Remember Laertes? He was Ophelia's brother, and before Laertes had left for France, she had been but the sweetest girl. She had perhaps brought him flowers fetched with her own hand, just to make him happy, and showed him a glad smile as she held them out. But now Laertes was back after these years, and Ophelia only cared for Hamlet now, and all her flowers were for the Prince. Oh, the charming Prince of the Castle, Hamlet of the Mighty Family, held aloft. How Laertes had to hear about him. That is, on the days where Ophelia didn't leave early in the morning, up without a salutation or a simple tiding, rushing off to wait for her new fair boy and all his regal plumage. I suppose that left Laertes lonely, and resentful. Where had she hidden her smiles from him? I suppose that's why he warned his sister away from the Prince
And father Polonius, always lecturing Laertes, and when not lecturing, leaning in to listen for the misplaced word. How Laertes might have longed to be out from under his thumb. To desire a return to a home that felt like one. And what was his father doing, so fearful? What was this nonsense, this cowering before the thought of the stupid Prince? Disgusting. Laertes might have wondered why his father couldn't be so firm with his sister about this charlatan as he was when meddling in Laertes' own affairs? Why was this? Couldn't he just leave them all alone if he was going to do nothing real about this?
And so I imagine Laertes half dosing in an armchair, a half finished brandy close by, and daydreaming of an end to them. How they deserved it. An upending of the dear, dear Prince Hamlet, that priss' father killed and his mother tuping the killer. Hamlet's family torn asunder. How just the retribution, for taking away Laertes' own sister and using her that way. And her, Ophelia: drowned in her own craziness, as she could only be now. Polonius done in by his own snooping, stabbed from the other side of the curtain. That would show him the reward for misdirection. Hiding is never the best way. Better to be forthright and have at it with swords, as Laertes would do with his chance to meet Hamlet, and to kill in plain view, but if to kill, to repent. Ah. Right. Laertes would be the Just one. Of course it was his daydream. He would sacrifice, and be the only one free from stain.
It all seems like it had to be someone's plan, all that misfortune. Like it had to be willed.
I think about these sorts of things when I lose my job. When the restaurant that I work in, and the restaurant that I worked in before that, both close on the same day. These sorts of thoughts come to mind when an immense earthquake is followed by a catastrophic tsunami, and then killer radiation threatens my family half a world away. One can't help but wonder, really, whose reality is this? Who or what is causing all of this to happen? It would be a normal response to wonder. After all, this is not supposed to be how things work out, to lose a job and potentially see the family harmed in the same week. This isn't when I am supposed to receive the epic kiss off letter that I did from a step father who has not written for several years, but who now seems to know that I am unemployed through keeping tabs on my blog (hey Big Guy!). Really, where does this downslide let off?
But I can tell you this, this deal we call the day to day isn't fiction. It isn't a play, nor is it a play thing. There isn't a guy in a plush chair right now dangling me and my family like a puppet. This isn't Shakespeare, and there wasn't a plot. So please - and this is why I am writing this - if I see you at one of these many tastings going on, don't act all CSI: Restaurant Edition on me and try to figure out the buried secret, the hidden whatever. There was no hidden whatever. This was no one's fault. This is how it goes sometimes, simple as that. Things fall apart and we try to put them back together again. But no one did this. Don't go asking me who is to blame.
Please. It makes going to tastings a chore, and they shouldn't be. And frankly, I miss all of you (well, most of you), because I've been laying off the group scene.
Anyway, Laertes was a spiteful dude. It came out that way. But that isn't my reality. Come around and have a laugh with me sometime. We're all going to make it through.
|Sometimes a sinkhole opens up in one's world. Happens.|