When one is imprisoned in a crypt for three hundred years one misses out on a lot of things. The past three hundred years went fast and were full of wonders which I missed being hellishly locked in a dark damp coffin inside of an ivy covered crypt. I hate ivy.
There is so much that used to be that I have not seen. Entire centuries and now dead technologies, fashions, and ways of life have vanished before I could know what they were but everyone aside from me knows what these things are, even if they were not born before these things happened.
Two days ago someone said he sounds like a broken record.
What did he mean. Did his numbers not match up? I asked.
I was told that he repeated himself.
“What is this record of,” I asked.
“It could be anything, I don’t know,” said the woman I was speaking with.
“I do not understand. Is it software such as an Excel spreadsheet?” I asked this trying not to sound old fashioned and completely ignorant of popular culture.
“Records. Phonograph records,” she said. “You know, like vinyl?”
“Oh I am sorry. I must have misunderstood you. The noise in this place interferes with my hearing,” I said to her. Then I looked into her eyes and made her forget everything except her desire to have me put my lips upon her neck and sink my teeth into her flesh and drink her blood.
We left and went to her apartment. She was lovely. But I could not help wondering why anyone would be concerned with keeping poor records of something called phonographs and how they would compare to a man who keeps repeating himself. I left her asleep with a smile on her face, and about a pint less blood and no memories of my bite.
Few automobiles were on the road as I drove home. I thought about my car that allows me to play thousands of songs, talk on the phone, and tell me directions from a small woman’s voice. I took the speed up to ninety-five miles per hour. I would talk my way out of a ticket because I am a Vampire and I can do that. Then I slowed down. I understand why people like cars. I understand the power. I listened to opera music in my car and sang along. It made me happy and less confused.
It was 3:34 a.m. when I stopped to obtain gasoline for my car. When I was outside I could hear two women standing by their car. I could hear one saying, “Damn he is one hot looking man.”
I did not feel hot. I am a Vampire. I never feel hot. Putting my hand on my forehead I could feel no sweat. I do not sweat. I do not understand.
I spoke with my Vampire lover Gillian about what is a record. She did not roll her eyes but I knew she had the burning desire to.
“Dear Vlad, it is not an accounting record or ledger. It is a disk that music is recorded on. It is a recording. It is a disk made of vinyl that came out before the digital stuff you listen to now. When a record is scratched it skips, which means it repeats the same part of the song over and over. That my darling is where the expression broken record comes from,” she told me.
“How should I have known? Show me what this record looks like,” I said.
She went to YouTube, one of my sources for information about this confusing modern world, and found a recording of a record playing the Ramones. I know the Ramones. I have a See Dee.
Gillian started to explain the Addams Family but then she stopped and just smiled. I am sure sometimes she thinks I am an idiot.
Today I took Jane the coyote pup to the dog park. A dog park is a place for dogs to run and play with each other. Jane is wild but not so wild. She has the body of a coyote but the soul of a Werewolf. No matter. She is now a member of my household.
I was told coyotes are not allowed as pets. At the dog park I was asked if Jane was a coyote.
I said, “no, she is a Scottish Squirrel Hound and Moon Shepherd mix.” I almost laughed at my own joke.
One of the women, one with a large black and white dog of mixed lineage looked at Jane and me and said, “you two are so adorable together.”
I smiled and wondered what her blood type was. Adorable. I believe that means cute. I do not understand how a strong Vampire man with broad shoulders and a coyote can be cute. Then again she did not know that I am a Vampire.
Tonight Gillian and I went to dinner at a local pub. It is a place we frequent where people freely mingle and listen to bands that play music that is for folks, called folk music. Sometimes they play punk music, and punk pop, and assorted things I do not understand but strangely like.
Many people were there. Because we are Vampires the people are naturally attracted to Gillian and me. Gillian is also gorgeously beautiful. Heads turned as we walked about. One gets used to it but it is not as it used to be, but I can not explain. I do not have the words for such an expression. People now are forward in expressing their feelings. Also, I am no longer a Vampire King so I am just an ordinary man when I am out. It is in a way a freeing experience not to have people afraid to speak freely around me.
A server slipped at something on the floor as she brought a tray of wine glasses to a table. I suddenly found myself covered with red wine. How odd that I was the one who looked like I was covered in blood. I am so neat. I am getting good at this joke thing.
She said she was so sorry but I told her that I was not mad. I wanted to make sure she was not distressed. Putting my hand on her arm I calmed her with thoughts of, well, of me. The bartender told me to give him my shirt and he’d put something on it to get the stains out before they set in. I can appreciate that. All Vampires appreciate stain removal. As I took off my shirt there was a gasp in the crowd. I ran my hand through my golden hair pushing it out of my eyes, then I put back on my leather jacket, but did not zip it up. The women in the pub, young and old, just smiled and stared.
“He looks like something out of a bodice ripper,” voices whispered. “Oh my God.”
“Bodice ripper?” I whispered to Gillian.
She put her hand on my bare chest. “A romance novel with a strong handsome extremely sexually attractive male. The cover art often shows a well-built man without a shirt on. It is called a bodice ripper because, well, when he makes love to the heroine of the story bodices are often ripped, you know, in the throes of passion.”
I had to smile. It was something like this picture, only it was not because the women were wearing skinny jeans or short skirts.
When I was young, before I was locked in a crypt for three hundred years, many Vampires were of the school of thought that we (Vampires) should terrify people we drank blood from.
They would lurk in the woods, and steal into homes at night with fangs out and dirty claw like finger nails. They walked with hunched shoulders. Their clothes were musty and never washed. They smelled of death with breath like rotting flesh. Sunken eyes frightened their prey. They pallid skin stretched tight over their bones. No wonder. They never got enough blood.
More enlightened Vampires, as with any enlightened being, realized that making one’s self appealing and semi-delightful always attracts more prey. Who would want to eat food that stinks? Who would want to make love to a skeleton? Who would not want to scream when something that looks and smells dead crawls into their bed in the middle of the night?
Bodice ripper. I laugh now.
The bartender gave me my shirt back with the stains washed out. I laughed and told him that it was no problem. We talked and he told me that his band was coming out with a record. They were going to put it on vinyl. I knew what he was talking about. I knew what that was. What is it that is said…small world. Yes, it is a small world.
I sat in the dark under the stars with my cats, Jane the coyote, and Gillian. We talked of how the world has changed, in both good and bad ways.
Then Gillian said, “Let’s pretend we’re in a bodice ripper novel.”
And we went inside and did exactly that.
I like these bodice rippers. I like them a lot. What is that expressions. Ahhh yes, music to my ears.