A couple of weeks ago, my husband and I were walking home from an early dinner on The Drive and we noticed that a dvd rental store was going out of business. A sign outside the shop said, "All DVD'S $3.00". We went in, and I told the man I didn't have my glasses; I did, but I didn't want to rummage through the shelves. He was very helpful finding the dvds as I was trying to remember all those movies I'd love to watch over again and again. We got "Alien" (husband's favorite) and I started with "The Thomas Crown Affair" (Steve McQueen/Faye Dunaway classic), then I mentioned "Master And Commander" ( I just love that movie), and then "Grey Gardens" (the movie version), then "Crying Game" and "Beautiful Thing". Finally, I shouted at the man as he way on the other side of the store "Zeffirelli's Romeo and Juliet".
I have so many memories about the movie Romeo and Juliet. In 1968, I was a sophomore in college. I was dating an Episcopal priest. Well, dating might be a stretch. We were using each others bodies for sex on a regular basis. He was using mine because I was 18-ish, and I was using his because he was the second male I had ever had sex with and I didn't know any gay people or even where or what a gay bar was. There was no emotional connection, just sex. He was 31 or 32 and kind of attractive. He was slim, polished and could charm the hind leg off a mule . He also played the violin . I sang in the church choir and would stay with him overnight on Thursdays as that was choir rehearsal night and usually Saturdays as well. He once suggested we rent a cottage together, but the more I got to know him, I knew it was all about convenience for him and I would end up being a dog sitter. So...,no. In his own way, he was much like Father Ralph from The Thornbirds. He was very ambitious about the business side of the church and most importantly about his self advancement of 'priestdom'. What he really wanted was a crown.
The priest called me at school one evening and asked if I wanted to go with him to see a Shakespeare movie that had just come out. I said alright and he told me he wanted to go on this coming Friday night. That was rather odd because we usually hooked up on Thursdays and Saturdays. We met up at his place and then drove together to the theater. When we arrived, practically every gay priest (or so it seemed) from the western diocese of North Carolina was there to see a nude scene of Romeo of which I was clueless. When the infamous scene began , the theater got dead silent . It was like watching porn in a legitimate movie theater. You couldn't believe your eyes! Those perfect buns lying on the bed for the entire world to see. It was both breathtaking and shocking at the same time. Especially for that era and in North Carolina. Needless to say, I gained a new fondness for Shakespeare. And as a plus, sex with the priest that night was particularly memorable.
As for the priest; In the years to follow, theocratic politics and his private past plagued the priest and he never advanced his position.
But more importantly, I wonder what Romeo's ass looks like today?
Or do I really?