Shakespeare on dating

Words, words, words.

William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act II, Scene II


Alpha and I saw King Lear last Sunday, in the original German, at the Burgtheater, in Vienna.

Shakespeare, really something that guy, eh?

Klaus Maria Brandauer was Lear. He was good. Everyone was good. Even the actors where you think, they’re not as good as the rest, they turned out to be good, too.

Four hours just flew by.

Alpha arranged the tickets, and being Alpha, we had front-row seats. Also, being Alpha, in the intermission, when the aisles and hallways of the theater suddenly fill with people blinking like moles and looking for the restrooms or the buffets, she said, “I’m going to the restroom so you go get champagne.”

Being me, I went and got champagne. Slightly out of character, I got it quickly, which gave me more time to try to find my wife in the crowd.

An usher informed me I was not allowed to bring the glasses and champagne bottle (one of those little piccolo bottles that hold two glasses’ worth) back into the theater-part of the theater with me. She was nice about it, though, when I explained my lost-wife situation, so instead of asking ‘what, do lots of people throw bottles at Klaus Maria Brandauer?’ I got her to let me leave the drinks with her while I searched.

Of course I never found my wife, all intermission long.

I called her a couple times, but her phone was turned off.

Later, she called me and we had the where are you oh by the stairs i’m also by the stairs which stairs those stairs going up me too which stairs going up go to the stairs by the restroom now i’m by the bar how am I supposed to find you if you keep moving around? conversation. Then the warning bells started ringing and the usher suggested I drink both champagnes and head back to my seat. I offered her one but she didn’t drink on duty.

So I had two champagnes.

And saw King Lear up close.

Argue, argue, stab, stab.

Alpha was good-natured about the drink snafu, so was I.

When you have been together a long time, little stuff like that doesn’t rile you up. If it had been a first date, it might have been different.

Who knows?


Beta is down from Oslo so I can fix her favorite sunglasses that I fixed once before when the frame broke over the right lens and I glued it with superglue. Also she is filling up on sunlight and doing something vague with friends in Vienna.

So last night after dinner, and after her sister Gamma had gone to a friend’s house for the night to do something vague with other 13 and 14 year old girls, and after I had driven Beta to the train station to go to Vienna, and Alpha and I had finished the bottle of Moet, I sat down at the kitchen table with the sunglasses (this time, the frame had broken over the left lens) and the superglue, which was runnier than I remembered. After a couple tries, I had successfully glued the fingers of my left hand to the glasses, and the fingers of my right hand to my left hand.

I  got everything apart again. The glasses are more fixed now than when I started, but now they look less like something a movie star would wear and more like what the movie star’s crazy stalker would wear.