The Sufis by Idries Shah. Page 220.
Despite the numerous biographies of the great English writer that could have been, can, and will be written, and those who could have been, are being, and will be retrieved, the real cause of the Bard’s death was, is, and will continue to be an inextricable mystery.
Lord van Bronckhorst, a reputed gardener from Sutton who had never in his life heard nor read a single word about Shakespeare, firmly believes that his death was due to a virulent fever that he might have caught during a recreational night.
Sir Arthur Stephanek (also known by his students as spaghetti), professor of English literature and Semiotics at the University of Bologna, not only agrees on the feverish cause, but on something else that, for being so obvious and simple, could have passed unnoticed by the common mortal man:
“….he surely must have died due to something very but very grave….”
But for Sir Arthur and Lord van Bronckhorst, not all paths are full of scented roses, given that the distinguished and celebrated Knight of the Order of Templar Alta Orbis, emeritus Knight of the Council of the Guardians of the Oral and Written Tradition of the Heirs to the Chest belonging to the deeply Transformed Lord of the Multiple Rings and Secretary of the United Kingdom’s foreign affairs, Sir Richard Hamilton Roberts Angus Podgorny of The Hills Saint Martin Cafrune von Holstein Bettersburs Perez Carrillo of Scotland von Ulm, thinks otherwise.
He turned out to be a stubborn opponent regarding the real reason of the ancient sage’s death. In his Memoirs, a rather disturbed Sir Richard Hamilton Roberts Angus Podgorny of The Hills Saint Martin Cafrune von Holstein Bettersburs Perez Carrillo of Scotland von Ulm writes out his thoughts on the matter:
“I can firmly affirm, despite being constantly upset and shaken by this bloody Honshu Island, that Lord William Shakespeare died from a terrible and violent strike on his cheek, inflicted by his lover’s mother.
The origin or cause?
The stain of semen that shamefully ruined her daughter’s dress; I have indeed discussed this with my departed friend John Peter Harrock XVI, and when he had finished tasting my idea, he immediately spat at my face, a line that reinforced not only his ejaculatory speculations, but mine as well:
‘I will live in thy heart, die in thy lap, and be buried in your eyes…’.
Here the possible significances multiply ad infinitum, ad libitum, ad imaginatus, ad coitus non interruptus.
Accepting our death-ejaculation theory, we can assert with no hesitation that this expelling episode, that is the spat of the one eyed boneless Chinese, must have been a premature one, given the landing place of the sticky milky substance (1), though I have to admit, thus making room for my scientific self, that the voluntary aiming at the dress shan’t be discarded lightly.
If that was the case, one is entitled to ask: Why? Why? Why? Why? Was Shakespeare fond of fabric? Perhaps her dress had a naughty stamp on it, provoking his big-bang? Is she to blame?
Could it be that the lady in question had a dress fetish, and having attached herself that much to a simple piece of material, asked him to die on her lap? If he did not shoot, then who did? Were they alone? Was there a voyeur enjoying the scene?
What if the stain was not produced by that manly substance, but by a similar looking liquid (though not similar in taste), such as mayonnaise? How do I know the difference between the taste of that sticky milky substance and the French egg based invention? Given the shyness of our literary hero, all of the above, including the mere possibility that the stain was never produced by Shakespeare himself nor by a sticky milky substance, cannot and will not be ruled out.
What if his supposed shyness was a façade, just to conceal his naughty and reprehensible aiming-dress habits, and he actually did die on her lap, ruining that garment ad aeternum? That’s it; he was an anxious little chap, inexperienced and eager to let his dense substance say hello to the world, and farewell to his own round and hairy vessel without caring of other’s people effort and work, represented here in her soon to be thrown out to the pig’s pink dress. How do I know that the dress was pink? Who am I to tell that the pink was dress? And what if the dress was yellow? Or orange?
What if, there was no girl in a dress, but merely a man, in this particular event he being Shakespeare, alone, retorting to his feminine side; maybe wearing the dress to be stained, maybe using that garmental image as a sensitive depiction of his yin side, and he was just playing alone, fulfilling the aim of all love which is unity, marrying himself through his hands, and sealing that alchemical ceremony with a splash on his lap?
Was, is and will this be an affair that couldn’t, isn’t and will be not be solved?
For these reasons and many others (according to my calculations, those other reasons reached the sum of 1.786.984, and then died due to the lack of oxygen) it is our duty to embark ourselves upon the infinite waters of plausible interpretations; these become richer in meaning with every gasp of air.
We (*) also can affirm without fear (but why not with a bit of fright? Isn’t it normal for a man to be afraid, to cry, to eat its own mucus and then drink its own urine?) of erratum, that Will Shake (2) predicted his very own death. If this were, is and will be the case, I would rather get the suit and hurry up because I am about to lose the 9 o’clock train and I can’t afford to be late again given that I am about to lose my job; but if this were, is, and will be the case -a certain number of actions sustained in time that produce a certain effect-, time travel shan’t be ruled out, because as far as we know, a person, regardless its genius, is not yet able to produce verses after being mortally slapped in the face by his supposed or actual or soon to be mother in law.
In the sake of science, this question should and has to be raised:
What if WS was a zombie? Or a Highlander who could only die if his head were chopped off? (3) Following this lead, a supposed to be mortal slap on the cheek could have not sufficed. Did his mother in law knew about his zombie/Highlander status, and slapped him à dessein for the sake of Divine knowledge and humanity? I’m afraid, yes, I am, because I am a mucus eating man who is not frightened of being afraid and stating so, that maybe she is the true Hero of our tale.
Or maybe, just maybe, I’m dead as well, and this is simply my reflection pondering about memories long ago forgotten, and trapped in the never-ending karmic cosmic loop; but if the memories are forgotten, how can I be reading them, and writing them, and sharing them with my beloved readers? Are they, I mean you, deceased as well? Is it a nightmare? Is it a dream?
Are they (not you) really memories, and I’ve simply convinced myself of something which has not happened, tricked myself into believing in things that I have not yet experienced, and populated my life with those experiences, like a greedy piggy banker? Do memories have an owner, or is it just a capitalist’s illusion to own the memory of the universe, the wisdom and recollections of all those who had, are, and will tread on this earth?
Have I taken too many pills? Nurse? Mother? Banana?
Maybe he dreamed of that dying-slapping-episode, wrote those immortal lines, and then, the tragedy unfolded: a premonitory dream. What if Shakespeare stole the dreams of others and thus wrote his immortal opus? Do we know as a fact that the bard was not suffering from insomnia?
Then, if he failed to sleep night after night, how the hell did he write his works? That’s it: he never wrote a thing, and simply was used by some sages to pose as a writer, when in fact he was a lonely, anxious and pretentious chap. Again, for the sake of science and good manners, another awkward, earth-shaking, ground-breaking question shall be uttered:
What if Shakespeare, during his endless insomniac nights, thought or believed that he dreamed that dream, and simply convinced himself of something that never really caressed his brain but was only believed to have occurred? What if also William were unstable as I am right now, and nothing of what we wrote, said and spat could be taken for granted? What if he was a eunuch and could never produce any sticky milky substance?
If that had been the case (I don’t care, I lost the train and besides, I hated my job) did he use a mayonnaise tube to replace his own swimming friends? Could Pinocchio had something to do with the slapping-semen affair?
Am I right? Am I wrong? Left? Up? Down? In chains? Alice? But, if I were, am, or will be in chains, how come (give me a dress please) these lines are being written? Is it all in my mind?
I could be perfectly insane, and in need of another dose of my daily pills. Who knows? What I do know is that he, that is William Stanislao Shakespeare, could have died some time after the slapping, enjoying a divine period of grace that gave him the required time to write the play in which that eternal line is included (read above if your memory fails, thank you). If this was what really happened, then Borges himself knew the whole truth, thus composing his The Secret Miracle.
Or probably William never existed at all, and was a creation of a group of sages who needed him, a grey and taciturn ignorant peasant, to be their visible face, placed and imbued in heavenly and transcendent wisdom, thus to serve a higher purpose than ejaculating in barely legal teenagers. An awkward sensation of déjà Vu invades myself.
What if he never liked girls? What if he never died – spat that milky sticky substance, because he was a eunuch? (I’ve just realised I used that theory once; but was it me who thought about it? Was it here? Or simply it was a dream of me writing the word eunuch?).
What if that lady was not wearing a dress, and all is a figment of my imagination? What if there was no mother in law, no little girlfriend, and he was just delirious into one of his night wanderings? What if I’m really insane? Have I written that already? Or is it just an illusion?
Anyway, we know at least that he was, is, and will be properly, completely and breathlessly dead; that, of course, accepting that he ever had existed, and of course, provided that we do really exist, and we read, and we write, and we eat our own mucus. If you are ready to accept the zombie or Highlander possibility, I would suggest to part in a quest for him, starting in the Hindu Kush.
All we can affirm, with a certainty of about a 58.790 %, is that his sticky milky prediction cum and came true. In the same way that our great Jorge Luis Borges foresaw his own blindness, and Beethoven foreheard his own deafness, and Toscanini his own name and, surely, Mickey always knew that he was not meant to be Mortimer and was meant to be much more than a simple metaphorical cartoon. He was, is and will be, the true Messiah. Hail Mickey!
But again, I won’t allow myself to become deranged, and we shall walk back again on the path of good Shake and good will, brandishing the defending spear of love and truth.
Death duplicated itself, as an irremovable stain in a young girl’s dress (or was it a boy? But, if he was a boy, why was he wearing a dress? Perhaps he was so attached to his mother that he was impersonating her. Yes! That could have been the case; sometimes, I myself like wearing a couple of old fashioned dresses to do some shopping at the town market. Is it wrong?!?!?) and in ‘The Ancient Sage’ ashes (again, please, if you lost track, up you shall go and read again).
But, were those Shakespeare’s remains in the form of ashes, buried in her lover’s eyes? Was she really deadly dead at the moment of the ashes’ entrance? Or was she alive, and as a consequence was left blind, prefacing Borges’ own fate? Was she somehow related to the great Argentine?
Just between us, some say that the girl’s (or whatever shape she/he/it had) mother, at the exact time of the slap (probably it was 17:89 pm BST) was seventeen years of age. Then, how old was the supposed dress bearer? Could all be explained by the Worm-Alice-Higgins-Effect? If this were the case, then it’s perfectly reasonable that the daughter was older than the mother itself.”
Shortly after this last page of his, Sir Richard Hamilton Roberts Angus Podgorny of The Hills Saint Martin Cafrune von Holstein Bettersburs Perez Carrillo of Scotland von Ulm died. It was, is and will be believed, that the cause of his parting had something to do with what neurologists call “The Chronos Brain”. The organ ends up eating itself through a series of paradigmatic thoughts and theories.
Others claim that the endless sleepless nights helped to aggravate his condition: wet, partly cloudy and densely sticky
It is of the utmost importance to remember, in order to understand this whole theoretical mess, that during Shakespeare’s time, it was wildly and widely believed that semen stains were impossible to clean. They used to be referred as the sticky milky doom. Thus, we are provided with a feasible motif that caused the supposed to be deadly slap.
(1) Should be read as an homage to John Peter Harrock.
(2) Rock and Art critic Ludovico Manpiero suggests that if William Shakespeare were to be alive today, and had chosen the guitar instead of the feather pen, his band should had been named Will and the Pear Shakes.
(*) We did not mention prior usage of the plural form because we intended to use the “We” as the main example. It is still debated whereas if the use of the plural is because he used to write surrounded by enormous amounts of people, or because he simply was the visible face of a sage’s sect, or rather due to his metaphysical and esoteric knowledge about the multiple personalities that inhabit a single body and use a single name, and the fragmented nature of the human being.
(3) It is interesting to note that German historian Manfred Hubert Eichert thinks that the origin of eunuchs could have something to do with the belief in Highlanders. He proposes: “Eunuchs are probably the victims of a half-belief in those amazing immortal creatures, mythical ones, symbolic of the renewed and wise man that dies before death comes to get him. Probably through the arts of fate or chance, these ill-fated bastards were surely confused for those mythical creatures, Highlanders, and as a consequence, suffered the amputation of their head; though unfortunately for them, a bit more than their lower head, and sometimes also the whole package”. Others, like the expert in paganism and brutality Jaime Sittar, think that “…they were castrated because they could not completely believe in the myth of the Highlander, hence, they recurred to a mathematical solution: If half of the myth is accepted, then, we should cut the middle head, that is, that which is located in the equator of the man’s body”.
(4) This footnote can’t be found in the previous text because its essence is absent: the obvious joke that relates the first part of the Bard’s surname (Shake) with the unfortunate even that could have caused his demise, it is too absurd and violent and petty to be even mentioned.