Coffee with Vampires
Even during the holidays we try to keep daylight hours, more or less, but I sometimes have that pull of my nocturnal biology and don’t sleep. I don’t sleep anyway. Most Vampires sleep like the dead (duh) but, well, good for them.
In the wee hours of the morning of December 28, 2016, just past midnight, my house shook with the force of an earthquake. Then it shook again.
At first Teddy thought it was the dog scratching and yelled at her. I told him it was no dog. Outside of Hawthorne, Nevada, close to the California/Nevada border the earth shook not once, but twice, at 5.8 and 5.6. It was enough for us to feel it 160 miles away (as the crow flies.)
Everyone else fell asleep but I kept awake. I feel like I’m still awake. I have coffee.
This morning it was quiet, despite the crowd staying at my house. Almost everyone was asleep this morning, just before the sun came up, so I took the dog for a walk. It was cold and wet but that can’t stop a one year old German Shepard. The nose of a dog knows no limits to what it can smell. When I got home I found my brother Max in my kitchen.
He’d come in late last night. Now he was leaning against the island counter with his eyes closed and his headphones on. He was as still as stone with no obvious signs of life. I walked up to him and gently took the headphones out. I listened. Strumbellas We Don’t Know. It was fitting for Max but a surprise.
Max opened his eyes and smiled a rare dazzling Vampire smile.
“Morning. Your coffee is getting cold,” I said handing him his cup.
“Do you think your demons will be gone today?”
He shrugged. “It might take a while.”
Over the holidays Demons had infested his home in San Francisco. He went to a party and when he came back they were there tearing the place up. Like just about everything else in this universe of ours they are attracted to Max and just can’t seem to stay away. He tried to take care of the problem himself but ended up with a black gash on his arm, and a major headache. He had to call a professional and move out for a few days.
Our great great great great Grandmama Lola came in, also staying for a few days (because the kids are on break) and made tea. She has been nervous since the election and all of the right-wing religious talk. Unlike Max and I who have had relatively safe lives, all things considering, Lola has not. She is ancient and has seen those she loved strapped to poles and burned alive. She has seen our kind torn apart and beheaded for no other reason that the fact they were different.
Lola warns us and my children again that they must stay quiet and trust no one. Of course. She is right.
“Not just us, but others as well. Do not forget the lessons of history, or those of your elders,” she tells the younger generation.
I hear my kids upstairs laughing now. Garrett has that joyful sort of horse laugh that so many young men have. Clara’s laugh is deep and rich, but still the laugh of a typical teenage girl.
Lola doesn’t look much older than my two but her eyes show the centuries. Sometimes it is the same look one finds in war zones and refugee camps. It is that look that politicians and religious leaders can’t see from their high pulpits – it is a look they close their own eyes to.
But now I’m starting to sound like a schlockie Vampire novel, or something from Oprah’s Book Club. Actually, take that back, I’d love to be in Oprah’s Book Club, as an author.
My brother Val showed up, then my husband Teddy came downstairs so it was a regular party. So much for binge watching Twilight Zone, Botched, and Leah Remini in a quiet house (where nobody knows what I’m doing.) Insomnia got me through West World, and Worst Cooks in America. I found the other three this week by accident because I just did, and I couldn’t sleep, and my brain turned off for writing, or art, or anything else.
The discussion over coffee and tea included:
- “The Curse of Oak Island” is the fact that they aren’t going to ever find anything.
- A guy I know is going to audition for “America’s Got Talent.”
- We were all impressed by the movie, “Hell or High Water.”
- Juliette only read a few books in 2016, and that is a shame. And in 2017 we’re all going to read, “The Stranger” by Albert Camus, some for the first time, and some of us again.
Just like any other family we talk about movies, silly TV stuff, and books when we get together. That is something most of us can agree on.
We also talked in length about Max’s Demon problem. I swear there must be a portal near his house, or it must be him. I think they’re attracted to him because they see him as such a powerful Vampire. He says that isn’t the case. He says we’re all powerful in our own ways, then tries to be the good uncle and tells the kids that. Val and Lola went off into a corner to discuss his new girlfriend. Teddy gave me a kiss and went off to work.
Tonight Teddy and I are going to the Kings game. It will be my first time in the new Golden 1 Arena. Woo Hoo. We’ll go to Magnolia’s (a blood bar) for dinner first. Woo Hoo. Yes, that is the Sacramento Kings (just like my name) Basketball. Woo Hoo.
Football does nothing for me but I like Baseball and Basketball. Go Kings. Go Giants. My other sport is Artistic Roller Skating. Woo Hoo.
More on all of THAT later this year.
I sat by Lola and Val, and took Lola’s hand. I wanted to tell her that it will all be alright but I said nothing, and listened to Val tell about the girl he is falling in love with.
Happy New Year again everyone.
~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman