I knocked on the door, a little apprehensive as I had never been to Vladimir’s house. I was apprehensive mostly because I had a bit of a crush on him and we had never really worked closely for school projects before. He, along with most of the 5 other dudes in our class, tended to work together when they had the choice. Just depended, I suppose.
This time it was a group that comprised me, Vlad, and John… really there were one or two others required for our scenes – but we were the three major characters and needed the majority of rehearsal together if we were to perform the finale of our class’ “Death and Destruction” production for the Shakespeare day competition at our school.
It was a compilation of some of the major death scenes found in Shakespeare’s plays. Romeo and Juliet died, Julius Caesar died… a couple others I can’t recall… then we finished with Othello as there were 4 or 5 deaths all around the end of that play.
As sweet and mild mannered as Vlad seemed, he made for a good Iago. (He also made for a good Mob boss when we did Bullets Over Broadway the next year… hmmm…) I was Desdemona and John was Othello.
We arranged for the three of us to meet at Vlad’s house – I don’t think many of our classmates went there as far as I could tell. I’m not sure why – perhaps it was his mother who couldn’t speak English or Swedish… Perhaps he was embarrassed; perhaps he was just very private – I have a feeling it was the latter.
I arrived first and after the trek on Stockholm’s public transport I decided I would need to use the facilities before getting too far into our day’s work.
He welcomed me in, introduced me briefly to his mother – letting me know she only spoke their native tongue – and informing me that John had not arrived yet.
“Ok cool… Before we get started though I need to use your toilet…” Looking down the halls on each side, I asked “Where might I find it?”
With deadpan seriousness he replied “Oh, we don’t have a toilet… We have to go outside.”
A blank stare was on my unamused face. In my mind, when one needs to use the facilities there is no room for attempts at humour. (Though I must say at any other time deadpan delivery of a dry humour does otherwise usually amuse me…. Many years later I had a friend, Roman, that had perfected the art of such. He made me giggle to no end.)
“Seriously, Vlad. There is no way there is not a bathroom in this house. Where is it?”
He protested that it was true and feigned hurt that I didn’t trust his word.
“Clearly you are a guy that has access to a bathroom – besides which there’s no way they’d build a house in first world Sweden without hygienic facilities.”
“It’s an old house,” he said. “And I just have to hike up the hill to our neighbor’s house for my shower in the mornings…. We have an arrangement.”
If he was trying to frustrate me, he was succeeding. This exchange continued for a good ten minutes it seemed. Well past the acceptable joke length anyway. It lasted till I emphatically assured him I would piss on his floor if he did not come clean as to the whereabouts of his guest WC. I’m also relatively certain I told him I had no issue wandering his house, peeking in every room until I found it.
Finally. FINALLY. He showed me where to go. With a begrudging tone, I thanked him and did as I needed.
That day John never did show up… We waited for a time before I texted him and he said he’d be on his way… and then eventually that he was held up and wouldn’t be coming. I sighed. In all honesty – I was looking forward to working with John too.
Vlad and I worked on our bits together and then we helped each other by reading John’s lines as necessary for a basic run through of lines… and then we gave up.
Too bad I couldn’t make more of time alone with Vlad… not that I could have made much happen with his mum in the house Haha… but still. As much as that boy aggravated me that day, I still found him on the whole charming.
All that being said… ESb is looking for you Vlad. Periodically we discuss amongst ourselves on Facebook about what the hell happened to you – I know Howard, Myself, and Mahan at the very least have tried to look you up… so Vladimir Kaplarevic from ESb at Kungsholmens (2002) if you are out there… (or anyone knows him) looks us up!
**I’ve written a little about being a Desdemona before… check it out if you haven’t done 🙂 And on Monday I’ll tell you about John being my Othello 😉