Like a typical Vampire, my brother Val doesn’t always sleep in his own bed at night. In fact, he doesn’t sleep much at night these days. In summer his schedule reverses to the nocturnal due to the heat… anyway he was here this morning.
We sat over coffee on the back deck talking about life and blood stains and the general state of things. It was one of those mornings when we could tell we were by water. I was wishing it was the ocean but no such luck. I love those cool and slightly overcast mornings that seem to pass all too quickly.
It was a good think he was here because I’m in one of those states again where I am feeling overwhelmed with too much to do. I might be a creature of the night but I still have things to do. I still have to sleep.
Val’s presence forces me to stop and, well, stop. All parents out there know what I’m talking about.
“Clara is so grown up,” said my brother to me.
Clara (now 16) was in the car with me yesterday afternoon. While waiting at a light we witnessed huge black puffs of smoke coming up from a car in front of us.
Clara asked, “What is making that smoke?”
“Maybe a truck or an old junker car,” I answered.
“I’d never go out with a guy who drove a car that smoked like that. What a jerk. I bet he thinks he is so cool. I bet his dick is a whole two centimeters long. What a dick head, or as you would say mom, a fuckwad.”
“Yes,” I told my brother, “she is so grown up and such a sweetheart.”
Val went on for a while, updating me on his life. His friend Lilly was moving to Chicago for a job. He’d miss her laugh and her rare A- blood. He told me that even in the hot weather he’d wear shorts but never dress shorts made out of slacks fabric. I agreed. Short dress pants are fine for small boys but not for Vampire males. We talked about our parents. Dad’s 478th birthday was coming up. What would we do about that?
I haven’t even figured out my husband’s birthday next week (166.)
Val gave me a sideways look. “You seemed stressed.”
“Too much is going on.” I didn’t go into detail because he wouldn’t understand.
Garrett came out with coffee in his his favorite mug, (with a picture of a Maxfield Parrish girl on it) and sat down with us. I could smell the cinnamon he always sprinkles in it.
“Uncle Val. Good to see you,” he said so all grown up. At nineteen he is almost six feet tall – no longer my little boy.
We all talked more about college plans for next year, travel plans for the weekend, and other things family talks about.
I told them to visit. I had things to do. So I did things.
It had been days since I had any decent blood and now I had a house full of people. I made an excuse to go out and left.
A lunch date with my friend Jack made me feel better. It made him feel better too, minus a pint of blood. I went home feeling as if I’d cheated on everyone. But they all have their own lives. That said, I’m the crew. I’m the support team. I’m the mom. I am the keeper of socks. I’m the holder of hands. I am the giver of hugs. I am the one who will be there to rip out throats and bring nightmares upon those who threaten harm.
I thought about when Val and I were teens so long ago. We were always in motion from one crazy, comic, weird situation after another. And we both lived to see the light of day and the rise of the moon.
So now I look forward to the rise of the moon and Jupiter shining large in the sky next to Venus. I look forward to the eyes that shine in the night and the soft wind through the trees. I look forward to being with those who need me, even if I don’t get a minute of my own time.
~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman