Vampire Diary: Queer Eye for the Vampire Guy

Dear Diary,

Tonight I stood outside in the cool breeze, under the sky with few stars, only the moon and the planet Venus, and occasional airplanes. How different the world is where there is so much light at night that even when it feels dark we can not see the stars.

It was the year before Louis XIV, The Sun King, died. I did not find out that for another three hundred years. I had heard another group of Vampires had left for the New World. I missed the American Revolution. My own country, my own small bit of the world fell into chaos and ruin…

I stood under the night sky with the wind in my long honey colored hair fell to the small of my back. I wore a coat of the finest wine colored fabric trimmed with ribbons with gold thread. My boots were of the finest leather and the color of my jacket. My shirt was trimmed with lace. It would all have been approved of by the Sun King, or any king, because I, Vlad, was King of the Vampires.

Here I take a deep breath and wonder what the Hell happened. I was standing alone in my thoughts enjoying the night air in a Foreign land, returning from a trip to Italy, when the last thing I remember was the sight of a beautiful woman and a sharp pain in my heart. It had nothing to do with romantic thoughts.

My attackers, who are still unknown to me, sealed me in a crypt, and there I remained for the next three hundred years. My location was unknown to my family, friends, or allies. My citizens were without a leader and lost to the winds and ravages of marauding hordes. Those who were not slaughtered went into hiding. My friend Randolpho was one of them.

For three hundred years I lay in a state of trance like sleep, occasionally mixed with consciousness, unable to move, or cry out for help. I was dead, but undead, in a cruel state of hibernation. My heart had been stabbed with a stake but not fully pierced. My throat had been slit but my head not severed. It is rather disgusting now that I think of it.

Of course one can imagine what it was like when Randolpho and my love Gillian found me. First I heard the lock snap, and the gates of the crypt forced open, then the top of the tomb moved off, and then they opened the coffin.

“Oh shit,” was the first words that I heard, coming from the mouth of Randolpho.

Gillian bent over and kissed me. I opened my eyes. “It’s him,” she said in a now unfamiliar accent. “Let’s get him out of here.”

My fine clothing had all but rotted away. My hair was in tangles with years of bugs and mice having their children in my golden locks. When I awoke I found myself not in a coffin but in the softest of beds with sheets so softer than anything I could have imagined.

Everything smelled good. I smelled good like flowers and fresh spring herbs. I wore a soft robe, and drawstring pants. My hair was clean but now short to my collar. I often think of growing it long again but maybe not.

Gillian came in, not as I remembered her, corseted in a long gown and elaborate ringlets, but in a short skirt and a long jacket. Her hair was straight and down her back. The skirt was black leather, the jacket was a pink color I could not describe, her shirt was simple white lace. She smelled like oranges and roses. Later she told me it was grapefruit scented lotion. Her legs were showing. Almost all of her legs.

In all of my centuries I could have never imagined the modern world in which I had awakened into.

Louis XIV was the King of the Sun, and I was the King of the Moon.

Now I wear jeans. I am no longer King. As for Louis, alas he is still dead.

~ Vlad

 

Dear Diary,

Gillian said, “You could wear a burlap bag and you’d still be cute.”

“What is a burlap bag?” I asked.

She rolled her eyes. The door bell rang and she left me standing, once again wondering what she was talking about.

I quickly looked up burlap bag on the Internet. Why would wearing a brown bag made of rough cloth make me cute? What did she mean by cute? Do I look like an onion or potato or coffee bean? Onions are not cute. I do not understand half of what she says to me.

Friends came to binge watch Netflix. I asked them once what Netflix represented. They told me that movies used to be called flicks because of how the film would flicker. They explained more but I was lost. I smiled and thanked them. Gillian and Randolpho tell me not to be overly concerned about the names of companies. I disagree. One never knows what might be lurking in secondary and secret meanings of names. They laugh at that. I scoff. I was not Vampire King for 306 years by not paying attention. The one time I did not pay attention I ended up in the 21st Century.

Randolpho and friends, Innocenzio D’Antonio, Jackie Rafferty and his girlfriend Willow came over. Gillian’s friend Elizabeth was also in the group. I have no kingdom but I have new Vampire friends.

Tonight we watched something called Queer Eye. In my wildest dreams I never imagined such a thing. We watched for five hours.

Five men go from town to town and fix the lives of other men who need fixing. They also help women, but mostly men. How do I say this… they are what is now called “Queer” or “Gay” which in this language means odd or happy, but also means they choose to be with romantic men.

Back when I was King of the Vampires in my old country and old centuries back world we did not care who anyone spent their time or lives with. It did not matter. We were Vampires and I was their King.

As a youth it did matter. There were men who were afraid of those who loved freely. They were violent against those who were not the same as them. That was my uncle and cousins who were unfortunately eaten by wolves or ended up somehow, mysteriously with their heads on posts.

They would torture me when I was young because they said I looked like a pretty girl rather than a boy. They also tried to take advantage of my sister and harm her. They were not the kind of Vampires who would binge watch Netflix. But they are no longer here and I look around my home and have decided that I need to how do I say, step up my game.

Alas clothing for men is so plain now. Everything looks good on me but it would be good to know what would look best on me.

Among the seven Vampires watching we used two entire boxes of what is called Kleenex while watching the shows. We might be Vampires but we are what do they call it, suckers for sentimentality and turning lives around. After all, that is what Vampires do. We turn lives around as well.

Antoni, Karamo, Tan, Bobby, and Jonathan made me laugh and think about style. I believe my hair would look good if it was styled the same as Tan’s. I do not like angels, as most Vampires do not, but in this case I believe Bobby is the human form of one.

When the sun came up and we decided to sleep, I wondered if Bobby would help an old Vampire design his guest chambers?

I almost stayed up to watch the rest of Season 2 without the others.

~ Vlad

 

Dear Diary,

In my bed, with Gillian asleep in my arms, I wondered how out of touch I am with the modern world. Maybe it is not that I am so out of touch as… I do not know. I seem to adapt.

It is a full moon. I wonder if I will hear the Werewolves howl tonight. I wonder if they will have their sinks clogged with fur. I wonder where they keep their clothing when they run as wolves. I wonder why even now Werewolves still dress in such tacky and distasteful clothing. I wonder if I get measured and order some new suits tomorrow how long it will take for me to get them. I wonder if ribbons and lace will ever be popular again for men to wear openly without shame?

Gillian runs her hand across my chest and up my neck. She never asks what I am thinking. She knows. Her cool touch to my face brings me out of my own thoughts.

“Do you think I need a Queer Eye?” I ask.

She smiles with a hint of fang. “No, just a few history books.”

Then she kisses me, and puts her naked leg over mine, and this is where I stop writing.

~ Vlad

 

 

Kissed by a Vampire

Kissed by a Vampire

This has been the 39th installment of Vlad’s Vampire Diary. To start from the beginning (or randomly read them) CLICK HERE.

 

 

 

It’s morning. Do you know where your soul is?

A conversations over coffee and musings about the lives of others.

This morning I met for coffee with my brother’s friend James.

James is one of those people I find extremely obnoxious, but we have a connections through my brother Andy and through some shared experiences. We all have friends like James.

When he isn’t just hanging out with old friends, James is a psychiatrist to some pretty well known individuals. He is good at giving people ways to find normalcy in their lives. That is their normal. Everyone has his or her own normal, they just have to find it. The same goes with inner peace and contentment. James gives his patients the tools and teaches them how to use those tools to keep healthy.

As I drove to his house, through one of the more exclusive neighborhoods in the city, I passed a home I’d once been in, years ago. The house belonged to a wealthy man. I’m talking insanely wealthy. A friend of mine was his executive assistant.

I was there for a party. He was lovely and friendly. I’d met him before and he remembered me. My friend adored him. He was a good man.

Unfortunately his ex-wife, his narcissistic daughter, and his psychiatrist only saw dollar signs. They poisoned him with their demands and their bad advise. It was never about him. People who cared couldn’t get through to him. The women took and took from him, stabbing out pieces of his soul until one day he killed himself.

“There is a special place in Hell for them. No, really, Jewels, the reservations have been made,” James told me as he poured me a second cup of coffee in his well-appointed kitchen.

I believed James, because like me, he is a Vampire. He lives with one foot in death’s door at times. He knows what it is like to grab up your own soul and hold it tight. For unlike Regular Humans, Vampires can’t give away or trade our souls, but sometimes there are those who try to come up from the depths of Hell and steal them away.

“And to think,” I said, “people call us ghouls.”

“They’re such hypocrites,” said James.

We had more coffee and talked about our friends, our work and books we’d read over the summer. I looked around the beautiful kitchen. Too bad not much cooking happened in it. Most Vampires don’t cook much. We do, but not much. I don’t need to explain why.

James made a lame joke about cooking and I laughed. Then he smiled with a sexy bit of fang and said, “Let’s go upstairs and fuck.”

I smiled back. “You know I’m married.” Yes, that is the reason I don’t see much of James.

“Right, you’re married to the most handsome Vampire in the world, but come down to the dark side with me this morning. Nobody will ever know. Mix it up a little.”

“Oh James,” I said, “even if I was single I’d have to say no. It isn’t going to happen. But thank you for the coffee. It was delightful.”

“At least I can try,” he said taking my hand and kissing it.

Now I’m home, taking a break from my work, sharing my morning. I’m also wondering if anyone is mourning still for the lovely man who was driven to his death by demons who took the form of friends and family.

I look at my old dog sleeping on the cool tile by my feet. I hear a hawk outside. It is a calm space where demons are not allowed. I will not let them in.

Close the door if they knock, even if they look like someone you know.

Beware those who have already traded in their souls at the expense of others.

OK everyone, have a nice day.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

Desert Winds

On the edge of the Sandia Mountains, My friends Amelia her husband Raul and I drove down the gravel road to the home of Ximena, an ancient woman who mostly lived in solitude with the company of the birds and the wind.

Ximena’s home was a large old adobe structure rimmed with bells and bushes of purple flowers. She greeted us at the door, as always wearing a long colorful skirt. Her black hair flowed down her back almost to her knees. Dark eyes smiled at us in a welcome greeting, as did her fangs. She is almost as ancient as Tellias and Eleora, and like them Ximena looks like a young college girl.

We came into the main room. Walls lined with books and crystals flanked part of the room with windows on the other side looking towards the mountains. We could smell the dried chiles rastas hanging in the kitchen. A red shouldered hawk perched on a wooden chair. It called out when it saw us.

“Maria, you still sing so sweetly,” I said to the bird. She gave me a cold stair then allowed me to pet her feathered head.

Maria the hawk had been around since I was a young woman, more than a hundred years. I wondered at times how she could live so long, then I stopped wondering and chalked it up to magic, love or pure mystery. It is what it is. That is how things work here in the land of magic.

A youngish man with dark hair and eyes like Ximena, but pale skin, came into the room. He was introduced to us as Kyle. But he wasn’t like us. I could feel his warmth as soon as he walked into the room.

Kyle was a man of many talents. He was a photographer, a teacher, a writer, an engineer and apparently a lover. After talking over wine and a light diner we also discovered Ximena’s young friend was also extremely opened minded.

He was also a young widow. One night left him alone with his dreams dead, but he kept going and kept at least a portion of the dreams and spark alive.

While Raul, Amelia and Ximena went to a back room to examine some old maps or something, Kyle and I went out to the porch. Bats flew about as the sounds of the bells filled the air.

Kyle asks me about my husband Teddy. I smiled shyly and told him how we’d met as kids and fallen in love a hundred years later. I think I’d always been in love with my husband on some level.

Then Kyle spoke of his lost love. “After Kayla, my wife, passed away everyone kept asking me if I’d go back. Over and over they’d ask the old what if question. You know, you can’t go back. I can’t bring her back. I will never forget her. She is part of me, but I live in the world of the living.”

“No ghost?” I had to ask (always thinking of obnoxious Nigel)

“Only a Vampire in the Southwest would ask that,” Kyle answered with a knowing smile.

“A Vampire anywhere would ask that. Don’t get me started on the ghosts I see all the time.”

“No ghost. Kayla moved on the night she died. That is a good thing.”

“Yes it is. You’re a wise man with a loving heart. In some circles that is a rare thing.”

He leaned against the rail. “I don’t know you except by reputation but I want to ask you a few thing, or at least see how you feel about a few things.”

“Okay,” I said.

“I’m in love with Ximena. I know what she is. I know how old she is. It doesn’t matter.”

I shrugged and laughed. “My 500 or so year old Grandmama is in love with a 35 year old. What are you, about 38?”

He smiled. I was correct. He was 38 and absolutely a delight – young, yet years ahead of most men his age.

“Dear Kyle, you also want me to tell you if I think it would be wise if you became a Vampire? Right?”

He smiled an uncomfortable hot blooded smile.

I said to him, “Kyle, you are in love with the cold wind under the moon and the sprint of night. She is an amazing being. I’ve always admired her. If you feel you can make a life out here with her then do it. But don’t lose yourself in her. Always be who you are, even after you become a Vampire. That is the only way it will work. If you try to be too much like her she will leave you, because she fell in love with you, not with herself.”

Raul and Ximena came out to join us with wine for Ryan and spiced blood for the rest of us.

Ximena whistled and Maria the red shouldered hawk came and landed on a table next to her hand. Ximena gave the bird a piece of meat she took from a bag in her pocket.

Into the night we talked until the sun came up and created unbelievably beautiful light and shadows on the mountains.

I could hear the wind whispering to the lovers:

The light

in dark eyes

promises kept

forever and

again

in our hearts

we love

we laugh

and we learn

to do it 

all

over 

again.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

 

bells

 

Culture Shock

Culture Shock: A Discussion with Vampires and Werewolves

Sometime late this summer my son Garrett will move up from the dorms into a small house with three other college students. Two are like him. One is not like him.

It isn’t as if I have a problem with that. Three out of four of my daughter’s best friends are gay or undecided. The come in a variety of skin colors and sizes. They’re all cute and all Vampires and all smart so of course they’re friends. I love all of them just how they are.

Garrett’s future roommate is a little more complicated. She isn’t a Vampire. She isn’t a normal person (you know what I mean.) She is a Werewolf. At the tender age of sixteen some asshole bit her and turned her into a highly contagious dog-girl who howls at the moon. I know why her parents are so upset. So is her uncle. Her uncle is a Vampire. He is a Vampire of his own choice.

Yesterday the uncle, a guy named Jeremy (same name as my dad) called and asked if we could meet. He and Bailey were coming up from the Bay Area for the day and thought it would be a good idea to meet.

I could tell Jeremy was a success as a Vampire right away. He had the calm confidence of our kind, but also gave off the vibe of being hyper aware of his surroundings. Nobody else would have know this sandy haired guy with a warm smile and bright blue eyes was a blood sucking creature of the shadows.

He said Bailey had dropped him off and would be back shortly.

I poured a few glasses of chilled spiced blood and we sat on the deck.

“What happened to the Werewolf who attacked Bailey?” I had to ask.

Jeremy’s mouth set in a grim stance. “She was put down.”

“Any reproductions from the Werewolf community?”

“They know the rules. If Bailey had become anything it should have been a Vampire, not a damned Werewolf.” He paused trying to gather his words. “It hit Bailey hard. She knew I was different, but she had no idea. This was all fiction to her before she changed. The Werewolves have been no help at all, at least none that I know.”

Culture shock is hard on a teen, not to mention the physical changes when becoming, for better terms, something else. There are feelings of sadness, loss, anger and fear. They wonder if they’ll be able to live among people unlike themselves. They fear someone will find out. On the flip side some see it as an opportunity and have fun exploring their new life and meeting others like themselves. Unfortunately there are not always a lot of folks like them. Vampires are rare and Werewolves are  even more rare.

“We have friends who are Werewolves. They’re kind of out of the dark dog culture but they have their own support system. They’re cool.”

“Garrett told her about them. I guess he has friends who are Werewolves.”

I could hear my old dog yelping her happy somebody-is-here song.

Bailey wasn’t what I expected. I don’t know why I expected some dark eyed waif with a heroine chic look. She was about 5′ 8″, wearing jeans, a flowered pink camisole style shirt and bright pink Vans. Her pixie style hair and eyes were the same color as Jeremy’s.

“Wow, you’re Garrett’s mom. You look so young,” she said.

I was charmed. “I’ll tell you a secret. I’m 155.”

Both Bailey and Garrett looked surprised. Oh well. We talked for a few hours until I had to pick Clara up from the high school.

As I drove up to the school I could see two older boys, graduating seniors walking along and laughing as teenage boys do. They were two of the dozen Vampires at the school. Just typical kids with big time family secrets.

Bailey had mentioned that she’d dropped out of high school after she’d been turned into a Werewolf and homeschooled for her last year. Everyone assumed it was from her injuries. They were partially right. The boys I was watching were born into Vampire families. It was safe for them. There was nothing to be scared of. For Bailey there was everything to be scared of.

I told Bailey that Garrett, his best buddy Randy and their other roomie would watch out for her and help her navigate her new world as a young adult. I hope I’m right. They’re still learning. But like Randy’s mom and I have discussed – our kids are also good about learning from their mistakes.

When we look at people who are different, either by culture or other differences, we have to give them a break. At the same time when we are surrounded by people who are different it is a good time to learn something new. It is a good time to get out of your own skin and experience something different. It is a time to share. Not always, but take the positive.

Of course being a Werewolf is just plain creepy in my book. I look down at my own hands on the keyboard and can’t even imagine growing claws and dark brown thick hair on them.

My friend Adam once told me that he wished he could take a full moon off and walk through the night as a man, and not a wolf. He said it would be nice not to smell blood (I beg to differ for obvious reasons.)

Being the odd one out is difficult. I know how that feels. My wish is that Bailey and others like her don’t feel it so much. My wish is that they don’t feel it at all.

 

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

beach time

 

 

 

 

 

Vampire Diary: Blood Red

Dear Diary,

Blood red roses. Silk sheets black as a Siberian night. Skin as white and cold as snow. Cold as death and as beautiful as a winter wind, Gillian lay in my bed beside me. She was all mine.

Whispering my name, she pulled me close, scraping fangs across my shoulder and nails down my back. Yes, there are even things that render a Vampire Prince such as myself powerless.

Yes, that thing is called a doorbell. The doorbell rang. I wasn’t expecting anyone or anything.

Opening the window I looked out into the yard. My neighbor was standing there among the crimson roses. She looked up at me.

“Oh my God, you’re built. Six pack abs and everything,” she said.

I wished I’d put on my robe. “What do you want?”

“The garden tour is today. Get dressed and come down to help.”

I vaguely remember her mentioning a garden tour. Several homes in the neighborhood were being featured. It was a charity event for the local school. I declined, though my garden is spectacular.

I made a valid excuse, “I have company.”

“You lucky dog! Bring her along. We have coffee and muffins.”

Then she waved with her fingers and left. I went back to my waiting lover, who’d by then fallen asleep.

I don’t even like muffins. Why did she call me a dog? I do not understand.

~ Vlad

——————–

Dear Diary,

For centuries I lived in fine castles and estates with hundreds and even thousands of acres. I was the prince who ruled over forests and field. Hundred were under my command for my personal use.

Beautiful young men and women from the town would be brought to me every night so that I might enjoy their blood. They feared me and obeyed me. In turn, they desired me and wanted to be among my favorites. They were drawn to what they feared and desired the most – and that was me.

Now…

The neighbor who thinks I’m “hot” doesn’t know that I’ve feasted on her blood several times when her husband was away. She has no fear of me. Desire? No matter how attracted she is to me she will never be unfaithful to her husband. She could seduce me but I could not seduce her.

That makes no sense. What is the world coming to? She believes me to be the most attractive male she has ever met but she would never follow me except to maybe the grocery store or…

Stop. Vlad, you made the choice to be here. You made the choice to leave the old dark ways and move on. But to what end? To what end?

My lover Gillian told me, “Vlad, this isn’t the 16th Century.” She has told me over and over and over and over. For Gillian, embracing the modern world was easy. For me it is difficult at best.

The cat is looking at me as if to say, “dare me to walk over the keyboard.”

I still don’t like muffins. I threw the ones left here yesterday over the fence for the other neighbor’s dog to eat. He likes muffins.

~ Vlad

————————

Dear Diary,

Cats have their own doctors. I do not understand this world in which I live.

~ Vlad

———————

Dear Diary,

A turkey vulture, buzzard, Cathartes aura, sits on a tree outside my window. He is known for his grace in the wind and for following death. Maybe that is why he sits near me.

Gillian said I have become morose. Yet, she has asked for a drawer and a space in my bedroom closet.

I asked the women in my neighborhood about that over cocktails tonight. It was a neighborhood thing. I was invited. The women knew what Gillian wants. Mortal women know what a Vampire woman desires. They tell me it is “serious,” then they giggle like school girls. My head spins. I need blood.

Later that night before Gillian returned I went out to hunt. It is so easy these days. I miss the hunt and the fear. On the other hand I fear Gillian. I want her, but now I fear her. I can’t explain that any more than I can explain why I allow a cat to live in my house.

A modern world with a Modern Vampire. I am over my head. Maybe head over heels. It is all so confusing.

~ Vlad

Never confuse a hot werewolf with a hotdog.

That title was just a cheap shot made-you-look ploy, but I am in a Werewolf kind of mood.

You want to know the difference between Werewolves and Vampires? Vampires change once. Werewolves change all the time. Neither are good at surviving that first change. Most don’t. It is what it is.

But you gotta feel sorry for Werewolves. When I was a kid they were considered the trailer trash of the underground world of people who were, well, changed. We’ll just call it changed. As in changed into something else.

Werewolves tended to be brash and tacky. They’d wear too much bling and bad color combinations – both in the 1980’s and the 1880’s. Then things sort of turned around in a certain segment of their population right after WW2. They started to get serious. They became scientists and thinkers. They were the geeks of the paranormal world. They still are. They’re always looking for a cure without the drastic silver bullet. And if not a cure, they want to just find out “why,” because of course many don’t want a cure.

Listen to a Werewolf talk about a run through the woods on a full moon night and you’ll know why not all are looking for a cure.

For those born into the world of shadows being a teen is like being in constant change. All teens are like Werewolves and Vampires, even those who aren’t technically either. I don’t mean that in a negative way. I just mean that they have a lot of challenges to face. Their world is changing. Expectations are changing. It is confusing. Their bodies are doing weird things. They have no idea when their bodies will stop doing weird things. They don’t know how big things will get or how tall. Their complexions are weird. Their emotions are totally confused and off the charts – even for the calmest and coolest of teens.

So if you have a teen in your house treat him/her like you would a Werewolf. Listen. Spend quiet time together. Give a shoulder rub. Stay calm even when they’re changing. If they start to growl, quietly and firmly try to calm them down and remember the full moon will soon be over. And love them. Play with them. Show some understanding. And they can be reasoned with. Really.

I stopped by my Werewolf friend Adam’s studio early this morning. He is an extraordinary photographer. Anyway we are working on a little project together but… we were doing what we do the most, which is just shoot the breeze.

Adam is one of those stereotypical hot Werewolf guys. Before I knew he was a Werewolf and before he knew I was a Vampire, he was one of my donors (he has a nice neck.) I always thought it was charming that is blood tasted like Bourbon. I never knew that about Werewolves.  Then he found out my secret and well, it wasn’t good. But we’re friends again, unlikely friends, but friends none the less.

So we’re having coffee this morning and Adam says, “May the fourth we with you. So in Star Wars who would we be?”

“Han Solo and the Wookie. You know who the Wookie is.”

He laughed. Our friendship works. Why shouldn’t it. We both crave blood but we never kill. We both live in a secret world with demands that just make life a little bit different. Other than that we’re just like everyone else. OK not exactly like everyone else, but close.

The coffee was good. On the drive home I thought about all of my Werewolf encounters when I was a child. Those were always weird hushed events with my parents meeting strange people (the Werewolf folks) on uneasy terms. They were sort of the lesser of many evils out there. Times have changed. Well, for the most part.

Then I thought about Adam. He is so attractive and funny. No wonder he is so successful (and insanely talented and good at self promotion.) It was difficult when we first discovered out differences but I’m glad we did. No pressure.

So Werewolves… I have to say that they’ve always been misunderstood, but then again, haven’t we all felt that way. I mean it. Who hasn’t?

Tell your kids that feeling different isn’t a bad thing. Sure you have to try harder and work around things, but it can work out for the best. Use those differences to your advantage. Use those differences to make yourself happy. Hey, you know, if we were all the same the world would be a boring place.

OK I have to get the kid to school. Have a good week everyone.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman