“I read Shakespeare’s complete works when I lived in that basement apartment because I found “The Collected Works”, with bonus sonnets, in a box under the stairs outside my apartment. I didn’t really like the women who lived upstairs so I took it in petty vengeance. I was smug as went through each play. They probably paid a hundred dollars for that book. It was probably required for some English class they had to take in first-year university.
I read Romeo and Juliet over and over. The boy who broke my heart and I watched Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet probably a dozen times together. The Collected Works dialogue was different than the film, but they were quite close. I memorized long passages of Juliet’s monologues. I didn’t have a television or many friends and the internet wasn’t really a thing in many private homes so I read a lot. Reading Shakespeare seemed like a noble cause. It seemed like something a smart person who had gone to university would do. I had cut the boy who broke my heart out of my life but the part of me that sat on my sofa and read Shakespeare had not let go.”