky.”

“Lucky because I won’t have to go?”

We want on like this for two days, so I started asking around and seeing if I could find a friend to go. I wanted to go with someone who was not in my regular social circle, but after having asked everyone who was a part of my new and developing social circle via Kinky Chicago, I was starting to feel at a loss.

In desperation, I actually put a shout out through my regular networks. No response.

I was losing hope. However, I figured at least the money was going to go to a good cause. Then, rather out of the blue-ish, one of my new friends from the kink community asked if I had found someone yet.

“Why, do you like the ballet?”

“I am not opposed.”

“You’re it!”

And so, I had a date, Faust, who would accompany me to see the ballet. And, it was only at like the last minute, so everything worked out fine.

On Friday the plan was to meet Faust at the theater, since it would take him slightly longer to get there than me. Considering, I decided I would take myself to dinner at one of my favorite places where I sat at the bar, read a book written from the point of view of a zombie while eating my dinner, and chatted up a few strangers. I do miss bars in Korea. So much easier to chat up people than in America. Sometimes I think this is the thing I miss the most about not living in Korea anymore, just being able to randomly talk to anyone, because we are all strangers here.

As the hour neared, I put on my coat and hopped down the street toward the theater and Shakespeare.

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