Satellite radio. I did not know it was from the sky, from space, from out in moon and stars. I was under the impression that the name was like all other product names – just something that sounds unrelated and like only a simple-minded fool would pretend to know what it was. Today I find out that satellites, small machines circle the earth and send down music. What magic is this? Now I feel like the dimple minded fool, only I am not a simple-minded fool. Just a fool from another time. When one is locked in a crypt for three hundred years … no, it is not just the three hundred years, it is the last hundred and fifty years that have completely confused me.
I only within the last year understood the concept of telephone, television, and the Internet. I do not even try to understand cable television or the pricing on that.
After being asleep for three hundred years, entombed against my will, I forced myself to accept the things I can not see in this world of today. That is things such as electricity. I can understand electricity because of lightning or static in my hair.
Today I found out that people go to space. They have a building in space, a place to study science, they call The International Space Station.
I did not know it was in the sky. I thought it was an observatory or a, what do they say, a research station in a remote location. An island maybe. But they are living in the sky, in a large research building.
“Do they have weapons in this Space Station?” I asked my lover Gillian.
“Of course not,” she said as if I were a child.
“What if they are attacked?”
“They won’t be attacked. Who would attack them? Aliens?”
“Maybe the Fat Boy in North Korea,” I said. The strange man-child came to mind with his threats and tantrums. Another man-child came to mind as well. “There are followers of men who now rule, or wish to rule, foolish men, men who use fear and diversion to gain power would use space to terrorize the people down below. Perhaps this could be who will attack them up in the International Space Station.”
“Vlad, please, that is nonsense. You need to stop listening to the news and all of the conspiracy theory nonsense. Nobody in politics has cared about Space since the last man left the moon.”
Last man left the moon? I looked out the window. The moon hung as a crescent in the sky. It was so far away. It was so beautiful and mysterious.
I turned back to Gillian, still trying to understand what she had said. “Men have been to the moon?” I asked her.
“1968 – 1972.”
“How many men?”
“That is all? Are they still up there?”
“No, they all came back, safe and sound.”
“They went up and did not go back up again? How did they get up there?”
“Rockets. Space ships.” Gillian went on to explain about rockets named after ancient gods Apollo and Mercury.
“Did they bring cats with them?”
“Don’t be ridiculous Vlad.”
“How do they keep mice off of their ships?”
My head was spinning. I could not even think of such rockets and ships. When I was a child once an odd man from the Orient came to our castle with rockets and fireworks. It was like magic. We had cannons as well, but that seems positively primitive now.
I went out into my back yard. I could not stop looking at the night sky. Men and women flew around the Earth in SPACE. Men walked on the moon. They went up to the moon and walked around.
I imagined Vampires in the International Space Station or on the Moon. Then Gillian mentioned Mars. Mars! We would starve.
The first time I saw an airplane I could not believe my eyes. I have now even been on an airplane that is flying. But this space thing is almost too fantastic to believe.
Gillian and I did what is called binge watching. We watched movies about Space.
We watched Apollo 13. We watched Star Trek. We watched a Trip to the Moon. We watched Gravity. We watched The Martian. We watched Guardians of the Galaxy. We watched Star Wars.
I asked her about the first man Neil Armstrong. She pointed to the Moon and told me that was where his spirit was. She showed me the film of him walking on the Moon. The real film was not good like the movies but it was real. Then she told me about the Mars Rover. A self driven car on Mars. There is so much I need to learn. But I have time. I am a Vampire. I have a lot of time.
My head spins. I still cannot believe that I did not know about this space travel and science fiction.
Gillian my Vampire love looked at me and asked, “Did you notice one thing about the lead actors in the movies? Chris Pine, Chris Pratt, Harrison Ford, Matt Dillon?”
“What is that?” I was not feeling like playing guessing games.
“They are all cute, like you. That is cute.”
“But you said the raccoon was cute. Kittens are cute as well. I am not like a kitten or a gun carrying raccoon.”
“You are exceptionally cute my darling.”
I still do not understand this cute. I never will. But I will one day understand Space, the Final Frontier.
I heard of an event where teams from cities throw balls and run in a game for the honor of their cities. The champions fight to the end in what they call The World Series of Baseball.
This time a team called Cubs and a team called Indians went against each other in seven games. Bears and indigenous people both tough and still around after centuries of encroachments upon their territories. If they lived long ago the Cubs and Indians would have beaten each other to death with their clubs, and thrown balls at high speeds in order to kill each other. Now they run and we all sing songs together to celebrate. Everyone drinks beer. Everyone but small children.
I have come to appreciate Baseball. It is a sport which appeals to Vampires because of the elegance of the game, and the skill involved. And it can be played at night. Gillian said the players were cute.
Play ball. Take me out to the ball game. Buy me peanuts and Cracker Jack. Who is Cracker Jack? I will find out.
I remember once walking down a city street feeling hidden, stalking, so stealth, the Vampire King, hunting, then someone dumped the contents of a chamber pot from a second story window onto my head. I had forgotten about that moment. Later I burned down the building.
A fortnight ago I was walking down the city street, late at night. I was not thinking about Space or Baseball. I was thinking about blood.
Before me was a group of young women standing outside of a local drinking establishment. I stopped, as if to pretend to look in and see what entertainments were inside. The four young women smiled, giggled (they always giggle), and spoke to me. I could tell they were each deciding which one of them I would choose for my attentions.
The one with blonde hair with dark roots, and pretty brown eyes whispered to her friend, “damn he is cute.”
Now I am both damned and cute. I continued to charm the ladies with my cuteness and genuine seductive flattery. Then I stopped and bid them goodnight and moved on. I continued to walk the streets past businesses and public houses with my mind on the world in which I live.
I thought about when I was Vampire King and faced with many difficult decisions. Difficult decisions were never a problem. It was all of the difficult personalities. It was the ignorance of humans I had to deal with.
One day my Baba came to visit. Even in her ancient age she was beautiful and wise, with raven hair and deep eyes the color of a stormy sea. We stood in one of the towers of my castle dining on goblets of fresh blood mixed with wine. She looked at the sky with all of the stars then gave me a smile with her impressive fangs.
“Vlad,” she said. “You are the King of the Vampires, a title which carries great responsibilities. I am proud of how well you have handled yourself. The Vampires rejoice at your wisdom and courage.” Then she lifted her hand to the heavens and said, “the angels live among the stars. And down below, live the demons and their king. Men fear both angels and demons, but you fear them not, for you belong not to their indenturement, but to yourself. You fear nothing and that makes all above and below respect you. They will not try to be your friend or ally. Better than that, they will leave you alone.”
Then Baba kissed my cheeks and told me to find myself a wife. I was still young. A wife was the last thing on my mind. Women of course were always on my mind, but it would take a strong-minded Vampire woman to be my wife.
Years later I would meet the one who would be my wife at a Witch burning. She looked on bravely as her friends roasted. I took her away from that place, back to my castle where Vampires ruled. It was a place where she would be safe. It was I have no idea where my wife is now. Maybe gone off with some other cute Vampire. Who knows? Maybe she is on the International Space Station studying stars and the effects of zero gravity on heartless blood sucking predators.
Gillian came in and asked me what was on my mind, for to her, I looked annoyed. What not cute? I made a joke. She made a polite smile. I took her in my arms and showed her how cute I can be. That made her smile. It always does.