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For us seniors, it was a free night with no school the next day, a holiday from everything, including our cursed college apps.
Mine was spent with my girlfriend, so I missed the pre-party and then the ride to the real party. There were two cars, belonging to Jax* and Flynn, driving from the beach north up through town to someone’s parentless house. On a stretch of road by one of the town’s country clubs, Jax lost control of his car, hit a telephone pole, and skidded a hundred feet into a tree. The Jaws of Life were required to cut the bodies from the wreckage.
At that moment—as the first siren sounded, as the first numbers were dialed, as the bodies were gathered and rushed away—I was watching a movie/eating Chinese/on a bed with my girlfriend, I can’t remember exactly.
Lost in the oblivious haze of youth, I was certain, like millions of teenagers before me, that nothing would ever touch us there. Growing up, we had this sort of unusual thing in our town: an ambulance service operated by kids. Then, it was housed in a defunct red train station that rattled every time a passing commuter train rushed by on its way to Manhattan.
The Prologue refers to an ill-fated couple with its use of the word “star-crossed,” which means, literally, against the stars. But the Prologue itself creates this sense of fate by providing the audience with the knowledge that Romeo and Juliet will die even before the play has begun.
The audience therefore watches the play with the expectation that it must fulfill the terms set in the Prologue.
Read a translation of Prologue → This opening speech by the Chorus serves as an introduction to Romeo and Juliet.
We are provided with information about where the play takes place, and given some background information about its principal characters.
These lovers will mend the quarrel between their families by dying.
The story of these two lovers, and of the terrible strife between their families, will be the topic of this play.