Pleasant Augustus Van Dusen.
Pleasant. He was anything but, for a long period of time. Then again, there was a time I thought I was in love with him. He was exciting and passionate. We lived dangerously as only well heeled vampires can. We engaged in risky behaviors that bound us together forever.
We were Edwardian Vampires at the height of the dawn of a modern world, a true modern world. We were living in a golden age of vampire culture with the old rules giving way to a world with electricity and wonders that even we could never imagine.
I clearly remember the last time I saw Pleasant. I was the first time I could smile and say “No.” He begged me, and played with me. He charmed and flirted. I knew it was wrong, but I still wanted it, and for the first time I could resist. I had fallen in love with Teddy and found I could resist anything and anyone without a bat of my vampire eye.
I saw Pleasant again this year at the annual Vampire Ball, this year in San Francisco. Actually we don’t call it the Vampire Ball; we call it the Spring Ball. It is an elegant weekend affair with friends and family. Even kids. It is an old fashioned dress up kind of weekend that vampires so adore.
The kids were off with their friends, Teddy was off with his friends and I was mingling. I wandered over to a balcony with a magnificent view of the San Francisco Bay. The moon was full, a pale gray globe smiling back at me. And then, I heard a voice and felt his cool breath on my neck.
“Juliette. Beautiful Juliette.”
It was Pleasant. My stomach did a jump. I love my husband with all my vampire soul, so it was just a surprise to see this man who at one time had made my heart ache and my body turn into jelly….but that feeling was gone.
I turned to face him, my chest brushing against his, my face close to his. He wore rose colored glasses, so common among vampires with sensitive eyes. He slid them down his nose and smiled, that smile so hard to resist. His dark hair, still long was pulled back.
We embraced as old friends do, and then his hands attempted to migrate to my shoulder, my face, my hips, my waist.
We caught up on our work and families. Yes, he also had married and was now the father of a boy and a girl. He stood close to me, his hand on the wall as if fencing me in. One hand on my waist. We talked so naturally as if it had been less than 40 years since we’d seen each other.
And then I heard a voice. “Mom?”
I turned to see my 16 year old son Garrett.
“Hi Honey.” I said, not skipping a beat. I’d done nothing wrong but the look on the boy’s face was, well, confused to say the least. I’d done nothing wrong but part of me screamed “BUSTED”.
“Pleasant, meet my son Garrett.”
“It’s a pleasure.” Said the smooth vampire, former lover of mine. “Your mother had been talking my ear off about you and your sister.” It was a lie, our conversation had turned to our very intimate past but…
“Uh, hi. I um met Jack. Nice guy. We’re playing tennis tomorrow.” Said Garrett, looking slightly uncomfortable. Jack was Pleasant’s 17 year old son. “Hey mom” he continued, “I wanted to see if you’ve seen dad?”
“In the observatory.” I answered.
And with that Garrett said “OK, be good. Don’t do anything stupid.” Then he turned with a shit eating grin and left.
My son trusts me and knows I’d never do anything wrong, but his reaction shocked me. Pleasant laughed. And we continued our talk, not about our wild past but about our futures and our children.
SO….What do you tell your kids about your past and past relationships, especially if sex was involved?
Not much. A few names maybe or funny stories, or when it is necessary a cautionary tale, but that it all you need to say. It’s your past. It is personal. You don’t have to or need to tell them everything. In fact if is best that you don’t spill all of your secrets.
- You can teach your kids by giving them examples of other and your own examples without giving up your own privacy.
- You are under no obligation to shock your kids and forever change the way they think of you for something you did in your own misguided youth.
- It is none of their (your children) business.