Your life of truth and lies

As my kids got older they asked about people I’ve known, and of choices made, or not made. They’ve asked about what was the real truth and what is not. Sometimes people live in a place in-between the truth and the lies.

Ever since I was a tiny child I have collected stories. I listened in silence as adults talked. I’d fill in the blanks between the spaces that didn’t make sense, or more often or not were missing.

I can piece together parts of a life and figure out anything. There are no secrets. All is revealed.

Most people are horrible liars. Their stories change over the years. Photos and documents don’t add up. Confusion layered with bull crap. I can figure it out. What really happens in the real world. Truth is stranger than fiction, but even strange truth has some real truth to it.

The statement “He died at sea,” in reality means “he had another family in another country and went back to them. That is why he is gone. That is why they know nothing of me or our child. That is why I say I am a widow rather than an unwed mother.”

Or the reason someone moves across the country to take a great job, but leaves a more prestigious job. He never wanted to be there. He never wanted to be with her. It was a mistake. Then there was a divorce. No children. He’d made a mistake and now he was going to lead his own life the way he wanted to – finally. There were a few other clues in there but in reality I never spoke with the person in question. I just knew. I was right. I’ve speculated on everything here and I’m right.

The young man joined the army because he was immature and needed to become a man. That is what his parents said. They said it would prepare him for college. He jointed the army because he knocked a girl up and his parents didn’t want him burdened with a family so they sent him away. If their son went away the girl would go away. So the young man learned to run away from his problems. The girl learned not to trust anyone.

She didn’t know why he was so mad. He was an idiot.  But she never got over him. He hated her or so he said. In reality he always loved her. The man she said was just a friend was really a lover who later jilted her.  He loved is second wife but when he couldn’t sleep at night, almost every night, he thought of his first wife – he did this for over 60 years. He died two days after she did.

He never left her because he wanted to prove his family and friends were wrong. She never left him because she wanted to punish him for ruining her life and because he was the only thing in her life she had absolute control over.

Uncle Jack did not die of natural causes. Neither did he die alone.

He still thinks of her all the time but it is too late. Years too late. She married someone else. He lost his chance. She thinks of him but he had his chance. She thinks he never knew that she loved him once. She was wrong about that but is doesn’t matter. Now she loves someone who deserves her – she loves him with a passion.

He never married because he was afraid of being controlled.

She never married because she had fantasies of being controlled.

You dated a man who claimed he killed people for a living and then you went to church on Sunday and everyone thought you were a saint. They never knew your daughter hated you. You never knew what she did at night after she moved away.

He always had a feeling she wasn’t dead but he never told anyone about it. He should have asked to see her body.

She said she was kidnapped as a child. In reality she was abandoned by her mother who was chasing after a cheating husband who had no use for children.

He always thought the wonderful man he grew up with and loved was his father. In reality his biological father was the man in photographs hidden between the pages of a well-worn copy of Ulysses.

They said it was a miracle that she survived the accident. Over and over the story of her car going off of the cliff was told. A slick road, an out of control truck, her small red Mustang, and the long drop into the Pacific Ocean. She told everyone it was by the grace of God and prayer. In reality it was because she cheated at cards. He was so impressed with her skills in deception that he gave her another 50 years.

When life give you lemons plant the seeds and tell everyone you have a rare fruit of kings.  But sooner or later someone might find out they’re really lemons. But don’t worry about it, we’ll make pie.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Musings on Middle School, Empty Nests, Change, and Cryptozoologists

I used to write horror… I mean posts about Middle School. That seems like a long time ago. The mornings with angry mom’s before their coffee kicked in trying to get their kids out of the mini van door without death or dismemberment. There were those with hormonal rages and anger issues – and that was just the parents. The kids were going through puberty too.

After that we all blew through high school with little or no angst. Yes, parents of wee ones, don’t listen to the people who say in their best witches voices, “Just you wait until that child is in high school. You’ll hate them. They’ll hate you. They’ll be sexed up druggies and there is nothing you can do about it.” Seriously, I kid you not, people say things like that to pregnant women and women with babies. Ignore that shit storm of negativity. Ignore it. Don’t eat that poison apple. Don’t be around people like that.

Last week we were in Orange County taking yet another college tour I believe the child have found a home at UCI  (Zot! Zot! Zot!) aka University of California Irvine.

So in a year I will be living in a home without children. They will always been near. We will text. We will talk. We will send funny things over social media. They will call me and come home for holidays and just because. And I will visit them. You’ve read the blog. You know we’re close.

Aside from a childless house, I’m sure you already know, I’m going through other transitions. Major career changes have turned things in a different direction for me and it is perfect timing. So I’m kind of like an octopus with all of my arms going in different directions.

Oh, I have a joke. I made this one up. What do you call a cat who lives underwater? A quadrapuss. 

Now that I’m doing a do over I’ve made a list of ten things I need to do.

Empty Nest Transition List

  1. Change my job title on LinkedIn to Cryptozoologist.
  2. Paint with wild abandon. Note: I didn’t say whether this is my walls or art. This is a burning question and the answer is BOTH.
  3. Start a Vampire blog. Continue blogging about parenting and Vampires and everything else. I really should start a Werewolf blog or maybe help Nigel start his own blog. Yes, Nigel the Ghost. Or maybe not. 
  4. Learn advanced plumbing.
  5. Landscape my back yard.
  6. Make Vlad’s Vampire Diary into a Major Motion Picture.
  7. Win an Oscar.
  8. Write.
  9. Seek out strange new worlds.
  10. Finish. Anything. Just finish. FINISH.

What is on your list? Oh come on, we can be cryptozoologists together. It will be fun, especially if you become a Vampire too (or if you’re already one.)

My brain is empty. I’ll see you next time for Burning Question #23.

xoxox

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

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Vlad and Gillian Make a Movie

And while we’re here… Can you believe the guys in Journey really dressed like this. Cryptozoology.

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You Don’t Tug on Superman’s Cape

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It is almost 5:30 p.m. and 107 degrees Farenheight outside. I’m going to piss someone off with this post but maybe not. It is just too hot to care. Just like old people and tiny children who just say whatever they want.

This morning I took Eleora to the art museum. It was lovely. She made rude comments about the modern art. She made a racist remark about someone walking along outside of the museum. She is old. She forgets things. I said nothing this time. I just changed the subject. When one is with a 2000+ year old Vampire one learns to change the subject quite frequently.

Then we had lunch (a lovely cold type A blood soup with heirloom tomatoes) with my husband who was on a political roll. By then it was over a hundred degrees outside. I thought about our daughter who’d gone up north with her boyfriend to spend time in a cabin. It is only 102F there today. The poor kids are going to swelter. At least I know they’ll wear their sunscreen.

And now I’m home in my quiet house waiting for the cool dark night and Vampire things.   But that got me thinking about mysteries and strange heated things like the mystery surrounding George Reeves, and Christopher Reeve and coincidences and other strange things like Superman. I never think of Superman, except… maybe it is the heat. Maybe it has something to do with no spitting in the wind…

I’ve never been a big fan of the Superman franchise. Except for Christopher Reeve, and of course George Reeves, all of the other movie depictions have made him seem like some sort of weird overly pretty sissy. I love pretty men, but … come on you know what I’m talking about. These guys aren’t Supermen. They’re fashion models. No offense to fashion models – fuck it – I can’t say anything these days without offending someone.

But in defense of the not so masculine and memorable Supermen, they should consider themselves lucky.

Christopher Reeve, who was insanely talented in so many ways, and was also a heart-throb in the romantic movie “Somewhere in Time,” was in a riding accident. Tragically he became a paraplegic. But that didn’t stop him. It showed that he WAS Superman in body and soul. You know what happened. It was tragic, but he kept going. Damn.

George Reeves was murdered. The case has not been solved. Any thought on this would be interesting to hear.

The guy who originally illustrated Superman also drew S&M comics. The guy who drew Donald Duck also drew beautiful racy women (I have one of his original nudes in my own bedroom.) OK enough of these fun facts some of you might not have known.

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By Carl Barks who later created Donald Duck. I wonder which illustrations he had more fun drawing. I have the original sketch of this in my bedroom. I think he enjoyed this one more than any duck.

I found a box of old comics including a large lot of Lois Lane, Superman’s Girlfriend. These are the weirdest comic books in the known universe. These were from the late 50’s and early 60’s, before the influence of Marlo Thomas and Mary Tyler Moore. Holy shit Lois made a fool of herself over Superman and Clark Kent. Seriously Lois, if you can’t recognize a guy when he changes his part and takes off his glasses then you need to get your eyes checked. Lois was smart, sexy, but always gave off the vibe that she really wanted to be a bad girl. She wanted to be a modern girl who was a woman with equal standing with men AND equal pay. She wanted to be the one wearing the tights.

It is 107 degrees farenheit outside (I already said that but I’ll say it again) and my brain is fried, but not enough to stop me from thinking about Lois.

 

The Bomb

A Lois Lane Story from Juliette aka Vampire Maman

“What the hell Clark? Tights?”

“I wear them to yoga, and palates.”

He was fantastic, but then again as soon as he opened his mouth to talk I was ready to fall asleep.

But my god the man was good in bed.

The next day I was still investigating a murder, and I stopped for coffee at a place called Krypto Coffee. I’m sitting there taking notes and sipping my iced vanilla latte when some bald guy sits down and tries to sweet talk me. He tells me how rich he is and treats me like I’m some dumb bimbo ready to fawn all over him.

I just picked up my drink and left. Fuck I hate when that happens. What is it with guys around here?

No sooner had I walked out there was an explosion in the building across the street. I could hear the sirens. I ran across and tried to help the injured people coming out of the building. Then I get body slammed and something picks me up and I’m all the sudden up in the sky.

I had the breath knocked out of me, and then I realized that I was in the arms of a flying man.

“I’m Superman,” he said.

“Please put me down,” I told him.

“I’m here to save you,” he said.

Then I looked at his face. “What the fuck Clark? Jesus Christ on a bicycle put me down.”

“How’d you know it was me?”

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That is all I have right now. I’ll add my own illustrations to the story later. Maybe.

Anyway, that’s all I’ve got. Stay cool. Have fun. And don’t mess around with Jim.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

 

 

Musings on a Winter Afternoon

The weather today is cold and crisp and clear. It is a good day to work in the yard. We can see snow far away in the mountains, but we don’t get snow. We get squirrels and birds. Today I’ve heard eagles, gulls, songbirds, humming birds, crows, hawks, and jays. I’ve seen buzzards. I have no idea what they sound like. The turkey vultures tend to be quiet as they spread their wings and soar overhead with great beauty, in contrast to their homely faces. There are also wild turkeys but I haven’t seen any of them today.

Even in the daytime I see the shadows of ghosts trying to figure out where they ought to be. I wonder why some people won’t let go go the Civil War and realize that the South lost. It isn’t just the Civil War – it is a lot of wars that were lost years, even centuries ago and nobody has the heart to say “move on,” except the ghosts, who would like nothing better.

Because we know that people (especially politicians and religious leaders) don’t read history, or learn from the mistakes in history. They don’t even learn from their own mistakes. If they do they are more rare than a California Condor, or an alien from space.

As I look across the room the 1876 Seth Thomas clock strikes 1:00. It still runs. Things always keep running when they are made well, with pride. Remember that when you raise your children. Teach them to run well with pride. Life will be easier that way (figure it out.)

Anyway, there are patches of color where we’re trying out different paint colors. No rain is predicted for next week so I figure it is a good time to start painting. I fully expect the dog and cats to turn golden yellow, white, and green as their curiosity and sense of territory kicks in.

There is a lot to do before night, when I’ll get to relax with friends, with wine, and a movie, and some fresh blood, and fresh conversation. Fresh conversation is always good.

Have fun. I’ll have a new story tomorrow for Short Story Sunday. And don’t forget the free science fiction poster deal. CLICK HERE to find out more.

And tell your kids you love them. If you don’t have kids, tell someone else.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

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I Feel Like a Ghost …

“I feel like a Ghost most of the time.”

I listened as my brother Val talked about our family. He is the forth of five children, less than two years my senior. Nobody does listen to him, or to me much. The elder children caught the attention of our parents and wore them out before we were born. They give us bad advice, stupid advice, ignore anything we say, and pretty much discount our opinions.

I always tell my children: Marry an only child who is an orphan. Of course if you’re a Vampire that is pretty easy to do. And you know I’m just joking.

I’ve heard my brother Aaron, the middle child express the same thing. Arron is at a disadvantage in that he is trapped between the elder two, and the younger two. I’d say more in the shadow of the elder two.

I tell Val not to stress, not to worry, and to go on with whatever it is that he is doing. I listen. He listens to me.

Val usually is the most confident of us all and never complains about anything. In his own way he quietly observes the world around him, then he stands back, then he takes action.

So to hear this man, the most loyal and chill, and in many ways strongest, of us all, say he feels unseen makes me wonder what I’ve missed. Actually I haven’t missed anything – I just haven’t said anything.

I spend a lot of time listening to my children. We interact. I listen. I make an effort to engage them. Maybe we need to do that to the adults in our lives more as well. We need to teach our kids to engage, interact, and listen.

A King might have loyal subjects but only if he listens and shows that he cares. Loyalty never comes from fear. It comes from understanding.

I’d like to say that of my loyal followers. I love you and I appreciate you in ways you’ll never know. And I will try to continue to be loyal to you with entertaining posts about parenting, relationships, Vampires, and love … and all that scary stuff too that we love this time of year.

Val and I sat on my back deck under the night sky talking about what we’re up to these days. He has reconnected with a woman he first met in the 80’s – the 1880’s when wewere in London. She wasn’t a Vampire back then, but she is now, and living in San Francisco. He hasn’t told our brothers. I tell him about the kids, and about the books I’m trying to write. He listens. He really listens. He never gives me plot ideas or tell me my stories suck.

So that is it for now for my morning musings. I’ll have more Halloween shenanigans and other silly stuff later this week, plus Vlad has will have a new “Vampire Diary” post.

Thanks for dropping by, xoxoxox.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

Val – this song is for you.

 

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/loyal/

Weird Days

Redefinition

I’ve thought about that word a lot lately.

This morning I was going to walk the dog down for coffee, not for the dog, but for me. I usually use my lovely little red French Press… anyway, you don’t care about that.

I didn’t get coffee because I was called out. My brother Aaron said I must come quickly to his office. I asked why. He just said to come to his office. I yelled at him to tell me. I hate games. Just tell me. He hung up the phone.

What is it with Vampires that they’ll never tell you anything.

Thirty minutes later (I didn’t want to get a ticket) I was sitting across my impeccable brother in the law offices of Todd and Xavier, my brother Aaron being the Todd half of the firm.

He smiled, something he doesn’t do enough of. “So how are things?”

Really? How are things? “OK,” I said. “Clara made the highest score in the class on her English essay. It was about peer pressure.”

“Fantastic.”

That was all he said. I could hear the birds outside and some traffic in the distance. Otherwise we sat there in silence.

“Why’d you call me Aaron? What is it?”

He slid a paper across his desk. He didn’t tell me to read it. He just put it in front of me.

It was to Mr. Aaron Todd, Esq.  It made me slightly proud of my brother. Then I read what he’d pushed in front of me.

I read the letter then shrugged. I like to shrug when I think something is stupid.

“You never told me you had a grave,” said Aaron.

Back in 1921 my then boyfriend Pleasant Van Dusen and I were buried. Then we were unburied and, long story but in a cemetery in Southern California are empty caskets and a double headstone with our names on them.

Aaron’s office phone rang. He answered and said, “show him in.”

And there was Pleasant, my old flame. “I hear someone wants to exhume us.”

Then we just laughed. I mean, there wasn’t anything that could be done about it. We could say no but why not add to the mystery. How someone even found Aaron as the heir to the Aaron who lived in 1921 and took care of the “estate.”

My brother spoke up. “They want to film a documentary on cemetery mysteries. It seems as if someone back then thought you were Vampires. I don’t want to have to answer to anyone when they dig up empty caskets.”

Pleasant smiled. “The caskets aren’t empty.”

Well, that was a surprise.

“Who pray tell is in them?” I had to ask. I mean, I really had to ask.

Pleasant sat next to me and took my hand. “You’re looking good Jewels. How are Teddy and the kids?”

“Who is in the caskets?”

“An architect and his wanna be movie star girlfriend.”

“Donald and Olive. I thought they’d skipped town.”

“After they tortured and killed his pregnant wife they headed out with all of her money but…some friends of his wife, who were also friends of mine took care of them.”

I suddenly felt sick thinking about all of the stupid things I’d done in my past. But I had no idea this had happened.

“Do whatever you want. I don’t care. They don’t have our real names so nothing will come back to us. Beside that we’d be, what, a hundred and twenty years old according to the dates on the gravestones.”

“I’ll say no,” said Aaron. “Rest in peace.”

Pleasant and I left Aaron’s office together and walked around the corner for coffee. It was nice being with Pleasant even thought there were so many times that I truly hated him.

We talked about our spouses and raising Modern Vampire children. Of course we raised them to be far smarter and wiser than we were in our sorted pasts.

Pleasant took my hand and asked, “do you think we could have made it together.”

“Maybe, but no. We were too stupid. We would have stayed stupid if we’d stayed together.”

He laughed and we agreed to keep in touch.

So anyway, I try not to dwell on the past. I know where the bodies are hidden but that doesn’t mean I need to go visit them, much less think about them.

I headed over to the high school to pick up my daughter. How things have changed. Her life will be far better and far more sane than mine ever was. That is a good thing. The same goes for Pleasant’s children.

The goal is to learn from our mistakes, before we become parents. I can’t expound on that anymore than I already have.

So much for weird days. Then again, most of my days are weird. I can only hope that yours, dear reader, are not.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

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