Musings on Moving On

I’m not special. I’m busy. I’m different. I’m impatient and frazzled more than usual these days. I’m a mom.

So don’t sweet talk me or give me hollow compliments. You never had to prove anything to me. I’m a Vampire. You never have to prove yourself to a Vampire.

That is what I said to the creature who stood before me the other night. I was out with my 18 year old son and we met some people for dinner. Our dinner. You know, we’re Vampires. It’s OK. When we were done with our tummies full and our “friends” empty of a few pints of blood and full of sweet dreams, we quietly headed for the car. Halfway down the alley we were stopped by a stranger, or someone I thought was a stranger.

His face was in the dark as he asked if we were having a nice evening. I took my son’s arm and gave a nod, ready to move on when the man stopped in front of us.

“You don’t know who I am.”

I looked at him in the face and I knew. It had been at least 80 years but I knew him. I can’t even start to tell you how annoying it is when someone from my past shows up when I’m with my kids.

“I know Vampires never forget. And I’d never forget you Juliette. You’re still just as beautiful as the last time I saw you.”

We made a little bit of small talk. He complimented me several more times. Then we went our ways like ships that pass in the night. Just signals of those who might or might not meet in port one day.

“Who was that mom?” Garrett was naturally curious about the person we’d just me.

“He’s a Warlock. We used to run in the same circles, kind of sort of. There was always something about him that made my skin crawl.”

“He seemed nice enough.”

“He is, but…”

“He’s a Warlock?”

“He was such an asshole. It has nothing to do with him being a Warlock. We had a lot of the same friends. That is all. It is what it is.”

We talked a bit more. Just another night of a week full of annoying things that fortunately are separated by really nice things, like evening with my son.

Garrett and I talked for the next hour about people we know and our plans for the summer and his graduation from high school. We talked of college and the people he’ll meet. There will be new friends. Some will last for a year. Some will last forever. Some will come and go from our lives like shadows.

We came home to find my husband Teddy and daughter Clara watching Lizard Lick Towing. I know, we’re Vampires who have sunk to the lowest of low, but at least it was good to see some daddy/daughter bonding. They watch Bar Rescue together too. So much for Gothic Vampire stereotypes.

I told Teddy about my old Warlock acquaintance. He used to be among my circle of friends a long time ago but we grew up and all moved on. It wasn’t the wrong time wrong place situation. It was just time to move on.

Just like with my children and the end of the school year, it is time to move on.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

This post was first published May 2014.

Fear and Change

Most Vampires get paralyzed by fear and self-doubt. Oh forget the blood taking and seductive ways that helped romanticize us.

You know what I’m talking about. Even the most confident of us feels that way more than we would like.

We jealously guard our own versions of our memories.

Something taken away.

Something given.

Something found.

Something lost.

It is that sense of loss and identity that finds so many climbing into crypts or under floorboards to sleep forever.

It is that inability to know there are others and that there is something to look forward to. Things change but not for better or worse – just different. Hell, things usually change for the better if you want them to be better. If you make them better. I didn’t say it was easy. It isn’t anything you’ll find in a self-help book. There aren’t self-help books for Vampires. There aren’t self-help books for most things that really matter.

Reaching inside where your old soul used to be and pulling up your new self isn’t easy. Your old self is still there – you will never lose that. You will always be yourself – like it or not. But you can change. You can become better. You can refurbish your old self.

You can shine like the full moon on a clear winter night.

Where you miss the warmth of your skin you will find coolness of nerves.

Where you miss those who grew old you will treasure the memories.

Where you miss the innocence of your existence you will find something else.

You aren’t a monster or an outcast – you are just different. Everyone is different. Accept it.

You’ll taste blood, but you’ll give back contentment in your donors – or give nightmares – it is your choice. Nice. You never had that choice before.

You’ll learn how to get blood stains out of anything.

Change or lack of change are both things we want and something that we fear.

Nobody said any of this was going to be easy. Then again, nobody said it wasn’t going to be exciting and wonderful.

Contentment isn’t just something for a few. It is something we can all strive for. Content but still moving forward, never forgetting where we have been or where we are going.

The other day I spoke to my friend Cody who has been a Vampire for almost four years. He never asked for it but he accepted the changes in his life. There will be hardships ahead along with triumphs. He didn’t struggle like some do. He has had a lot of questions and questioned a lot of things. He has learned.

But he told me, “You know that old expression about a door closing and a window opening? The roof came off for me. I can see the whole world of possibilities now. Anything is possible as long as I keep reminding myself of that.”

Yes, Cody, anything is possible.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

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Ghosts and new beginnings

 

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Spring is the time of year for new beginnings or Fall when school starts or even January 1st… so they say. I think it is the beginning of summer. That is when school is out and we all take a deep great and regroup.

It is also the time when kids graduate from high school. Then they aren’t kids anymore. They suddenly become adults.

Last night we gathered for my son Garrett’s graduation from High School. I was so proud and at the same time choked up. I’d known so many of these kids since they were teeny tiny little things. I knew them before they knew how to read or that the world was anything but a wonderful happy place. Now they were moving on to college and other adventures. I was so proud but at the same time uneasy knowing what is ahead for them. I know that sounds weird, but I love so many of those kids so much.

After the celebrations we (our entire family, uncles, grandparents and assorted others plus friends) went out to the farm belonging to the Elders. They’d agreed to host a party for the Vampire kids in their barn. The rest of us “adults” gathered in the house.

In the old days parties might have included some Regular Humans to provide refreshment (come on you know what I’m talking about) but tonight we provided blood from bottles. This was a celebration for our own kids, the 16 of them from the area who graduated this year plus a few friends who’d graduated last year or would graduate in the next few years.

I left my teenage son and his younger sister to their own friends and took my brother Val for a walk in the pear orchard.

We’d run through these orchards as teens, trying to get as far away from our older brothers and parents as possible. Our conversation centered on Garrett and his friends and college. We compared notes on summer plans and what the future would bring for the new graduates. Small bats fluttered around our heads and crickets chirped in the grass, just like when we were young so long ago. So much for musings, Then we started to talk about things we’d done when we were young.

That was in 1877. I was 18 and Val was 19. We were young Vampires ready to take on the world. Our parents found a college that would accept the both of us (not because we were Vampires but because I was female.) It would be a continuation of our childhood adventures. We spent a lot of our time and energy hiding what we did. We smiled at the fact that my kids and our brother Aaron’s kids (now in college and law school) tell us everything. How times have changed.

The girls in the barn at the party were all in shorts. Back then I was in a long dress with a corset and on special occasions a train on that dress. It was all ruffles and bows for me and I loved it. Val laughed at how I’d always be tripping when my heels would get caught in my skirts.

As we laughed and giggled, walking along like two drunks bumping into each other, a figure appeared in front of us. Transparent with a slight glow she stopped in front of us and held out her arms to us as if pleading.

“Holy crap. Damn ghosts,” whispered my brother in an almost harsh growl. His fangs came out.

“Hush,” I hissed. Then I realized this was not just any ghost. It was a childhood friend. Suddenly guilt grabbed me and I froze.

It was Ada, the first girl Val ever kissed. She was also the first girl he bit on the neck. He’d been in love with her as only a teenage boy can fall in love.

Ada was a lovely flirt and a beautiful silly girl. Her dance card was always filled and her future was bright. Later she was seduced by a charming man who married another woman. Then pregnant, she married another man. He was handsome and rich – it was all good on paper. The child died and her marriage turned abusive. Our brother Aaron offered to turn her into a Vampire. He thought it would help her escape. Valentine offered to take her away to start a new life. In the end she sewed rocks into the hem of her skirt and walked into the river.

My parents were livid about what my brothers had done. At the time I didn’t think they did anything wrong, but now I know they shouldn’t have interfered. They should have been a friend but not exposed themselves for what they really were.

Val also realized who this beautiful and sad apparition was. “Ada,” he said to her. “Why are you here?”

She just look at us and said nothing.

“Darling Ada, it is time to move on.”

Ada moved a little closer. We could feel the air get cold, like someone had opened a freezer. “I did everything wrong.”

“No,” I said, “you loved your child. You loved. Ada, please, it is time to move on. Stop torturing yourself.”

She shook her head. “I had the chance to become one of you, the undead. Now I’m in a ghostly Hell of my own making. I’m damned forever.”

We stood, not knowing what to say. Then behind us came a voice. A very familiar voice. It was another ghost – a ghost I know very well. A ghost, dear readers, you know well.

Val and I turned around to find The Ghost, Nigel standing behind us. He wore his black suit as usual but tonight he had a white rose in his lapel. He wasn’t taking to us. Nigel was here for Ada.

For those who don’t know, Nigel is a big pain in the neck. He lives at my house, or more so at my neighbor’s house but hangs out with me most of the time. Between insulting me, flipping me off and hiding my keys, we’ve sort of become friends. When I’ve had to deal with loss he has been there for me. In turn I’ve been there for him, as much as one can be there for a ghost. He died 100 years after Ada and was obviously dealing the ghost thing a lot better than she had been. Anyway…

Nigel spoke to Ada in a calm loving voice. “It is time to move on my love. You are innocent of all wrong. Your time here is done. You’re free to go and be with your child.”

He moved close to the other ghost and embraced her. In a flash of blue and pink light there was only one ghost left.

Nigel turned and looked at us. “Well, well, well, if it isn’t the two most irresponsible Vampires of the 19th Century.”

I could have been insulted but he sort of had a point.

“Is she gone?” My brother asked as he took my hand.

“Yes.” Nigel didn’t elaborate. He just stood there and glared at us.

“Thank you,” said Val.

Then Nigel came close and looked me in the eye. He blasted me with an ice cold wind. “Don’t even think of asking me why I can move poor Ada on and still be stuck here myself. You Vampires think you rule the world but you don’t know the half of it. You don’t know anything.”

We stood eyes locked. My mind went blank. I had no idea what to say.

Then he smiled a wicked smile and said, “I have to congratulate you on what a good job you’ve done raising your own children. Too bad they’re Vampires.” Then he vanished.

Valentine and I walked back to the house. We decided not to tell anyone else, except maybe Aaron, about Ada.

I suppose I could say we’re all haunted by the ghosts of our pasts, but come on, this was weird and sad even for Val and me.

Back at the party everyone was having a good time. I was greeted at the back door by my husband Teddy who had a kiss waiting and a glass of wine. I could hear the music blaring from the barn. Everyone was happy and getting along. Life is good, even if you’re undead. And I plan on keeping it that way.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

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Musings on Moving On

I’m not special. I’m busy. I’m different. I’m impatient and frazzled more than usual these days. I’m a mom.

So don’t sweet talk me or give me hollow compliments. You never had to prove anything to me. I’m a Vampire. You never have to prove yourself to a Vampire.

That is what I said to the creature who stood before me the other night. I was out with my 18 year old son and we met some people for dinner. Our dinner. You know, we’re Vampires. It’s OK. When we were done with our tummies full and our “friends” empty of a few pints of blood and full of sweet dreams, we quietly headed for the car. Halfway down the alley we were stopped by a stranger, or someone I thought was a stranger.

His face was in the dark as he asked if we were having a nice evening. I took my son’s arm and gave a nod, ready to move on when the man stopped in front of us.

“You don’t know who I am.”

I looked at him in the face and I knew. It had been at least 80 years but I knew him. I can’t even start to tell you how annoying it is when someone from my past shows up when I’m with my kids.

“I know Vampires never forget. And I’d never forget you Juliette. You’re still just as beautiful as the last time I saw you.”

We made a little bit of small talk. He complimented me several more times. Then we went our ways like ships that pass in the night. Just signals of those who might or might not meet in port one day.

“Who was that mom?” Garrett was naturally curious about the person we’d just me.

“He’s a Warlock. We used to run in the same circles, kind of sort of. There was always something about him that made my skin crawl.”

“He seemed nice enough.”

“He is, but…”

“He’s a Warlock?”

“He was such an asshole. It has nothing to do with him being a Warlock. We had a lot of the same friends. That is all. It is what it is.”

We talked a bit more. Just another night of a week full of annoying things that fortunately are separated by really nice things, like evening with my son.

Garrett and I talked for the next hour about people we know and our plans for the summer and his graduation from high school. We talked of college and the people he’ll meet. There will be new friends. Some will last for a year. Some will last forever. Some will come and go from our lives like shadows.

We came home to find my husband Teddy and daughter Clara watching Lizard Lick Towing. I know, we’re Vampires who have sunk to the lowest of low, but at least it was good to see some daddy/daughter bonding. They watch Bar Rescue together too. So much for Gothic Vampire stereotypes.

I told Teddy about my old Warlock acquaintance. He used to be among my circle of friends a long time ago but we grew up and all moved on. It wasn’t the wrong time wrong place situation. It was just time to move on.

Just like with my children and the end of the school year, it is time to move on.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman