He held her hand and listened as she told her story.
“I…can’t…if I die…my body…I’ll be…put…in a freezer…nobody will get….me”
She’d come from across the street where she’d lived for almost twenty years. They’d become friends, sharing glasses of wine on their decks, discussing keeping up their Victorian homes, and everything else under the stars.
Tonight she’d somehow made it across the street. He’d let her in and tucked her into the comfortable bed in his guest room. She could barely walk, barely breath, and barely speak, but he managed to make out her story.”
“I grew up in a place where poetry had to rhyme. Romance always ended in a wedding. Divorced women were predators out to steal husbands. Women didn’t buy their own homes. It was all about waiting for a man. Tonight you’re going to be my man, but not that way. I hope you don’t mind.”
“It will be an honor to be your man tonight,” he told her.
“I’m divorced. My kids are in college. I can’t die of this. If I go to the hospital I’ll die alone. If I stay home I will die. My body will be taken to a storage freezer. My kids won’t know what to do. Their father is worthless. He isn’t in their lives. Will you make sure my children will be alright. They know you. They trust you.”
“I’ll make sure they’ll always be alright. Your children will be safe. You’ll be safe. You aren’t going to die.”
“Aren’t you afraid you’ll catch this from me?”
“No,” he said. “I am not afraid. I won’t catch it. I can’t catch it.”
She gave him a weak smile, knowing he wouldn’t catch it. Then she coughed again with tears of fear and frustration.
“I’ll make it better,” he said. “Is that what you want?”
She closed her eyes as she thought about her choice. As she tried to speak nothing came out. Then she squeezed his hand, and looked in his face.
Brushing her hair out of his face, then off of her neck he said, “Alright. Here we go. Next week we’ll be having wine on your deck and forgetting you were ever sick.”
The next morning she felt like she was having the worst hang over of her life, but the cough was gone. Her sense of smell was back. She laughed.
He came in with a cup.
“Coffee?” she asked.
“Spiced blood. You’ll need it.”
In these times we all need to take care of others. Wear your mask. Check in on those who are alone or might need extra help. Stay safe.
Due to a ongoing change in attitude my cat has taken on the title Captain Asshole.
Since March 2020 I’ve more or less been home. Yes, the world has changed for all of us. This means the world has changed for cats. It used to be that they, and by they I mean cats, used to spend a lot of time alone. Now that I’m around more my cat Oscar expects a lot more of me, and he is, well, basically an asshole.
Oscar goes by many names. Baby Boy. Boo Boo Kitty. Idiot Boy. Sweetie Pie. Captain Asshole.
There is also another asshole named Gloria the Calico Cat aka Itty Bitty Kitty. She is the reason why I can’t have nice things. Every bit of furniture in my house has to be covered or she’ll claw it up. We heard getting another cat would help. She’d have a buddy after her beloved Angus the Manx went over the Rainbow Bridge. We got her a buddy ten years ago and she still hates him. But this isn’t about her.
Oscar has always been a talker. Recently he talks non-stop about just about everything that pops into his head. He has also become extremely demanding. Come up stairs. I want to go out. I want to come in. I want to go out. I want to come in. I want to go out. I want to come in. I want to go out. I want to go in. Give me treats. Give me treats NOW. Are you asleep? Are you asleep? I need to wake you up. I need to sing you the songs of my people.
A few weeks ago we got new hardwood floors in the downstairs of our home. That meant ripping up old carpet that smelled like every dog and cat that ever lived in our house. It also means that Oscar now has permission to take over the downstairs, previously the territory of Gloria, as his own.
Hardwood also means that Oscar and Alice the 90 pound German Shepard are playing slip and slide all over the place.
Oscar has also taken over the red couch, once the domain of Gloria and only Gloria, and he has taken over Alice’s dog bed.
By the way, when we were painting the walls Oscar peed on the drop cloths, the dog bed, and the dining room table. He might go a year without doing something like that. He won’t tell me why he does it. Maybe he is marking his territory, but maybe he is just being an asshole.
Sometimes I wonder if I should build Oscar his own fort.
I’m not really complaining. I love my pets. I adore them. They’re destructive and fill my house with fur but I can live with that.
A cat might be angry. A cat might be an asshole. What a cat will not be is someone who engulfs themselves in a contrived veil of negativity. A cat might lie to you, but you will always get an honest opinion from a cat.
Despite their contempt for each other Oscar and Gloria often hand out together on the front porch as they defend their property from other cats, and the unseen forces of the universe. They greet guests together with a shower of unabashed cuteness. Sometimes, shock of all shocks, they’ll even share a meal together.
Today it is raining so the cats have been inside all day. One habitually misses the litter box. The other is thinking about scratching up more furniture. Right now they’re both sleeping. Without children in the house I have my cats, and one solo dog who are missing the attention, even though they get more attention now than they ever did.
Wear a mask.
Hug a cat (if it will let you)
And of course, kiss a Vampire. You’ll thank me for it later.
This year, Gina’s gift to her husband would be extra special. It had been years in the planning; an interminable wait list, clandestine phone calls, hasty arrangements with the help of her sister when the time finally came.
Keeping the secret from Stuart had been agonizing; usually, they told each other everything. Conveniently, he was away on business when Gina and Maxine boarded a taxi for the airport. She told him her sister was recovering from surgery and needed an extra set of hands around the house for a couple of weeks. It was a half-truth; she did stay with her sister in Boston, but it was Gina who was recovering from surgery.
Gina had spoken to Stuart on the phone several times while she was away, but hadn’t told him she was returning early. He wasn’t expecting her for…
A need you dare not admit. Poetry on a Vampire Mom blog? Why? I’ll tell you.
People won’t admit they read poetry and are moved by it…but late at night they go on the Internet and search it out. It is like pornography. I’m dead serious (no pun intended). It is a need that most people will not dare admit to.
It isn’t a good time for me to expound upon the history of poetry or what caused the American population (among others) claim not to like poets. But I would like to remind everyone, especially those of us who can remember the past several centuries that there was a time that poets were the Rock Stars of our culture.
Sometimes I pull out my old volumes of favorites and read in the quiet of the night or on a rain soaked day. In turn, I also look for the new. I marvel at the many voices I see with poetry on the Internet.
Part of me believes technology with recorded music, radio, TV etc maybe brought an end to the poet as a popular icon. But in turn the Internet, yes the Internet has brought poetry back to life.
I see in the online communities poets being read, not ignored. I don’t read those words online “I don’t like poetry.” I see people who NEVER would read a poem, forwarding poetry to their friends and loved ones.
Poetry is a gift to the soul. Poetry is for everyone. Everyone needs poetry, like a vampire needs blood, like a hawk needs to fly, like a fish needs to swim. I know that wasn’t very poetic but you get the point – I hope.
Your assignment today is to READ, SAVOR and SHARE poetry with someone you love.
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 worrying about my kids. More coffee please.
~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman
Sorry I haven’t have many new posts lately, and I haven’t been reading other blogs or commenting much either. This past year sort of put me in a tail spin, but I’m flying out of it as fast as I can. On maybe a good note I have a new computer. But today, even today, was one of those one step forward, two steps back sort of days. I need to listen to Ring of Fire again. Stay safe. Wear a mask. Talk to your kids. Pet your cat. Hug your dog. Check in on those who might be alone or need extra help. Don’t be a dick. Be kind. Don’t post political crap on FaceBook. Kiss a Vampire. And yes I can see Folsom Prison from the end of my street. Thank you Johnny Cash. xoxox Juliette Kings