All is well. Yet it is not well. Not completely.
It has been a while since I have written down my thoughts and observations of this world I have been thrust into after being locked away in a crypt for 300 years. How I wish I could forget.
My Vampire love Gillian has left. I am lost.
We first met, Gillian and I, in the year 1699.
This was during my first visit to England. I was invited to a meeting of high reigning Vampires. I knew that I should have been hosting this event, but I preferred to show up as, what do they call it now, the star of the show, or the headlining act.
On the first night a grand ball was held. As was the fashion at the time Randolpho wore a ridiculously large wig. So many of the males wore wigs. I, on the other hand, wore my own hair long, golden, curled down my back and shoulders.
In contrast to my hair, my clothing was dark. Black of the most decadent fabrics, with deep blue lace at the cuffs and collar of my jacket. I wore boots rather than the popular heels with bows that so many of the other men were wearing. I stood out of the crowd in my simplicity and elegance.
The rest of my entourage was also dressed with elegant simplicity that gave off the message of power and wealth in a way that the insanely complicated costumes of the other men did not.
This was a world I understood. This was a time I understood.
It was then, at that ball, that I realized fully that most Vampires were completely old fashioned and out of touch with the changing world in which we lived. Across the ocean there were colonies being settled and cities built in the vast lands known as the Americas. We were more connected with the worlds of Asia and Africa. Even Australia had been discovered. Australia. Before I was locked in a crypt for 300 years I had heard of kangaroos.
Yet, all the other Vampires could speak of was keeping their old ways. Yet, when I spoke, in several different languages, including English, they listened. How could they now. Their eyes were locked on not only my magnificent physical appearance, but also on the appearance of my people. They also listened to every single word I said. It was my world. There was no confusion. There was never any confusion back then.
I had read the works of John Locke and Thomas Hobbes. I watched as science became more than magic or witchcraft. I saw an appreciation of nature and humanity. I saw the rise of people questioning their beliefs in religion, old traditions, and social order. Of course, it was nothing like what would come next, but I missed out on most of what came next.
It was a time when I DID understand everything around me, except maybe the hearts of women.
I found myself in a situation with a Vampire Lord from Scotland who was boring me to death with details about blood storage and his frustration at the terrified warm blooded human populations in his territory. I was just about to excuse myself when I felt a gentle tug at my sleeve.
I turned to see the most angelic face framed in brown curls.
“Come with me,” she said.
I could not help but follow. We went outside on a balcony, away from the crowd and the smell of stale blood. I could never understand Vampires who would not practice common hygiene, even back then.
This woman, this lovely Vampire woman, did not get flustered as most women did around me. She simply spoke.
“I have heard you like art and grow flowers,” she said.
I was taken aback. She did not talk of power, or how handsome I looked, or try to figure out how to manipulate me. She wanted to speak of art and flowers.
So we spoke. For hours. We talked about our inner thoughts, and what made us happy, and what kind of blood we liked best, and how out of touch everyone else in the room seemed to us.
As the sun started to rise over the city, I kissed her. Then she took me by the hand…
And then sixteen years later I was attacked, and locked in a hidden crypt for three hundred years, and left for dead.
Then Gillian, my sweet smart Gillian, found me, and now she has left me. Apparently, I am no longer the man she used to know. I do not understand. She has to realize that missing three centuries takes a toll on one.
Now I must go. The cats are telling me that they need food. They always tell me that even when it is not true.
The 21st Century is full of mysteries.
I remember one day, not long ago, when Gillian said with great distain, “Who the fuck ever thought Canned Heat was any good?”
I dared not ask what canned heat was, or why she had such a vehement hatred for it. Later I looked it up, and then asked Randolpho why Gillian hated propane and such things as Bunsen burners.
Randolpho just laughed out loud and never answered my question. This is what I put up with.
I later found out Canned Heat is a band of musicians who started playing their music together in the 1960’s. Gillian also will not listen to any band with the words brothers, blues, or girls in the band name. I do not ask why. I just accept it as any good man would. If one values his personal safety he should never question a woman’s taste in music. I speak from centuries of experience.
I asked Gillian, “What about bands with the word boys in their name?”
She snapped back at me, “The Beach Boys. Fall Out Boy. Pet Shop Boys. Come on Vlad, you’ve heard them. I don’t want to scream when I hear them.”
I had not heard them, at least not that I know of, for I do not know the names of every band I hear on the radio. I did not respond about bands I knew nothing about. How could I? If I did she would just show impatience as she had started to lately.
Gillian is the only one who could silence the Vampire King.
Today I put my two cats, Daisy and her son Marcus, into a box called a cat carrier and drove them to the veterinarian clinic to make sure they would not get rabies and fleas and other foul things that might be inflicted upon cats.
Daisy did not sing on the drive there. Marcus sang the songs of his people in a loud and sad voice. Marcus does not like to ride in cars. Or maybe he just likes to sing loudly while he rides as some people do.
When we arrived everyone thought we were cute. All three of us. We were cute. I will accept that coming from a veterinarian office. Yes, the cats were very adorable and purred excessively and asked for affection from everyone. They did not even complain about vaccinations (unlike some people.)
Tonight the cats are asleep and I am feeling sorry for myself.
I am pathetic.
Tonight I made my way to Cassie’s pub to meet up with friends. Simple things like meeting at a pub is something I appreciate that I could not always do as the King of Vampires. Back then I was all powerful. Now I am cute.
When I arrived Cassie came up to greet me. She gave me a hug and I could feel pain in her.
“What is wrong Cassie?” I asked.
“I had my second Covid booster yesterday. I feel like somebody hit me in the arm with a baseball bat. You know, working with the public I have to keep up on my shots.”
“Like my cats, only they do not work with the public,” I said. “Let me make it better.” I put my hand on her sore left arm. “Don’t move dear Cassie. Just try to relax.”
The pain moved from Cassie’s arm to my arm. Then it vanished.
“Oh my goodness. Vlad. Thank you. How did you do that?” Cassie asked in sheer astonishment.
“I am a Vampire. I can do things like that. Now, I need a drink. How about a gin and tonic with extra lime and a lot of ice. A double. Double gin not tonic.”
I made my way to the table where my friends Randolpho, Constantine, and Constantine’s girlfriend Diana were sitting.
I overheard Constantine saying, “Oh my god, the stench in the Court of Versailles was ghastly. No self-respecting Vampire would stay in the cesspool. I was there for two days and had to leave. I threw out ALL of my clothes including my shoes. Especially my shoes.”
“I never went to Versailles. I’m glad I did not. I would have starved to death,” I said.
As the night went on we talked of so many things. I found myself unconfused. Of course I could hear women around us whispering to each other how cute I am and how well put to together Constantine is, but that was to be expected. Connie has always been the best dressed Vampire I have ever met.
Late in the evening Diana pulled me aside. She had her service dog Tess with her.
“Vlad,” she said to me. “I know your heart is still broken. Gillian didn’t leave because she doesn’t love you.”
“She was tired of me,” I said.
“No. She was just frustrated that she was having a difficult time adjusting to all of your adjusting. Remember, when she met you, a long, long time ago, you were the most powerful Vampire in the world. That isn’t why she fell in love with you, but…”
“So Gillian thinks I am a failure?”
“No, I didn’t say that. I would never think that. “
Then I heard a voice behind me. I turned around to see my Vampire love Gillian.
“I would never think that Vlad. Damn it, we’ve both changed. I want to continue changing together, and staying the same together, and doing whatever together, that is if you’ll have me back,” she said quietly.
“Yes. Gillian…” then I took her in my arms and kissed her. She kissed back. Everyone in the bar started to clap. It was like a romance movie. I am indeed in the 21st Century.
Even Tess wagged her tail and started to bark.
I wish I had brought my cats.
Today was the first day of summer. The day was long, and the night will be sort. But Gillian and I made the night long and kept it hot, as they also say in the 21st Century.
That is it, at least for now.
This has been the 73rd installment of Vlad’s Vampire Diary.
After being trapped in a crypt for three hundred years, Vlad the fierce and powerful Vampire King is now learning how to live in the modern world, and learn the true meaning of the word “cute.”