Taking Care of Our Elders: Love in the dark, and in the light that always shines

Taking Care of Our Elders Marathon

Memories, the lost of memories, old stories, more on my idiot brothers, and love.

From 2015

Love in the dark, and in the light that always shines

Eleora couldn’t remember what she did yesterday, but she could tell stories of her childhood in excruciating detail. My daughter and niece sat next to her, holding her small hands in theirs. They looked like three young women about the same age. My Clara is 16, Lauren is 21 and Eleora is, well, nobody knows how old she is. We know Eleora is over 2,000 years old but no exact number has ever come out.

The girls heard stories their parents and grandparents had never heard. These were ancient lost tales that she’d hoarded until she found the right audience.

Tellias, her husband, told the girls to watch if they went outside. Eleora might wander off on her own and not find her way back.

He watched the woman he loved, his eyes filled with pain. Sometimes I’d see a rare bit of anger. Of course there is always love, but with that more often than not pain and frustration.

This was Sunday. We’d all gathered at my brother Aaron’s for our mother’s birthday. All four of my brothers were there (Max, Andy, Aaron and Val), as well as the elders Tellias and Eleora, Aaron’s grown children Logan and Lauren, Great-great-great-great Grandmama Lola and her friend Cody, and our friend Pierce. My husband Teddy and Aaron’s wife Verity were there playing host and hostess as they sometimes do. And of course our parents Jeremy and Samantha.

More friends were to come later at this gathering at Aaron and Verity’s home. Of course we’re all Vampires. It would seem weird to bring anyone else in.

This isn’t like the movies and horror stories where we bring in virgins and babies to feast on. Of course there is blood, but we have it in wine glasses (not big red cups.)

I stood outside under the stars with Tellias and my brother Max.

Max put his hand on the elder Vampire’s shoulder. “Eleora isn’t all there anymore is she?”

“I believe she is there. She just is a bit disorganized. You know, when you can’t find the mates to your shoes and you are walking on a bed of nails so you just hop on one foot and hope you don’t fall. But if you fall it will be into a burning pit of lava. Then you look down and notice your pants are gone and your socks don’t match,” said Tellias. “You need to come by and see us more often Max.”

“I know,” said my brother.

“Nobody knows how long Vampires live. Most of us don’t make it this far given the dangerous nature of our existence. Don’t take your chances. Your day could be tomorrow. Eleora’s could be tomorrow. We never know. But no need to get depressed, none of us are going anywhere for a while. We’ll be around for plenty of birthdays to come. But the more you and Juliette and the rest of you come around the easier it will be for Eleora to straighten out the mess in her mind.”

The three of us stood there for a few seconds. Then Max gave Tellias a hug and walked down into the yard under some trees. I watched him as he took out his phone and made a call.

“He is calling her, isn’t he? He should have made that call fifty years ago,” said Tellias. “The boy never seemed to understand love, even at his age he still can’t.”

I had to smile. Even at the age of one hundred and sixty-six Max still is just starting to understand that ships that pass in the night sometimes never pass each other again.

Tellias took my hand and gave it a squeeze. “I appreciate everything you do for us.”

“I know.” I said. I looked into his crystal blue eyes, in a face that looked no older than nineteen. To think that he had lived in ancient time didn’t seem all that strange most of the time. He’d kept up. They both had. That is what kept Tellias and Eleora young. Nobody would ever have expected them to dry up in a crypt or become ghouls living in shadows. Then again, they gave so much love that the cold dark places the put fear in men’s hearts didn’t touch them.

So stay young. It is easy if you love and let love in. Even if you’re a Vampire. And even if you’re not.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Dancing in the Shadows

“Imagine, Juliette, you’re at a party in the library of Alexandria with all of the authors, librarians, scribes, architects, builders, artists, and craftsmen, and you’re the one dancing on the table.”

Tellias look at me sideways and smiled. He looks like he is only nineteen, but he is older than the Roman Empire.

I didn’t say anything back but I have to admit it made sense in a weird sort of way all things considering. OK not really but I like the way it sounds. I could use a little dancing in my life right now.

He slowly got out of his chair and held out his hands like Fred to Ginger except he was the blonde. “Dance with me my dear.”

With his almost white hair flowing around his shoulders, in a white tuxedo shirt with a zillion little tucks, and black jeans, he waltzed me around the room.

“I worry about you Juliette. You’re carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders.”

I smiled and gave a small flash of fang, in that way Vampires do to each other, in more of an affectionate way. He’d known me since I was a child. He knows me better than my own parents. Now I take care of him most of the time.

Then he stopped, but still held my hands. “Stop your heartbeat for a few minutes. Hold your breath. Close your eyes. Savor the shadows and the quiet.”

“Then what?”

“Then, dance some more, and write, or draw, or make love to your husband, or fill the bird feeder. Maybe you should go dance on that table.”

I kissed his cheek. “Maybe I’ll just dance with you a little bit more.”

He smiled, and we took another turn around the room.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Where are you now? Juliette’s Dusty Memory Files.

Ships that Pass in the Night.

Missed Connections.

Where are you now?

On the way to school this morning my sixteen year old daughter and I were talking about politics and what is going on now compared to a long time ago. Right now a long time ago is the 1970’s and 1980’s. In US history (APUSH) the kids are learning about the Cold War, which to them seems like it happened just a few years after the Civil War. Anyway, we talked a bit about the generations. There was a time between the baby boomers and the Generation X kids. That was that weird in-between group that we used to refer to as the ME Generation. Those were the people who graduated from high school in the late 70’s and early 80’s and came into adulthood in the crazy and creative 1980’s.

SO…. on the way home I dug through those dusty drawers in my brain and I found a worn folder full of random people, but they were more than random. They were brief encounters that stuck in my mind enough to be filed away. It got me to thinking where they are now. But the problem is that I don’t know or remember their names. The encounters were sometimes brief – less than fifteen minutes. Sometimes the encounters were longer but not to the point of longterm friendship.

Where are you now? I’d like to know. Maybe by some random chance someone will read this and say hey that is me.

So take a look at the list. If it sounds like you let me know. I’m guessing at the dates.

1980-82: Andy. Cute guy. Red curly hair. You went to UCD. I think you were in the UCD band. You were sucked into Scientology. You sold your musical instruments. You finally escaped the clutches of the cult. Where are you now?

1979-1980: It was a beautiful day on the quad at UCD. A lot of groups had tables out that day. It was everything from Jews for Jesus, to Future Grape Growers, to Peace Corps, to Native American Native Language League… But there was a curious table that stood out to me. A pretty young woman with dark hair sat at the Young Spartans table. I paused. She spoke. The Young Spartans was a communist organization. That seemed so totally bizarre to me. It still does. The young woman was so happy. Are you happy now? Where are you? Are you still involved in political or social organizations?

1988-1989: I was on a plane going between Sacramento and Seattle. I wore a blue dress. I sat next to a young man (late 20’s – mid 30’s) who was a landscape architect. He asked me out. I wish I’d accepted, but oh well. Where are you now? Hope you’ve done amazing things.

1979: I was on a bus traveling somewhere between Los Angeles and Dallas. I sat next to a woman who was from Poland. She and her husband and two children had escaped the communist state by pretending they were on vacation. She told me a tale of how they left everything behind. They could trust no one. The communist state encouraged people to turn in family members who were unfaithful or trying to escape the country. Where are you now? I hope you are happy and your kids are happy. You might even have grandkids now.

1983-84: Karen. You made signs with an old letter press. You and your husband were going to travel to India. You DID go to India. How did that work out. Are you happy now?

There were a few others but it those were either too vague or too personal to mention. No Vampires on this list because I never forget another Vampire (read the blog if you don’t understand the reference.)

Anyway, if you read this, and you’re out there, let me know how you’re doing. Or you can send me a private note at juliettevampiremom @ gmail .com

And if anyone else out there needs to find someone let me know. I might do future posts like this, you know, like in the future.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Phantom Thoughts and Rogue Memories.

My brother Max is having not dreams, but memories of places and events that aren’t his.

At the same time he can feel others thinking about him. He is a receiver. So am I.

It is one of those odd things that we don’t tell anyone else about.

The memories are a mystery. We’ve compared notes and we can’t figure it out. Who sends us memories from places we’ve never been or memories of things we’ve never done.

The other types of thoughts are straight from a known source.

Max and I stood out on the deck the other night looking into the fog. “She is thinking about me right now. I haven’t seen her in years but she has been thinking about me a lot lately.”

I didn’t tell him to call her or drop by her house. It wasn’t the right time. It wasn’t his call to make. But when she thinks of him he knows it. He never wonders if she loves him or really even cares. It just is what it is. He is flattered and charmed if nothing else. That is it.

I told him about the bridge again. It was a large bridge that fell during rush hour 50 years ago. I wasn’t there but I remember it from the eyes of a young man who was in a blue car. He was in the water. A woman helped him out. His wife was frantically calling on the phone to see if anyone knew where he was. That is all I remember. I thought it might have been from a book or a movie, but the memory was like my own.

Max dreams of maps and lying as still as death on the bottom of the ocean. I dream of cars falling off of narrow mountain roads and big ugly fish.

We don’t talk much to others about our dreams and phantom thoughts and rogue memories.

I’m sure you have things like that too – another life built on fog and emotion and strange things that fly by like ghost ships or long forgotten songs.

No matter what it is always good to have someone to talk to, who doesn’t think you’re nuts.

Max left this morning before the sun came up. I will miss him, but he’ll know when I’m thinking about him.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

Time travel makes me dizzy.