Part Five: “I can see his pride / Peep through each part of him”17 July 2018
It was 1578. William Shakespeare was 14 years old when he left school. Then he disappeared. Between 1578 and 1582, there is no documented evidence linking the bard to any job or location. Nobody knows what Shakespeare did in those years. Until now.
Shakespeare stood in front of the mirror sans a shirt. He had hair on his nipples. He clutched a stumpy device and rubbed it under his arms, for odorous fumes he was told he exuded. He’d fallen in failure’s arms the semester prior, and he was bracing his mind for the semester to come. The bard pinched some waxy cream and rubbed it about his pate. His brown locks were now pointed, dipping down upon his brow. He plucked some shaded glasses and snapped them over his eyes. ‘Twas a new semester, ‘twas a new Shakespeare.
The bard strode across South Lawn, smirking and nodding as he passed fresh faces. His experience of a semester’s worth had made him shrewder than those new to the academy.
He was clad in a crisp shirt, some baggy jeans and a splayed backward cap. His studious days were ebbing away.
Dan was reclining heavily on a comfortable chair when Shakespeare entered the room, his neck craning down and gazing at the wall.
“Well if it isn’t Shakespeare gracing us with his presence for another semester.”
“I doth require your chair, Dan. It looks significantly more agreeable to my bottom cheeks than the other seats of the room.”
“Well it’s the tutor’s chair, and I’m the tutor, William.”
“On what art thou now writing thy PhD, Daniel? ‘Twould be a pity if, once again, I hadn’t the time to write one of my plays.”
Dan stared at Shakespeare, tilting his head but maintaining his gaze. Our bard watched Dan’s brow, knowing beyond it were cogs appraising the threat.
“Here, take it.”
“I doth thank thee, Daniel.”
Dan ruffled his air awkwardly, pretending not to be irked. He stood up and delivered his tutorial to a room of mostly fervent interest and the strident sighs of Shakespeare.
Shakespeare ambled towards Union House, swinging his arm the way rappers do in those plays he’d seen in the ThouTube theatre. Few friendships are ever formed with a nerdy façade, but he needn’t comply with the decorum of his former abode.
It took him too long to realise he’d been granted freedom from the societal norms of his childhood. He was now free to act as he chose. He smugly approached the UMSU offices and drummed his hands on the table.
“I doth desire to inquire about affiliating the Shakespeare Appreciation Society.”
“Cool, I just saw Nellie a moment ago. I’ll go grab her for you,” said someone wearing purple attire.
“Who is Nellie?”
“Clubs officer,” they muttered while leaving the room.
Our bard waited a bit, tapped his hand on the table, then someone else appeared clad in the same purple attire, this time with much darker hair.
“Hello, so if you want to affiliate a club, just take a club affiliation form just here and have it in by August 10. You’ll also need to write up a constitution and attend a compulsory IGM information seminar on September 11. It’s all pretty straightforward.”
“’Tis absurd the society doth not already exist.”
“Yeah, crazy. Do you have any questions?”
“Marry, the form demands 50 signatures.”
“Yeah, you need 50 expressions of interest from students so we know it’d be a worthwhile club for the student body.”
“I doth not know 50 people.”
“Well there’s always the Shakespeare theatre group, you can join them if you like.”
“Do they sit about appreciating and praising me?”
“Well, sort of. I mean not really. They perform a lot of Shakespeare though.”
“Oh, how I am undone. I shall join them for a while to see if they can fill my insatiable appetite for approval. I may or may not return.”
Dan itched the corner of his eye, his nail picking at some crusty sleep. He was sitting with his research supervisor, anxiously tapping his feet as the professor lethargically scrolled through chapter two of his thesis draft.
“Are you feeling okay, Dan?”
“Nah, just a bit pissed at this kid in one of my tute groups this semester.”
“Oh? What have they done?”
“It’s Shakespeare, you know the little shit who ruined my original thesis?”
“Turns out being a genius and a dickhead aren’t mutually exclusive.”
“Yes, I had a chat to Shakespeare a few weeks ago.”
“Well I’ve got good news for you. He owes me a favour.”