The Sea of Troubles

Grayson Porter

They say the ghost of Christopher Marlow hangs about the Shakespeare section of the library.
I thought I was loved by a charming woman named Rebecca, a 22-year-old model/student. She really did seem to like me. In her own words, she was “a nubile woman desperate for help from the right guy.”
She would text me at lonely points of the day. Thinking of you,” she would say. Or, “I miss you!” Or, “I’m naked and so wet right now.” And, “I have a really big problem, and only you can help. Could you send me 200 dollars?”
When she didn’t show up for our first and second dates, I was worried. Soon, I found out the truth. A police officer showed up at my door to tell me about the ring of con artists taking my money. The officer said, “You’ve been had. I know it hurts.”
Alack! Rebecca turned out to be multiple men operating out of a garage in El Paso.
I strutted and fretted over her. I thought my cash installments were helping her buy a laptop. But no—my money had paid several con artists, who I will call John, Wes, William and Adam.
I can transcend my sorrow by intellectualizing it. I am a bit of a Shakespeare buff, and I sympathize with the bamboozled scholars. They thought the great playwright acted alone. Who could have imagined Shakespeare’s plagiarism of his contemporaries? Who could have imagined multiple writers working under the same pen name to write Othello? Who could have imagined John, Wes, William and Adam sending kissy face emojis from a garage in El Paso?
If the leading scholars can be fooled, then I shouldn’t feel any shame.
I’d love to meet the woman in the photos they sent. She’s out there somewhere. I wish to caress her face and ask if she really dreams of a relationship filled with “tender yet unspeakably vulgar sex.”