I sat listening to my brothers, two of them, singing Ring of Fire in a low slow sort way that sounded like it belonged in a horror movie. Andy is a professional singer. Val is a numbers guy. Together they create weird and wonderful music.
When I was small I’d envy the way they’d sing together, anywhere and everywhere.
“Her ex-husband showed up.”
“Had you met him before?” I had to ask.
“No. Never. He came in the house with Cameron, Shawna’s son, and started to bark at her about me. I wasn’t even in the room, but I could hear it from the bedroom. I wasn’t even quite awake yet, but it woke me up for sure. He was telling her that she was making a fool out of herself by seeking someone so much younger than herself. I was ready to go out and tell him that I’m 168-years old but honestly I wanted to see his justification.”
“So what happened?” Val asked.
“Shawna ripped him a new one. She reminded him that he’d left her for FeeFee. He reminded her that FeeFee’s real name was Ashley. No matter what her name, the woman was almost twenty years younger than Eric. That is the husband. Eric. Anyway Eric said that it had been different with Ashley. Shawna called him all kinds of names including a fucking self centered misogynistic bastard who spent most of his life thinking with his dick. He didn’t take too kindly to that.”
Andy picked up a cup. “Does anyone want more coffee?”
“Sure, I’ll make a French Press. Tell us what happened,” I said. Andy often starts stories and doesn’t finish them.
I went into the kitchen to make coffee. Val hearded Andy after me and sat him down at the kitchen table.
“How old is Shawna?” Val asked.
Andy continued his story. “Almost sixty. She turns sixty in a few months. She looks a lot younger. She’s stunning.”
“I have to agree with you. She is lovely,” said Val. “But you look thirty five on a bad day, twenty something on a good day.”
“What does that have to do with the price of tea in China? I love her.”
“It shouldn’t matter,” I said, “especially since her ex is the same age as her and with a woman who is, what, in her early forties now?” Shawna had told me how her husband had left her years before for a much younger woman who needed him.
I glanced out my window. The usual Friday morning leaf blower assault had begun at my neighbor’s house. The neighbor on the other side has a five hour leaf blower marathon every Thursday. I hate leaf blowers. Seriously, everyone hates Vampires. They should put their energy into hating leaf blowers.
“There is always someone using a leaf blower in this neighborhood,” said Val.
“I hate leaf blowers. I HATE them,” I said. “So, Andy, then what happened? Did you tell Eric that you’re a lot older than he is. He obviously doesn’t know you’re a Vampire.”
Andy smiled and flipped his hair behind his shoulder. “No. Obviously not. It’s none of his business. He wouldn’t believe it anyway. Let him think I’m thirty-five or whatever. Let him steam in his own juices. Let him be angry about a younger man being attracted to the woman he dumped. Let him be jealous that I have a relationship not only with Shawna but with his son Cameron as well.”
I looked at my tall long haired brother and knew he turned heads. I could imagine Eric having fits in his mind about this guy who was in love with the woman he discarded.
Val poured a cup of coffee. “How did it end up Andy?”
“Eric left. The only reason he’d been there was to drop off Cameron. He said something about me only being a few years older than Cameron and about Shawna having no shame. We all had a fine laugh about that one later on. Val, pour me a cup too.”
By our second cup of coffee (Vampires drink a lot of coffee) we’d moved on to other subjects. Val was glad he was single. I was glad I was happily married. Andy was in love with a middle aged woman who was still somewhat confused that she’d fall in love with a Vampire. Her son thought Andy was exceptionally cool. Andy is exceptionally cool.
I put two cups of coffee out on the back deck. As my brothers and I talked inside I could see the Ghosts, Nigel and Mary sitting down at the outdoor table and putting their hands around the mugs. They inhaled the coffee they could not drink, savoring the beautiful aroma.
I guess the moral of this story is that we all make choices. We also make choices on how to react to the consequences. Don’t be like Eric.
I worry about Andy, but then again, I worry about everyone. At least it gets my mind off of my kids. College starts back up again soon. They’re both moving. They’re both moving on to new schools. More coffee please.
~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman