The Awfulness of Fancying People (Romeo & Juliet is a warning)

I was in love. For the first time.

I made her a collage.


Then I painted it.

(I can’t paint.)

Then I stole from Shakespeare:

Take her and cut her out in little stars,

And she will make the face of heaven so fine

That all the world will be in love with night

And pay no worship to the garish sun.

Nice, right?

Except I wrote garnish sun.

Garnish, like mustard, or mayonnaise.

And pay no worship to the mayonnaise sun.

She took it home and put it up above her family table.

Every trip round for dinner was a reminder that I am:

1) a romantic

2) an absolute fucking glipe

Also, weird that the quote talks about mutilating your beloved. Violent, no? But we’ll get back to that.

Everyone thinks ‘wherefore art thou Romeo?’ means ‘where are you Romeo?’. But it actually means ‘why are you Romeo?’

Why do I fancy the one boy that’s off-limits?

Names are a big thing in Romeo & Juliet.

‘In what vile part of this anatomy / Doth my name lodge?’ wonders Romeo, ‘Tell me that I may sack / The hateful mansion’.

‘A rose by any other name’, and all that.

He doesn’t want to be Romeo. ‘Call me but love, and I’ll be new baptiz’d’. He wants to change.

And the thing is, he does. As much as the play insists on the iron bars of rival surnames, it freaks out about how feelings make us forget ourselves.

Eventually the Friar, who has to listen to the wailing and the whining, loses it and tells Romeo to GET IT TOGETHER. ‘Rouse thee, man!’

‘Thy tears are womanish; thy wild acts denote / The unreasonable fury of a beast.’

He makes the case for counting your blessings and loving in moderation.


Romeo & Juliet is the most famous love story on the planet.

But it’s not a romance. It’s a warning.

It’s a play about how awful it is to be young and thirsty.

With its impatience, compressed time, messy dramas and final act of mutual relief, Romeo & Juliet’s form mimics the rhythms of the horny human animal.

Death, death, death. The thing’s soaked in it.

It’s not just foreshadowing. Loving means dying. Romeo’s a goner as soon as he sees her, because it’s impossible to carry on as before.

You can live your ~best life~, and you can love yourself all day long, but then, oh no, you actually fancy someone and there goes all of that.

Fuuuuuuck why won’t she text back?

Attraction is a kind of double possession. Your head is a haunted house.

There is a disintegration of whatever it is you’ve been carefully curating.

(Hence the cutting up.)

fall in

fall a part

Self-help influencers encourage us to massage internal fuckery with smooth, managerial care. Observe, label, detach. Don’t get your hopes up just yet.

Meanwhile, the poly crowd sing serenades to Google Calendar. So organised.

And all that’s better than dysfunction, for sure. It’s better than bad boundaries and projecting your shit and gulping down poison because Life Is Nothing Without Her.

When you don’t take drugs, and you don’t get drunk anymore, and you exercise and manage the mental health, what else is there?

I have brown sugar, nice sentences and getting my head melted. That’s it.

Isn’t it fun to tumble down the hole a little?

Maybe it’s good to forget your self.


what’s so great about how you are?

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