Double Standards … and mixed reviews of high school

The transition from a small school to a large high school has had mixed reviews from my daughter.

Last night while on a long walk she unloaded about school. Mainly the kids were stupid. I’ll give you the list.

  • The kids don’t care about their grades.
  • They don’t care about school.
  • All of my teachers but one hate me.
  • There are too many stoners.
  • All the boys think about is sex.
  • The popular girls call me sheltered because I don’t do drugs, smoke or have sex with a bunch of guy. I’m not sheltered. It is my choice not to do those things.

After almost a week off from school it all came pouring out for two hours of hiking in the woods.

I’m glad she talks to me. I think of the kids who don’t talk to their parents. I think it is because their parents don’t encourage it or make it comfortable. One must listen without judgment and without constant suggestions. Just listen.

But we did talk about things.

I believe her teachers DO like her, or at least don’t dislike her. She is quiet in class, asks questions, is involved (if no opinionated) in discussions, and gets really good grades. And she helps other kids when they need it, especially the special needs kids. But she is hard to read for those who don’t know her. She isn’t an open book.

There is a certain cultural group full of tough girls who like to smack girls of other cultural backgrounds. It is a very small group but if you hit other girls people will notice. One of Clara’s friends was hit in PE for no reason other than the color of her ginger hair. The attacker was suspended, but still, it is frustrating. My daughter wonders why these girls – the ones who attack are so stupid and mean and violent.

I asked if any of those girls were in her PE class. She said no, just stoner chicks and they don’t bother anyone.

There are a lot of stoners at school. One of her best friends now hangs out with stoners. He says they are nice to him. She doesn’t know how to handle that. She knows if she hangs out with stoners that everyone will think she is a stoner. That and the fact that she finds stoners disgusting with their lack of ambition and ability to embrace stupidity.

And it always circles around at how sexist the Freshman and Sophomore boys are. They make rude comments, send rude texts and act like jerks if she doesn’t give them attention back. For more on that click here for “Junk Mail.”

There are also the groups of “popular girls” who are beautiful and look Clara up and down when she walks past. The looks are rude and judgmental.

Clara wears great clothes and she is beautiful. She is the California girl with the long blonde hair and I dare say, sultry deeper voice. She is also smart. And she doesn’t take crap. She doesn’t feel the need to follow anyone.

Thank goodness she is making a lot of friends, kids like her who have a high standard for themselves.

Sure she could rip the heads off of the kids who bug her but that isn’t a solution any more than smoking pot to make things feel better. Or worse she could be like the mean girls and making sport of trying to get other girls to feel bad about themselves.

She knows the mean girls and stupid boys will be like the Bruce Springsteen song “Glory Days.” Everything for these kids will be downhill after high school because they never see the big picture or have any idea of what is coming. The big wide world out there doesn’t care who is “popular” or “cool.”

She sees in the older kids (Juniors and Seniors) more mature and smart but that doesn’t make things better. She knows some of the kids will grow up and out of their present immature state but that seems like a long way off.

But it will get better as she makes more friends. Her old friends and new friends more or less all feel the same way she does. They don’t fit into any “group.” They’re just good kids. Not geeks. Not religious. Just good well grounded kids from good well grounded families.

She knows herself and knows she isn’t the one who is weird or off track. She is fine – just surrounded by a sea of stupid.

As for any violence – there are cameras in every classroom so disciplinary action is swift. Unfortunately bad things still happen. Not all the time, but enough to make school suck.

All of these things have never really been a problem before. Everything was always cool or small or less confusing.

As a parent just listen. Let your teen vent. Let them use you as a sounding board. And a hug always helps.

– Juliette aka Vampire Maman

And while you’re online have your teen listen to this. The world is full of jerks but if you’re smart and true you’ll be ok (but the jerks unfortunately are a part of life.)
http://www.npr.org/blogs/krulwich/2013/11/30/247842138/science-reporter-emily-graslie-reads-her-mail-and-it-s-not-so-nice

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Friendship, coming out, high school, tater tots and other musings on teens, life and love.

Ever since they were teeny tiny little things my kids seem to know everything. I don’t mean advanced mathematics and reading War and Peace at age three, I mean they know everything that is going on around them. No matter how big or small they know the scoop what is going on at school and everywhere else they go. They’re telling me secrets about school administrators. They seem to know every kid and the story of every kid. They know all about the teachers in details that would shock.

Of course they’re predisposed of this sort of knowledge (being Vampires) but they’re good. They know the right moment to wait at the door before entering. Their ears (the same ones that don’t hear their parents) hear everything around them. And, like their parents, people tell them things. It is as if the filters go off on everyone at school when my kids are around.

This morning I dropped my daughter off in front of the school. There are almost 2,500 students, she has been there since August, yet she knows everything about everyone. A kid got out of a car in front of us (in the NO STOPPING ANYTIME zone that ALL the parents stop in) and I asked her if she knew him. No she didn’t know him personally but she knew this well dressed kid was in the special education program, but he was in regular classes and doing well. She said he was nice. Some boys made fun of him last year because he looks a little different but that was put to a stop. I said he had beautiful hair (he had amazing hair). My child said “He has better hair than 90% of the stupid boys in the school.”

Picking on other kids generally isn’t tolerated (bullying) at this school. Not just by the teachers but by the kids. They seem to self regulate the school culture and try not to put up with bullies. Of course it happens, but not as much as other schools. The main problem seems to be sexism, general teenage confusion, drugs and teenage angst.

Then she proceeded to tell me about a girl who is really short but can throw an 8 pound shot put about 25 feet across the field. All of the kids watch in awe and wonder.

Yes, the topic of conversation is always changing. Young brains are taking it in and processing everything. That is a good thing.

Last night my brother was over. Max has a house in San Francisco near our parents but when he isn’t on a job he tends to migrate to my house. He also happens to be my husband’s best friend.

My brother Max and husband Teddy sat together watching the game, never running out of things to talk about. They were born within months of each other. Their mothers were the best of friends who despite their differences and pregnancies embarked on a great adventure together. 164 years later the two baby boys, born in the midst of the California Gold Rush, are still best friends.

They learn back and stretch their long legs together and laugh about something. It is like they can read each other’s mind. Actually they can. Sometimes I wonder who is the married couple – Teddy and me, or Teddy and Max. But when you marry your brother’s best friend your brother is always going to be around. But that’s ok. Max might be a little serious and brooding sometimes but the fact that I can drive him nuts is worth it. And I love him dearly.

So it will be with my daughter and her friend Warren. They have known each other since they were toddlers. Who knows why they attached themselves to each other, but I know they’ll always be friends.

When we were told this week that Warren put out something on Twitter stating that he liked girls AND boys nobody was shocked or surprised. It was news. It wasn’t unexpected.

I asked my teens if anyone at their school cared. The answer I got was that most LBGT kids were cool and well liked. I can give a lot of reasons for that. We live in Northern California where it is OK to be gay. It is normal. Nobody cares. Luckily they have a school culture where all the kids hang out together with male, female, straight, gay, bi friends.

I hear more about how the Geeks LOVE Tater Tots and how the “Men’s Fashion Club” is mostly straight Asian boys who have great clothes and hair, and how my kids are tired of dealing with stoners. We hear about who is selling drugs and getting suspended (always the same kids.) We hear about how many bicycles and skateboards are in the gated area everyday (no busses in our school district) and about the crazy parking in the student parking lot. We hear about who is or isn’t going off to college and the fact that nobody knows where they have been accepted yet. We hear a lot about music. Some days it is ALL about the music. We hear about a lot of things – most of it good, or at least just interesting.

My kids are different. Yes, read the masthead…this is Musings of a Modern Vampire Mom. We’re at the top of the food chain so it makes being different easy. They’ve grown up keeping it to themselves like just another odd genetic difference. It is how they roll. When they were younger they’d ask things like “Why can’t we tell anyone?” or “Do you like being different mom?”

Now they don’t ask, they just accept. They see the same characters and situation in their families as most kids.

So Warren came out. We’ve talked to the kids about the old days when someone could be arrested, tortured or even killed for loving someone of the same sex. It still goes on in some parts of the world. Living in Northern California I try to think we’re more progressive, but unfortunately that isn’t always the case. But things are changing and it won’t be stopped.

Max never talks much about his past relationships with men,  or women for that matter. Right now he has a woman on his mind and can’t figure it all out. Another Vampire of course. But we never questioned his choices (OK I DO question his choices because he has made some really foolish ones, but it has nothing to do with the person being male or female). He is who he is. But for most of his life, at least to the non Vampire world his choices have been kept secret.

At one time it seemed off to my husband who was raised to be a somewhat proper Victorian man but his attitude changed as soon as he changed (into a Vampire). It wasn’t easy at first but a lot of attitudes have changed over the years for him but that is a good thing (he freely admits).

My kids are amazed when I tell them about the old days when people with physical difficulties were put away in institutions or kept at home (not school for those kids). They don’t understand that there were laws keeping people of different colors from marrying. They don’t understand the reasons behind fear of people who are just a little bit different. And maybe one day that difference won’t be different or at least won’t matter.

So will anything change for Warren? We doubt much. Maybe a few people will make comments, but nobody was surprised. Everybody still loves Warren. They’re still his friend. They’re all saying “We already knew that Warren. Tell us something we don’t know.”

Have a good weekend everyone,
~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

teens beach

A few somewhat related posts on Max, secrets, teens and other things:

An afternoon with an ancient Vampire (and Werewolves)

punkinsteethHalloween is almost here and that means a party at the home of the ancient Vampires Eleora and Tellias. I’d promised Tellias I’d take him shopping for craft supplies. He could have gone on his own but lately he had a tendency to get lost, especially when going out during the daylight hours.

When I arrived at the grand Victorian farmhouse the couple share Tellias was waiting with a Panama hat on and round dark sunglasses. Today he was dressed fairly normal – a black velveteen vest over a white shirt, black jeans and yellow flip flops. His pale blonde hair was fanned out like liquid gold over his shoulders.  He looked all of nineteen years old.

We had one other stop, to see my friend Adam, a photographer, who also happens to be a Werewolf. If I’d told Tellias about it he wouldn’t have agreed to go. Werewolves are always a touchy subject with him.

Adam was there with his photographs and two other Werewolves, a man and a woman. He introduced them as Troy and Bethany. Troy was large and deeply tanned with that sort of manly lumberjack look women seem to love. Brandy was delicate pretty woman with one blue eye and one brown eye. She wore her hair in long reddish curls and looked like anything but a Werewolf.

Most people don’t know that Werewolves, despite popular myths, are the researchers, geeks and scientists of the alternate world (that world of Werewolves, Vampires and other not so regular type humans.)

I noticed Brandy’s right hand, mangled and curled under with horrible scars. She held her hand up close to her side as if she was protecting it.

They knew who Tellias was. Everyone knew about the ancient Vampire, born in Rome around the time when BC merged into AD. He’d gone to Britain with the Roman army as sort of an adviser. The Roman generals knew he was brilliant and special but nobody knew he was a Vampire. And eventually, he ended up here and now, shopping for Halloween craft supplies on a beautiful fall day in Northern California.

After introductions the Werewolves asked Tellias if there were wolves in Britain back almost 2,000 years ago when he was there. He thought for a second.

“They were large wolves and they were eating the dead.  Even Vampires couldn’t compete with that kind of horror.  I couldn’t blame them for an easy meal. I’ve gone for easy too. We all have.

The wolves were magnificent creatures unlike any I’d seen anywhere.  The blood baths against any living creature bothered me from the start.”

“Did you hunt the wolves?” asked Brandy.

“No, no, not at all. We’re Vampires not ghouls.”

“Did you know King Arthur?” That was Adam asking out of the blue. I almost told him to shut up.

Tellias gave a serious slightly peeved look. “King Arthur? Friends knew him. Said he was sort of a dick. It was a harsh world back then, not the romantic ideal you see in the movies. There was no social justice or human rights or much of anything. No animal rights. That said, it was a good time for Vampires before Regular Humans figured out what we were up to. It was that damn group of self important rogue Vampires who set themselves up as wizards and all sorts of other nonsense. We annihilated most of them but the damage was done. Done, done, done, forever. Our reputations were ruined and our cover blown clear out of the sky. Clear out.

I knew a priest back then, a man of God who was good. His name was Virgil. Like the poet or like the guy in the Sanford novels, Virgil Flowers.  Have you read those books? I think my Virgil was from Southern Europe but I never knew and he never told me. He could talk with wolves and hawks. I’ve always liked Hawks. Sometimes I’ll sit for hours and watch them.

There were wild spirits and wilder men who tried to keep Virgil from his work. He was a healer, not just of broken bones but a healer of the soul.  He was like an early psychiatrist. He was a werewolf too. We became close friends. Close close friends. I miss him to this day. So does my wife.  You know, I don’t even remember when I started calling her my wife, it just seemed like we were married the first night we ever spent together, which was also the first night we met. He said we were too nice to be damned but I once caught him weeping because he didn’t believe Vampires had souls and he thought we were demons. Do you think we’re demons? Undead lifeless shadows with no souls? Parasites of human blood? We have two souls and we can’t sell them or give them away. Our souls are our burden to keep alone. Nobody looks after us. Just like Werewolves, nobody looks after you or your souls either.” Tellias looked around the room oh so quietly in his Vampire way, looking straight into the very soul of each and every Werewolf.

“So we’re all damned according to your lore?” Brandy asked again, still holding her hand close to her side.

Tellias looked her straight in the eyes. “Not damned, just alone. All alone. As alone as can be. So we must keep organized and quiet and stay together despite our differences.”

Tellias looked at me in mild confusion and annoyance. “Why are we here again?”

“They need our help,” I said

“So they call on the old Vampire.”

“Yes, they need your help. They’re doing a study about healing powers and pain. They’d like to find out how we manage it so well when others are unable to. They want to know if it is physical or mental. It is a problem with Werewolves.”

“Can we go now?” He looked clearly uncomfortable and annoyed. He whispered in my hear so only I could hear, “everything is mental with Werewolves. They’re nuts.”

“We have to go,” I said to the Werewolves.

“Someone is hunting us, do you know who it is?” That was Troy, speaking up for the first time. He sounded pretty desperate and emotional.

Tellias took a deep breath. “October is always a bad month for this kind of insanity. I’m sorry I don’t know right off hand but…” He approached Bethany and took her hand. “What happened to you dear girl?” Tellias tenderly asked her, taking her hand in his. I thought she would pull away, but she allowed him to look.

“I was caught in a trap about a year ago. I had to chew off enough to slip out.”

Covering Brandy’s injured hand with both of his hands he closed his eyes for a few seconds and then opened them up again. Then he kissed her mangled fingers gently.

“The pain is gone.” She said in amazement. Her eyes teared up.

The beautiful old Vampire kissed her cheek. “Be careful on Halloween and keep your pets inside.”

Then he smiled. “Did you know Werewolf blood tastes like Bourbon?”

Adam laughed as the others looked shocked. It was time to go.

As we walked to my car, headed off to finally get those craft and party supplies Tellias put his arm around my waist and gave me a thoughtful concerned adult look. “Juliette, my dear girl, I might be ancient but I am not a curiosity to be put on display.”

I started to speak and he tightened his grip on me. “I love you as if you were my own child. I feel for the Werewolves, but my dear, we can’t live our lives as if every single day is Halloween. That said, I am so proud of you.”

Then he started to sing quietly, as he always does. I listened for a moment. Nine in the Afternoon. It was unexpected but then again, isn’t everything?

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

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Nine in the Afternoon

(Panic!  at the Disco)

Back to the street where we began
Feeling as good as lovers can, you know
Yeah, we’re feeling so good

Picking up things we shouldn’t read
It looks like the end of history as we know
It’s just the end of the world

Back to the street where we began
Feeling as good as love
You could, you can

Into a place, where thoughts can bloom
Into a room where it’s nine in the afternoon
And we know that it could be
And we know that it should
And you know that you feel it too
‘Cause it’s nine in the afternoon

Your eyes are the size of the moon
You could ’cause you can, so you do
We’re feeling so good
Just the way that we do
When it’s nine in the afternoon

Your eyes are the size of the moon
You could ’cause you can, so you do
We’re feeling so good

Back to the street
Down to our feet
Losing the feeling of feeling unique
Do you know what I mean?

Back to the place
Where we used to say
Man, it feels good to feel this way
Now I know what I mean

Back to the street, back to the place
Back to the room where it all began
Back to the room where it all began
‘Cause it’s nine in the afternoon

Your eyes are the size of the moon
You could ’cause you can, so you do
We’re feeling so good
Just the way that we do
When it’s nine in the afternoon (x3)

Watch the official video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yCto3PCn8wo

Songwriters
Urie, Brendon Boyd / Walker, Jonathan Jacob / Smith, Spencer James / Ross, George Ryan

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And if you need more on those Scottish Wolves…

 

On Ederachillis’ shore

The grey wolf lies in wait

Woe to the broken door,

Woe to the loosened gate,

And the groping wretch whom sleety fogs

On the trackless moor belate.

The lean and hungry wolf,

With his fangs so sharp and white,

His starveling body pinched

By the frost of a northern night,

And his pitiless eyes that scare the dark

With their green and threatening light.

He climeth the guarding dyke,

He leapeth the hurdle bars,

He steals the sheep from the pen,

And the fish from the boathouse spars,

And the digs the dead from out of the sod,

And gnaws them under the stars.

Thus every grave we dug

The hungry wolf uptore,

And every morn the sod

Was strewn with bones and gore:

Our motherearth had denied us rest

On Ederchaillis’ shore

—The Book of Highland Minstrelsy, 1846

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For more on Werewolves

For more on Tellias

FYI: This is the 600th post on Vampiremaman.com! How about that!

Oh look, Adam is here.

Oh look, Adam is here.

Re-souled

Glorious Shoes!

Glorious Shoes!

When I go into a shoe story I get a craving, a lusting, a desire like a Vampire desires blood, like an addict desires a fix, like an art thief desires a Di Vinci.

I can’t explain the physical and emotional attraction I have to shoes.

Maybe it started with the black velvet shoes I had when I was only five years old. I can remember the wonder and joy I had putting on those shoes. I was transported to anywhere I wanted to go in those black velvet shoes with the bows and leather trim. They were beautiful and magical.

Heels and open toes I crave. Anything with a bow or a Mary Jane strap. Anything black.

One can never have too many pairs of black shoes.

Yet, summer, winter, spring and fall, I leave the hundred pairs outside to slip on the worn leather flip flops that stay by my front door.

But then again there are the black pumps that have taken me on so many adventures day and night. I’ve had them resoled several time and reheeled. Resouled has more than one meaning here.

I could go on, but it isn’t the shoes but the souls that matter and the journey of the soul… even if you’re a Vampire. That said – make sure you’re wearing great shoes!

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Click here for: Why Vampires Wear Yellow Flip Flops

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/08/24/daily-prompt-walk/

And don’t forget to come back soon for “Short Story Sunday” a regular feature on Vampire Maman and more musings about  your favorite Modern Vampires.

The place between the night and the day

First Morning LightYesterday a call came in. A small whispery voice, like old tissue paper that had once wrapped up lace and flower petals said, “We can’t find Ginger.”

The conversation continued, or I attempted to continue it. I asked where they’d seen Ginger last and if they’ll looked everywhere. But I got the same answer. “YOU have to come. We can’t find Ginger.”

Ginger is an old dog. She is some sort of medium sized Lab and Golden mix with a few other breeds in there. One day 15 years ago she showed up starving and dirty on the Elder’s farm. She was grown even then and seemed middle aged. Like her owners, Ginger is ancient and confused.

The elders are Tellias and Eleora, two ancient Vampires who aren’t even sure how old they are. He met her when he went to Britian with the Roman Army. That was a while back. Theirs was a story of sweeping epic romance, but now, they were calling me to find their old dog.

I brought the kids with me, 17 year old Garrett and 14 year old Clara. When we arrived, they, the Elders were along. The early morning air was filled with smoke from forest fires in the hills. Eleora was afraid of smoke, so she was out of sorts even more than usual. Back in the days of burning rice fields she’d leave town for the coast.

When we arrived Tellias came out to greet us in an old black tux with no shirt underneath the jacket and bare feet. His blonde hair was covered by an old pith helmet. Eleora wore a halter style sundress out of some ugly brown and yellow batik fabric and red cowboy boots. She carried a large butterfly net and a green glass bowl of dog biscuits. Despite their age and frailties they look as though they can’t be much older than 20.

And it is my job to take care of them and make sure they’re safe and have what they need. It is my job to make sure they don’t do stupid things.

My children and I were showered with hugs and kisses. They usually sang songs to us when we arrived, but this time is was all about finding Ginger.

We searched high and low for Ginger. We called. But no answer.

“We’ve looked everywhere,” said Tellias.

“Everywhere,” said Eleora.

“Everywhere,” whispered Tellias.

So we all searched and called more. After taking a break from dog searching, cleaning up, fixing a few things, and throwing in some laundry that had piled up, we sat down for a few moments. There was a click click click on the floor and we turned to see Ginger looking at us with big brown eyes.

We have no idea where she’d been, but we were glad that she was back. She is covered in hugs and kisses. All is well.

It had been a long week with my work, the kids starting school, my husband’s activities and looking after the Elders. Some say don’t sweat the small stuff but it all seems the same. There is no small stuff or big stuff – just stuff. But it is my stuff. It is my choice to be the one who manages all the stuff and take care of stuff and deal with stuff.

It isn’t that I love the stuff, I love the people who bring the stuff to me.

And in the early mornings between the night and the dawn I am left alone to my own stuff, or what I can clear out of my head and heart. I walk the trails near my house under the oaks, on the edge of the bluffs over the water. I can hear the first birds of the morning and see the last bats of the night. The deer, coyote and bobcats walk at a distance and sometimes let me see them in their own world. The squirrels jump through the trees like crazed acrobats.

I think of everything and nothing. I think of things that I don’t have time to think about when I’m looking for old dogs, lost socks, and lost souls.

My mind wanders the hills far beyond where my feet take me. Sometimes I see ghosts, but even they know not to bother me in my Vampire reveries.

At that place between the night and the day.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

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http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/08/19/daily-prompt-activity/

Short Story Sunday: Dancing On The Beach

Dancing on the Beach

As told by Dr. Shawna Greene

For three days we watched the human like form sitting motionless near the beach. We decided if it was human it was probably dead because no human could sit for so long in the heat and the cold and the wind the way this one did. More than likely it was garbage someone had dumped. A few people had traveled through over the past few weeks, near the abandoned mining town near the isolated stretches of desert and beach where we’d set up our summer research station in Patagonia.

We’d come to look for dinosaurs (with success, finding eggs and giant bones).

Dave, Blane and I trekked an hour down the hill to the spot where the mysterious lump sat. It was indeed human, wrapped in a blanket, large brimmed hat, dark sunglasses and a scarf covering the face. It almost looked like a modern mummy. The, without notice it moved.

“¿Estás bien?” Dave asked the stranger.

The man unwrapped the scarf from his face and removed his sunglasses. “I’m fine. I speak English too. But thanks for asking.”

He was tall with long chestnut colored hair and sparkling hazel eyes. Of course I noticed.  I couldn’t help it after being out in the wilds for a month with my fellow researchers. My two college aged kids were in summer internships, my ex-husband was off on a honeymoon with a woman 10 years younger than me and I was doing something I loved – discovering the past.

But today, we discovered something quite different and unexpected. His name was Andrew. He was tall (I figured 6’2″) with a quick smile and a musical voice that captured the attention of all when he spoke.

Andrew said he’d been researching folk music, writing songs, savoring the local flavor and hinted at getting over a broken heart. A kindred spirit I thought. Well, I have to admit, my heart had mostly healed after my husband left two years ago – the day after our youngest child graduated from high school.

Had it been anyone else, we would have let him stay, but Andrew was so delightful and charming, and helpful that we let him stay on. His knowledge of just about everything was astounding. In the evenings he would sing songs ranging from Argentinian folk songs to Italian Opera. Everyone on the team did better with Andrew around.

The younger women, especially the graduate students Courtney and Kaitlin were enchanted by Andrew. No surprise there. He’d dote on them without being a predator. Then again the men were enchanted by him to. We all were.

Sometimes Andrew and I would share a glass of wine under the stars and talk of everything under the stars. He didn’t give away much of his personal life. He’d been living in New York and London, but thought of moving back to California where his family was. His first love was Opera, but he was taking notes on a book about how music takes the mind and soul to new places. He was more interested in finding out about us than telling us about himself.

I felt a bond with this appealing and mysterious man. He was so mysterious but I was so comfortable with him, like I’d known him forever.

One evening we walked the beach after dinner, just the two of us. We talked about time and space and he opened up in an unexpected burst.

“Time travel,” Andrew began, “will be possible, a reality, but it will be squandered by idiots who don’t appreciate the past or the possibilities of the future. They will be selfish short-sighted buffoons only interested in entertaining their own shallow minded pursuits and never seeing the power of the invention of the time machine.

And think about this…we are here on Earth with no knowledge of ANY life on other planets, yet we spend time and brain power on theories of what is out there and life in the universe and how the universe started and… what if nobody else is out there.

Or what if someone else is out there and they’ve figured it all out and we’re wrong, or we’ve figured it out and they are wrong. But we don’t know, because while you look for your giant dinosaur bones which seem like they’re from another planet, we ponder if there is life on other planets. And why is it all so random. You might disagree because of your scientific mind and experience with creatures of the past and because of the sheer amount of wonder in your soul…but…oh Shawna, we’re so different you and I.”

I didn’t know what to say. Andrew held out his hands. “Dance with me Shawna. Dance with me under the stars.”

Taking his cool hands in my own I found myself suddenly transfixed, dancing in the dark, with a long haired stranger who indeed was so different from me.

“Close your eyes,” he whispered in my ear. And against all better judgment I closed my eyes only to find myself transported into a ball room, wearing a silk gown the color of roses and sunsets, dancing with a handsome hazel eyed man in tails and white tie. And then I opened my eyes to find myself in cargo shorts and a fleece jacket on a desolate beach on the bottom of the earth.

“What are you?” I asked him that surprised that I didn’t ask who but what.

He laughed and I caught something different in his smile. His teeth. He looked like he had fangs. “I am a genetic wonder and mystery. I am the Velociraptor of the human subspecies.” Then he looked serious. “Shawna, don’t be afraid of what I tell you for I would never harm you. I am a Vampire.”

“Like in the movies?” I stupidly asked.

“No, like the guy standing next to you. Like the guy who came down to the ends of the earth to heal a broken heart and soul, to give up, to write songs and wallow in my misery only to find you.”

“You have fangs.” I had to say it. I just had to.

Andrew gently brushed my face with the back of his hand. “Yes, and I use them. I drink the blood of Regular Humans. I live for a long long long time. I have relatives who are over 1,000 years old. I was born in the 19th century, before the Civil War, during the California Gold Rush. But, I am just part of the natural order of the world, of the universe, and I hope of our two souls.”

“I have to admit you’re scaring me Andrew.”

“And the thought of you being afraid scares me more than anything Shawna. I’ve trusted you enough to tell you what I am. Now let me trust that you will not be afraid or reject my offer of friendship.”

“Will you turn me into a Vampire?” It was fear in my voice now, not hope that he would.

“Only if you want me to. Maybe. It isn’t anything I take lightly. But, but, Shawna, that isn’t what is important here. It is evolution, the very thing you’ve spent years studying, the difference in species and life forms and life forces and life and…” He ran his hands through his hair and closed his eyes then opened them looking right into mine. “And love. It all comes down to love and of course passion. You have that passion. I can see it when you speak of your work, your life, your children. You have what so many can only dream of.”

“You’re a Vampire.” I couldn’t get that out of my head, despite his remarkable words and way of speaking.

“Yes, and I’m cool with it. Are you?”

“I don’t know.”

“I understand.”

“Do you want my blood?”

“I would never harm you Shawna.”

“Have you taken blood from any of the others here?” I thought of my fellow scientists and grad students.

“Yes, but…why do you think they’re so happy all the sudden? Sure I took something from them that I needed but I gave them what they needed. Do you understand? Can you attempt to understand. I mean, really, it isn’t any different than finding a new dinosaur. Isn’t it?”

Then we just looked at each other for the longest time. It was a time that ended up in his cabin on the hill, in the creaky iron bed with the colorful quilts, with his cold body wrapped around my hot human one.

It was still dark when I awoke, brushing my hair out of my eyes. Next to the bed, sitting on a wooden crate was a woman. Her chestnut hair the exact same rich color as Andrew’s.

“I didn’t know he had company but…there is something about you Shawna that makes me glad he bonded with you. He is charming but my son can be exhausting and so emotional at times.”

I had to say I was in shock seeing this beautiful woman who didn’t look more than twenty six years old. “I’ve come to take him home, not away from you, but…what I’m trying to say is that you touched Andrew’s heart and maybe…”

Andrew opened his eyes. “Mom. Have you met Shawna?”

Well, this was awkward.  They packed up and left, but not before they both left me with their contact information. This was weird. Vampires leaving contact information. Then again, it would have been weird for Andrew to just leave without a word. Of course my ex-husband left without so much as a word, but that is another story.

But before he left, he kissed me one more time then whispered in my ear, “I love you.”

The summer and our time in the desert is almost over. I still savor my short time with Andrew and the memory of his voice and his touch.

Will I contact him when I return? I don’t know. We both live in California where there are plenty of beaches to dance on and where the stars shine bright on the night.

Then again…he is a Vampire, or maybe that shouldn’t matter.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

dancing in the dark

And don’t forget – every Sunday brings a new short story, plus news of a new WPaD Fantasy anthology (proceeds go to MS research)

xoxox

Juliette aka Vampire Maman

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/08/04/daily-prompt-anachronism/