"Did my heart love till now? Forswear it, sight! For I ne'er saw true beauty till this night."
-Romeo and Juliet
I am two blocks from Juliet's house...two blocks from the house that acts as her house...two blocks from Verona's tourist attraction (trap)...two blocks from a world of imagination.
I walked to Juliet's house and I beckoned to her window. She invited me in for a pastry, and I invited her out for a cappuccino.
"What's in a name...that which we call a cappuccino
by any other name...would still taste so wonderful..."
Now here we are.
Juliet and me.
We are standing at a bar in Piazza Erbe. We are sipping on our cappuccino, complimenting the foam that has now formed a milk mustache on each of our upper lips.
"Romeo would have loved that," I joke.
"What does thou think of love?"
"You know... we are in the 21st century, Juliet. We don't use...thou...just "What do you think of love?"
"So says the English teacher who is returning to America to stop teaching English..."
"Touche," I say.
"Mi scusi. What do you think of love?"
"It's simple," I answer.
"Did you read my tragedy? ... Like seriously....cause I died and so did my boyfriend over love. I wouldn't call it simple..."
"No. You were written to die. That is Shakespeare's fault. You and Romeo should have plotted for a new writer before that final act..."
"I am waiting. Love...simple?"
It is. It is a hand hold. It is a lend of a smile on a bad day. It is a hug when you feel nothing but loneliness. It is in what you do without being asked. It is in a handwritten letter. It is in this cappuccino. It is in your heart.
I look down at my cappuccino and then back to Juliet. "It is magical and fantastic. It is everything. It is simple."
"It sounds like you have thought about this a lot."
"Love can--and has been--a tragedy my dear."
"Or love can be life..." I add.
I look down at my cappuccino and I see a reflection of everything I have ever loved develop in the foam.
I look back at Juliet...to where she was standing, but she is gone.
"Love is believing," I think out loud.
"Thanks for letting me believe in you for a bit Juliet," I whisper to myself. "Thanks for letting me believe in love."
I look back to my cappuccino.