This morning my neighbors and I walked a mile down the road to get coffee. We’re all working at home these days, so anyway, I went to get coffee. I brought Kelly who lives on the left of me, and Shannon who live on the right. I love these women. They are each unique and my friends, though neither one of them knows I’m a Vampire.
As I walked out of my front door I waved at the guys on the scaffolding scraping the old paint off of my house. In three weeks my house will not look haunted anymore. Woo Hoo.
Then as I reached the street I noticed a ghost on my front porch. One particular ghost. Today he was wearing jeans, a puffy down vest, and a red flannel shirt. He pushed his shaggy black hair out of his face, then blew me a kiss. He usually flips me off. I lifted an eyebrow and he vanished.
So I walked with my nice warm friends, in the cold morning air, down the road to coffee.
We didn’t complain because our cups were a lovely solid red. Kelly had a Grande Vanilla Late, I had a Veneti Blonde Roast with room at the top and added my own half and half, and Shannon had her usual sickening sweet chocolate caramel thing with whipped cream and two extra shots of espresso. My friends had scones. I just had coffee.
As we sat in the corner chatting and sipping our drinks I suddenly realized that I was too chill. Too cool. Uh oh.
I took the lid off of my coffee cup and looked at the white crystals forming on top.
“Why does it do that?” My friend Shannon laughed. She never finds things strange, just wondrous. I guess that is why I’m glad she lives next door.
I tried to shrug it off. “Cold hands. Mind if I get a spoon?”
By the time I’d gone back to my friends with a spoon the top had frozen completely.
Vampires love coffee but we have problems with the top freezing over. We’re just cold. I’m not kidding about that.
My daughter said she feels sorry for kids who sit a desk after her. It is already getting cold and then some poor kid comes in and sits where she sat. It is great in the hot months, but when things cool off… well, that leaves some chilly cheeks. Some kids, who have no idea what is going on, bring an extra sweatshirt to put on their seats.
It isn’t always that way with us, but sometimes we just don’t think about it. Sometimes we’re just being chill and, well, a bit too chill. Sure we can force ourselves to heat up, but most of the time we’re just cool. Yes, we’re cool. We’re Vampires.
I know this wasn’t the best bit of literature today, but you know, it is just one of those morning stories of everyday life. My life isn’t all about sucking blood out of handsome men or giving assholes nightmares. I’m not just a Vampire. I’m a mom and a friend, a wife and a sister. I’m a blogger. You know how it is.
I have another cold weather story. I was going to add a link to an older post but I’ll just add it here, today, again. It was about having cold hands a long time ago…as really long time ago.
Cold Hands, Warm Heart
My eldest brother Max (10 years my senior) had asked his best friend Teddy to escort me home from the theater one evening. It was 1874. I was 15 years old.
“Your hands are so cold,” Teddy said as he helped me up off of the muddy street onto the boardwalk.
I gave him a coy smile. “I have a cold heart sir.”
He laughed. I never called him sir. He offered me his arm.
I gladly took his arm. “Your hands are positively burning. What sort of fire stirs your soul tonight?” That was pretty forward but I didn’t care. I was floating with the joy of being a flirt and having no brothers or parents around to stop me.
“You’re not like the other girls.”
“No I am not.”
“You’re an impish little thing. It will take a man with a quick wit and a good sense of humor to woo you Juliette.”
“Ahhhh, but you forget I have four older brothers. I pity any man who would have to deal with them.”
“They’ll love any man who is truly in love with you Juliette.”
“I doubt that Teddy.”
Then he stopped and faced me. “I have some news. A secret if you can keep one.”
“Your secrets are always safe with me.”
Teddy had a large smile on his handsome face. “I’m getting married.”
My young Vampire heart literally stopped dead. My head started to spin, but I managed to smile because like all Vampires, I was a natural liar. “Oh Teddy. I’m so happy for you. She really is lovely.”
I wished I could just turn to putrified slime and slip into the dirt like the dead in the cemetery but instead I found a dark place to curl up in for the rest of the night. Teddy would now be lost to me forever. No more laughing at silly jokes with him. No more having him give me sly smiles. No more watching him and my brother Max in awe as they turned from boys to real men.
Teddy would be moving on to the world of married men where there was no room for girls who laughed too loud and talked too much. There was no room for Vampires. Sure, once I was older and became an icy cold elegant woman like my Vampire mother I could entertain Teddy and his bride, but until then it was over. He might has well have died – at least that is what I was feeling in my cold quiet teenage heart.
Teddy had no idea how different any of us were. He had no idea that his father’s business partner was a Vampire. Teddy had no idea what a Vampire was.
While they were away to college Teddy never really questioned why my brother Max would go out in the middle of the night. He imagined it was a woman or gambling or just a restless spirit. Like all of us, Max was brilliant at hiding his true nature.
The young woman of good breeding whom Teddy had become engaged to was sweet. That was her only attribute aside from being considered pretty. She wanted nothing more in life than to be the wife of a successful man. The fact that Teddy was the most handsome human I’d ever seen in my life, interesting, smart and funny was just an added bonus. Other than the fact that Teddy thought she’d be a good match there was nothing remarkable about her. Good breeding. Good reputation. Good girl. I didn’t even think about passion. Thinking about that would be almost as bad as thinking about my parents having any kind of passion (remember I was 15 years old.)
Teddy’s love wasn’t out sucking blood out of people in the middle of the night. She was in bed alone dreaming of angels and kittens. She was the kind of girl he dreamed of and I am sure he dreamed of her at night.
I wished I was like her. I wished I was sweet and warm like a her. I touched my icy hands against my cheeks and closed my eyes and then wiped away cold tears. No amount of wishing could make me warm. No amount of wishing could make me walk in the sunshine without dark glasses or a parasol. No amount of charm or wit could make him continue to be buddies with me, a girl who lived in the shadow of the night. He’d never love me.
I found my brother Val and told him the news. Val, who is only 16 at the time, thought I was being silly. He didn’t understand. He was a boy. Teddy could still be friends with a boy.
Max came up on the roof where I ended up that night. He sat next to me and put his arm around my shoulders. “Teddy is like family. He’ll still be here for a long long time. With any luck he’ll live a long life and we’ll always be able to watch over him and protect him.”
I closed my eyes knowing it was a battle I couldn’t win.
“Listen Jewels, part of growing up is letting go, that means letting go of everyone else who is growing up and moving on. It won’t just be Teddy. All of us will have to go out in the world and make our way. We’ll all find love. We’ll find it with people like ourselves, other Vampires. People move on, but the human heart, and our hearts have a great capacity for love. You have to treasure that love because as we move on, they, the regular humans grow old and they die. I’ve seen Mother and Father mourn the loss of their friends in the worst way. We’ve mourned the loss of friends in the worst way. But Teddy isn’t dead. Be happy for him. He’ll still be my best friend. He’ll still be your friend.”
We sat on the roof until the sun came up and talked of life and love and loss.
A year later Teddy died and didn’t die. He became a Vampire (not from anything we did and very much against his will.) The wedding never happened. After that we all went our separate ways and had our share of love and adventure and friendship.
After Teddy acclimated to being a Vampire we became great friends. Twenty years ago we got married. That isn’t typical of anyone, but then again, not much is typical in my life.
As my own children become older and closer to being adults they’ll have to deal with friends moving away, getting in relationships and changing in ways they can’t imagine. Some friendships will last those changes, but many won’t. The fact that we can’t always predict these things doesn’t make it any easier, but at least we can talk with our kids about these things. We can be there when they need someone to talk to. And that day will come.
I have been fortunate to have friends who’ve been in my life since those days when I used to sit on the roof of my parent’s house and ponder the meaning of life. Sometimes my friends would sit on the roof with me. Sometimes my brothers would join us. We’re not sitting on the roof anymore, but we’re still talking and laughing and having warm hearts to go with our cold hands.
~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman