Important Dates: August 13 & September 24.
That is when school starts. High school starts first, then college.
We completed back-to-school shopping day with a cart load of supplies, plus Feline Pine cat litter, from Target.
The girl child asked her dad (Teddy) for a pair of Doc Martens. Of course the short classic black boot. Her outfit of choice is a waist long blonde hair, boots, a short black skirt and a band shirt.
The man child said he needs a pair of Bucks and some sweaters. He tells me chicks dig sweaters and professors will take put together students more seriously. He has also been digging through his dad’s things for a “classic watch.” No Apple Watch for my son (I’m so proud of him.) I think Teddy has some nice watches from the 50’s and 60’s he could let go of. I just need to remind Garrett to wind them up.
And speaking of Teddy… Way back, a long time ago, before my husband Teddy was a Vampire, or even knew Vampires existed, he and my brother Max were college roommates. Max was a Vampire. He was, still is, well, an extreme Vampire. We, my Vampire siblings and I had grown up with Teddy. He and Max were (and still are) best friends.
Our parents had come out to California together during the Gold Rush. Teddy’s dad and our dad were business partners. So what if my family seemed a little odd sometimes, it was all good. And like I said, nobody knew we were Vampires. In 1866 the war was over so our parents decided Maxwell and Teddy would benefit from a university education. Nathaniel Chase, as usual, escorted the two seventeen year olds on their ocean voyage, their first trip to the Eastern United States. That is a whole other story.
From here I’ll let Teddy take over the story.
Teddy tells it.
Max and I shared the upper floor of a three story house near the University. We had two bedrooms, a main living area and a small office. No bathroom – not in those days. No kitchen. We had our own entrance that we shared the other third floor resident. We didn’t have the entire floor. There was another room on our floor occupied by a law student called Pierce. We never saw him except at meals, and hardly heard him except when he was practicing speeches.
The second floor was occupied by four upper classmen. All male. There were no coed dorms at that time so women were rarely seen in our spaces.
Downstairs were a couple of rooms with another two law students. A large common room and a dining room occupied most of the bottom floor. Twice a day a middle-aged woman called Mrs. Harris would come with her crew and serve breakfast and dinner.
The dining room table was full at meal times, except for Max who’d usually be sleeping or gone. When he did show up he’d talk a lot but eat very little.
Max started to become more fastidious about his clothing. It became darker but more edgy. Facial hair was the rage among our peers but he was always clean shaven.
In the mornings I’d rise to find Max coming in through the door from his night out. He’d vanish for days, but would always show for classes. On Sundays I’d try to get to church, but never with Max. He’d always be gone or sleeping for a fourteen hour stretch.
Every once in a while he’d bring home a guest.
Usually it would be a woman, but rare occasions it would be a man. That was something I didn’t know about Max. I’d tell him to be careful. He’d shrug. He said he didn’t need to explain anything to me. It was his business. These people would shift in and out without a sound. I’d never know there were there unless I saw them.
On the other hand my friends, who stayed the night, would be hunting for coffee or tea in the morning or something stronger. They’d have messed up hair and sleep on our couch or on top of my covers with their clothes on. To put it bluntly they weren’t there for sex. They just crashed for the night.
One night, unknown to Max, I followed him on one of his trips out. He went down dark ways to bars and places a young man of our standing in society would never go. He went to whore houses and laughed with the madams.
Sometimes he’d go to nicer places. One was the lodgings of a girl I’d seen before. They didn’t seem to care that anyone could see them through the window in passionate embraces.
On his way home, he stopped and turned to face me. “I know you’ve been following me Teddy.”
I said, “Max what would your parent’s think?”
Max gave me on of those amused smiles, with his eyebrows lifted and said, “Dear Theodore, don’t worry about what my parents think. Let’s go home.”
Then Max put his arm around my shoulder and said, “Teddy, you are and always will be my best friend. But you have to understand, I am not like you.” He didn’t say anything else about it and he wouldn’t discuss it.
It was only years later that I understood.
“Max has always been a little different,” said our son Garrett. “I won’t be prowling around bars and whore houses at night.”
“Thank goodness,” I said, then glanced over to Teddy.
“You’re doing fine. Your mom and I raised you to be smart,” said Teddy.
“Max made being a Vampire way too complicated,” said Garrett.
Maybe Max did make things more complicated but it seems to have worked out fine for him. As for the girl in the window, he still sees her sometimes. Pierce the law student is still a good friend. And both Max and Teddy graduated and returned to California.
In the meantime, high school has started for our youngest Clara. So far so good. She got all of her classes and great teachers. I’ll have more on her adventures later.
Tonight we’re meeting Max in San Francisco for a Giant’s game. It will be fun – another great night with a typical modern Vampire family.
~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman