The night is come, but not too soon;
And sinking silently,
All silently, the little moon
Drops down behind the sky.
There is no light in earth or heaven
But the cold light of stars;
And the first watch of night is given
To the red planet Mars.
Is it the tender star of love?
The star of love and dreams?
Over the past few weeks I haven’t been visiting the Elders as much as I should. I’m busy. I’m not that busy, but the days get away from me. Everything happens. Nothing happens so I get held up. It is amazing how nothing can fill one’s day.
“Why don’t you ever come to visit anymore?”
“I was there last week.”
“It seems longer. We want to see you.”
I packed a bag with things I thought they might like; novels, odd bits of glass to form into mosaics, sketch pads, pencils, old 78 rpm records, a cute sweater for Eleora.
Eleora tends to wear clothing until it falls apart and makes her look like a lost waif without a home. The sweater is a deep burgundy color, soft and a little over sized, like a tunic. My teenage daughter wears sweaters like that with leggings. Eleora usually just wears dresses. I think legging would be cute on her so I include a pair.
I put everything in my car then I got distracted again. An hour later I finally left.
When I arrived at the Victorian farmhouse Tellias met me at the door. Despite the rain he peered at me with round rose colored glasses to protect his eyes from the sun. He wore black tuxedo pants with black suspenders over a white shirt and topped with a gray zipped up hoodie with the name James embroidered on the front pocket place. I didn’t ask who James was. He didn’t tell me.
He kissed me and helped me with my bag, then gave me a hug and ushered me into the parlor. The Christmas tree was still up, covered with tiny black bats and silver webs of fancy Victorian embroidery thread. Tiny blown glass Santas with blacked out eyes stared into nowhere.
I looked around for Eleora. She is usually there when I arrive, dancing around me and singing, unless of course, something is wrong.
Tellias knew I noticed and said, “Eleora is asleep right now.”
“She sleeps a lot.”
“It is daytime my dear. You forget too often that we’re Vampires. You also forget that we’re old.”
I kissed his cheek and went upstairs to see Eleora.
She lay on the bed on top of the covers wearing an ugly plaid skirt and a misshaped orange sweater. Despite the horrible clothing she was beautiful, like Sleeping Beauty or Snow White waiting for a kiss. She looked absolutely dead but that was to be expected from a sleeping Vampire. For someone over two thousand years old she looks remarkably young. By that I mean she looks like she is about twenty.
I picked up a volume of poetry on the night stand. It was Longfellow. I thought of Rodney Dangerfield in back to school. You know the line where the girl says her favorite subject is poetry and he says, “Really? Well, maybe you can help me straighten out my Longfellow.” I laughed out loud.
As usual I lost track of time reading poems I’d read a hundred times when I heard running noises from a variety of feet coming up the stairs and into the bedroom. An old black cat jumped on the bed with a yowl mixed with excited purrs. A small girl, aged four, jumped into my arms.
“Juliette,” she yelled wrapping her cold little arms around my neck and giving me a kiss.
“And you brought Michael. Is your daddy downstairs?”
The child grabbed Michael the cat and threw him over her shoulder, then jumped on the bed. “I shall wake the dead,” she yelled.
Eleora opened her eyes wide and smiled, then held out her arms for the child.
I left Eleora and the small child named Miranda and went downstairs. The cat followed at my heels.
I could hear Eleora and Miranda laughing. Then the noise changed to the laughter of men from the large main room of the house.
Miranda’s father Nathaniel Chase was there of course. After two hundred years with his long time love they’d finally decided to settle down and have a family. Of course that wasn’t a good description because to me Nathaniel Chase has always been the most settled being I’ve ever known. He never went anywhere without one of his black cats (always named after archangels.)
And my dear old dad was there. The dear old Vampire himself had shown up. He gave me a big hug and a kiss. I had no idea why they’d shown up. Tellias was also obviously surprised to see his old friends. OK they are old to me, each going into their fifth century, but young to Tellias. Anyway…
We caught up on news. I’d turned someone into a Vampire over the holidays. No, I didn’t tell you about that one. Maybe later. My father and Nathaniel were by just to see how the Ancient Vampires were doing.
I was glad they were there, but part of me was sort of annoyed. I’m always the one who is there for them. I’m the first there is anything happens. Even with my brother Val and my Grandmama Lola there part of the time, if anything hits the fan with Tellias and Eleora I’m the one who is there.
But at the same time I was happy to see everyone, especially tiny, cute and delightful Miranda. A Vampire child, born to Vampire parents, is a rare and wonderful thing.
Miranda and Eleora came down to join us. I finally convinced Eleora to put on the leggings with the new sweater. She looked like a college student, all hip and trendy. It was good to see. One is never too old for style and flair.
On the way home I thought about how things have changed. I thought about how things haven’t changed. I thought about the rain, and what I needed to do when I got home, and the schedules of my busy children and husband.
Sometimes there is too much, but sometimes there isn’t enough. This morning ended up being just right.
That’s it. Just my morning.
And if you have people in your life who are elderly or alone or lost go visit them. Do it today. Don’t feel uncomfortable or put out. Just do it.
~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman