Charting out stress then stepping away slowly

“So he says he wants me to turn him into a Vampire. I told him no. He has no idea. No idea at all.”

I listened to my friend Elizabeth as we sat over coffee in the dark cool little cafe that caters to Vampires and others who are “different.”

I’d heard this story or variations of it over and over. I was listening but thinking about the million of things I have to juggle with family and work and everything else. I was thinking about people I’d like to throw down wells and in ditches with rabid wolves and rip out their necks…rather than do that I sketched out a chart.

I always tell my kids: Before you act take a deep breath and wait it out. Write it down. Wait. Wait. Wait. Wait.

My life is like this chart. It goes up and down. This is typical for most working moms. I drew this one out by hand. I could do it in Excel but I didn’t feel like it. Sometimes it is just easier to do it by hand.



Anyway… Elizabeth continued her story about the Vampire wannabe. “I told him that when you’re a Vampire you carry around heartbreak for centuries. He asked about joy. I told him no, not so much. Joy is short-lived. I can be content and somewhat happy but that bliss that comes with living. Actually when I was alive, I mean, when I was one of them, I didn’t have much bliss. I don’t think I ever had bliss. Am I making any sense?”

I told her she was making as much sense as I ever make, which lately I feel isn’t much.

I’m always overhearing conversations. Everyone is lugging around kids, dealing with family, wishing work was better, being annoyed and frustrated about everything and wondering what we can do about it or not even trying because trying doesn’t even help. Damned if you do and damned if you don’t. I don’t listen to the news. I just pay the tax bills and hope the schools stay open and try to avoid the pot holes in the streets.

It wouldn’t be easier to be a Shadow Creeper because they feel nothing but sadness or misplaced hopeless passion. At least Elizabeth and I can laugh. And we do. We take a moment or two to go off the cart – as in step down and forget everything else in the world so that we can sit back and laugh a bit.

Elizabeth’s phone started to vibrate making the table shake. I glanced down. It was my brother Max.

“I have to get this,” she said. “Work stuff.” They are the Vampire equivalent to Special Forces. They kick ass on Vampire Hunters and Rogue Vampires and other nasty creatures.

Her side of the conversation went like this: Sure, I’ll be there early. I have the reports. No they were acting alone. It should be an easy fix. Better than that, I have to combination. No kidding…I don’t know where she is. Did you call her?…It isn’t my day to watch her…I’m sorry if your little fuck buddy won’t answer your calls but did it ever cross your mind that maybe she wants more? … No of course not, you told her that she’d never be more. You told her that she’d never be good enough…you might have well said it…she loved you and you used her…She didn’t have to tell you. …You’re so stupid Max…No, I won’t… Your hurt her. She rejected you because she didn’t want to be hurt not because she didn’t want you. You’re such an asshole sometimes…Sure. Do you want to talk to your sister? Juliette is right here. Talk to her.

I took the phone. Max made a bit of small talk then asked me if I heard what Elizabeth had said to him. I lied and told him I didn’t hear anything. He then asked me if I’d call our mother about something for him. I say OK with no intention of calling her today. He could call her himself. I was tired of doing it all for everyone. I did end up calling her.

Our friend Pierce showed up and sat next to Elizabeth, his arm around her shoulders. She mentioned Max and his girl problems. Pierce shrugged. He’d been friends with Max long enough to just shrug, plus disagreeing with two female Vampires isn’t always the wisest thing to do. He’d spent the night dealing with Goblins so he was ready for some humor at my brother’s expense.

I needed coffee and some snarky fun and talk with Elizabeth and Pierce. That is what friends are for.

So after a stressful week, I’ll spare you the horrible details, I went home and settled my kids for the weekend. One was going to Tahoe with my brother Aaron’s kids. The other was going out with friends (yes, I had to drive.) I got a call from a friend with an invitation to go out. I needed that to get my mind off of everything.

I called my husband and in a few minutes I’ll be back in traffic. We’ll meet with friends and the stress will melt away with the sharing of stories and good spirit.

No matter how high the stress chart is I know that I have people I can depend on, or at least call. I have people I can care about. Yes, they care about me, but I’m glad to care about them.

Wishing you all a stress free weekend, without Goblins.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman


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