As a former Vampire King, I find myself reflecting on my place in the universe. I understand my unique position to reflect and look back and compare, then and now. I am at a loss for words. After being locked in a crypt for three hundred years, then out for two, this new world still keeps me confused and baffled. It is as if I have been dropped into a mad house.
My neighbors invited me to the PBR Championships. PBR stands for Professional Bull Riding.
I am to understand that we will go to the large arena and watch men ride large angry bulls. While entertainments of my past included bear wrestling and snake dancers there was nothing of this scale and magnitude.
My lover Gillian placed clothing on the bed. “Wear these Vlad.”
I looked at what she had brought. Blue jeans, a brown shirt with an odd collar, boots, and a brown hat.
“What is this?” I asked her.
“Wrangler jeans, a sexy button up shirt, cowboy boots, and a cowboy hat,” she said.
“But we are going to see bull riding, not cow riding. This reeks of Halloween.”
“Vlad, I’m not going to spend another three hours trying to explain it to you. Just remember Wrangler Butts drive me nuts.”
“Three hours? You jest. You can tell me in a few minutes. What are Wranglers and why do their butts drive you crazy? Why should I remember something you have never told me before, and I do not understand.”
“Vlad, for someone who used to rule a kingdom…” She put her lips to mine, and ran her hands down my back and into the back of my pants. That did not get me into the new clothes, but it did get me out of what I was wearing at the time.
I decided to wear whatever she told me to the Professional Bull Riding event.
I do not understand the term cowboy. They are neither cows or boys.
I looked up Western and cowboys and bull riding on the Internet. It seems one must have a truck. I do not have a truck. I do not haul large things. I could haul my cats but that would not be wise. Cats do not like to be hauled.
I have a car. It is black. It is fast. I do not haul things. Last night the coyote pup Jane rode with me as I searched out blood and adventure. The adventure part is my attempt at humor. Gillian said I must work on my humor. I told her no and slept alone that day. On the night out with Jane there was no adventure, only blood. Jane, who has the soul of a Werewolf, sat on a blanket on the back seat while I drove. I held her in the crook of my arm while I made my usual rounds at night spots and taverns. Jane is what I believe is called a “chick magnet.” There were no chickens, but all of the women and many of the men were attracted to her cuteness, almost more than they are attracted to my cuteness (which I am still baffled to understand.)
It is said that one should not live with a coyote because it is a wild animal. One should not live with a Vampire either, so I see no problems with Jane.
I would have maybe enjoyed living in the Wild West where coyotes roamed. Then again coyotes roam my neighborhood in what is called suburbia. There are also creatures who wear masks called raccoons. These animals have hands and come to my house at night like thieves. While I researched cowboys I found someone called the Lone Ranger. I am sure he was a raccoon. His side kick must be the thing they call a possum for they both travel at night like Vampires and bats. Now I know. I do live in the Wild West.
When I returned home the cats yelled at me from the front porch, and hissed at Jane. The former Vampire King then fed his subjects who all curled up together and slept while he brooded.
Tonight I experienced the PBR Event. Professional. Bull. Riding. It was in the new arena called Golden 1 Arena. Why do they call it Golden 1. It is not gold. I saw no gold. Gillian told me to chill. I told her that I was already cold. We are Vampires therefore we are chill. She told me to be quiet. I told her to chill. That made me smile. Gillian was not amused.
As with all events that have to do with sports there is great pageantry. I sat back and could almost feel the wind on my face from days when I would watch the flags fly along the walls of my castle as my subjects cheered at great events I would hold for my citizens. Gillian took my hand and I was back into the present, where I was a cowboy.
A man dressed as a clown in red, white, and blue, danced and said funny things. A “kiss cam” forced Gillian and me to kiss. Then the bull riding began.
The bulls are huge. A rope made of cloth is tied around the waist of the bull, like a belt. A man then sits on the bull. Then the bull, an animal who weighs 2,000 pounds, jumps and kicks until the man falls off, or until about 8 seconds have passed. I imagine the bull is like my cats and gets a treat when he goes back into the pen after the ride.
I wondered if these magnificent animals were killed, but they are not. I was glad. The men who ride bulls are from all over the Earth but most tonight were from the USA. I could not take my eyes off of these bull riders. We sat in an arena which is what from what I understand is like something out of a science fiction story, something I could have never imagined before now, in my old life – and now I am here and watching men ride bulls. Bulls. Animals. Large fierce animals. Not cars. Not machines. It is a game of skill between animal and man.
Then the clown told everyone to sing the song. Everyone sings that song here. Don’t Stop Believing. I heard the man sitting behind me saying it has to be with Steve Perry, not the current imposter. They sing this song everywhere and at every single event around here. Even I know the words now. Yes, Vlad the once feared Vampire can sing every single word. The blood of the Twenty First Century is now in my veins.
At a break Gillian took my hand and said she wanted a beer. Out we went into the main hall.
I hear the giggles and muffled squeals, and the gasps as I walk by. I tipped my hat as instructed by Gillian, winked, and gave a smile without my fangs. I will be well fed tonight. I say, “ladies” in a low voice, and they giggle and run into each other.
I hear one woman say to her friend she would like to ride me like a wild bull. I couldn’t imagine jumping around trying to get rid of her, then I thought for a moment, then it occurred to me what sort of ride she was speaking of. Oh.
Then I heard a woman say, “Wrangler butts, drive me nuts.” Now I understand.
Gillian and I arrived home just as the sun came up. I did not sleep with my boots on.