The question he posed wasn’t Shakespeare’s at all.
It wasn’t being or not being:
the master was quite wrong.
“To be or not to be” was a solitary question.
He didn’t want to live alone.
Alone wasn’t his thing any more.
He wanted to be an artist with muse he could
touch, and smother and love and
take with an abandon she’d abandon her everything
in order to acquire: and he wanted her to acquire
him; he wanted to be owned; he wanted that
person to own him and want the body
he now had, battered and bowed – but
desperate for her lips and her ears and her neck,
and her long thin ankles, and the eyes that danced,
and the romance in her mindful sex and
teasing fingers, and the ways she knew how to
make his brain tingle: all he needed, in fact,
was to see her face, and he was no longer
sure if the same was for her, but if she did
meet him again, he’d surely be hers.
And the question the master should
really have asked was:
“Are or not are – let’s do whatever together.”