A conversations over coffee and musings about the lives of others (or don’t trade in your soul because you can’t get it back.)

coffee

Coffee with Vampires and Ghosts

A conversations over coffee and musings about the lives of others.

This morning I met for coffee with my brother’s friend James.

James is one of those people I find extremely obnoxious, but we have a connections through my brother Andy and through some shared experiences. We all have friends like James.

When he isn’t just hanging out with old friends, James is a psychiatrist to some pretty well known individuals. He is good at giving people ways to find normalcy in their lives. That is their normal. Everyone has his or her own normal, they just have to find it. The same goes with inner peace and contentment. James gives his patients the tools and teaches them how to use those tools to keep healthy.

As I drove to his house, through one of the more exclusive neighborhoods in the city (East Sacramento), I passed a home I’d once been in, years ago. The house belonged to a wealthy man. I’m talking insanely wealthy. A friend of mine was his executive assistant.

I was there for a party. He was lovely and friendly. I’d met him before and he remembered me. My friend adored him. He was a good man.

Unfortunately his ex-wife, his narcissistic daughter, and his psychiatrist only saw dollar signs. They poisoned him with their demands and their bad advise. It was never about him. People who cared couldn’t get through to him. The women took and took from him, stabbing out pieces of his soul until one day he killed himself.

“There is a special place in Hell for them. No, really, Jewels, the reservations have been made,” James told me as he poured me a second cup of coffee in his well-appointed kitchen.

I believed James, because like me, he is a Vampire. He lives with one foot in death’s door at times. He knows what it is like to grab up your own soul and hold it tight. For unlike Regular Humans, Vampires can’t give away or trade our souls, but sometimes there are those who try to come up from the depths of Hell and steal them away.

“And to think,” I said, “people call us ghouls.”

“They’re such hypocrites,” said James.

We had more coffee and talked about our friends, our work and books we’d read over the summer. I looked around the beautiful kitchen. Too bad not much cooking happened in it. Most Vampires don’t cook much. We do, but not much. I don’t need to explain why.

James made a lame joke about cooking and I laughed. Then he smiled with a sexy bit of fang and said, “Let’s go upstairs and fuck.”

I smiled back. “You know I’m married.” Yes, that is the reason I don’t see much of James.

“Right, you’re married to the most handsome Vampire in the world, but come down to the dark side with me this morning. Nobody will ever know. Mix it up a little.”

“Oh James,” I said, “even if I was single I’d have to say no. It isn’t going to happen. But thank you for the coffee. It was delightful.”

“At least I can try,” he said taking my hand and kissing it.

Now I’m home, taking a break from my work, sharing my morning. I’m also wondering if anyone is mourning still for the lovely man who was driven to his death by demons who took the form of friends and family.

I look at my old dog sleeping on the cool tile by my feet. I hear a hawk outside. It is a calm space where demons are not allowed. I will not let them in.

Close the door if they knock, even if they look like someone you know.

Beware those who have already traded in their souls at the expense of others.

OK everyone, have a nice day.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Featured Image -- 18965

I’m on the road with my handsome husband and beautiful daughter this week touring one of the colleges by the ocean in Southern California. Yes, this is the parenting part. So anyway, this is a repost from August 2015. Thanks for dropping by. I’ll tell you all about it soon.

Bottom Feeders

I was driving along on of the main streets near where I live and saw homeless woman pushing a grocery cart down the street. I’d never seen this one before. She wore a pink shirt that wasn’t enough for the cold morning. Her face had that gaunt sunken, thin mouthed, meth head look. She looked old, like elderly old, but I bet she was around forty or maybe even younger.

This was a residential neighborhood in an area with a lot of horse property, friendly folks, rolling hills, and few businesses among the homes. There is one food closet but no other social services.

My brother Val was in the car with me. He looked at to woman too. “I bet she has a couple of kids in foster care or living with relatives.”

I didn’t respond. I didn’t want to think about it. Unlike me, Val walks a darker side of the street than I do.

“Jewels, there’s two or three bottom feeders in this area. Were you aware of that?”

“The historic proliforence of ignorant trash in certain neighborhoods near here has always brought them out.”

“Seriously, I know them. The bottom feeder Vampires. They feed on the homeless, addicts, mentally ill, but mostly the homeless. They suck them almost dry then dump them at shelters, or at emergency room doors. No worry about anyone finding bodies all over the streets, or behind buildings. Everyone assumes it was some sort of drug overdose or some other fucked up shit.”

“I couldn’t do that. First of all it is disgusting. Secondly it is sad and pathetic to take advantage of those people,” I said.

“They, the Vampires, get them to the hospital more than anyone else. They give them sweet dreams that they wouldn’t get otherwise. Do look at me all disgusted. I see what is going on, especially downtown. You know what is going on. They invite me to join them. Then the unfortunate souls they feed on beg them to transform them into the Undead. It’s pathetic but it is just the way things have always been forever and ever and ever. Don’t tell me you haven’t been tempted when you’re in a pinch and can’t find some nice squeaky clean donor.”

I didn’t say anything else and changed the radio station from a stupid Linkin Park song to the Jimmy Buffet station, then to a crappy obscure hair band song. Then I turned the radio off.

Val started to talk again. “Let’s have a party. We can have a going away party and invite everyone we want to go away. Who would you invite?”

I had to smile. I couldn’t help but show my fangs.

I wasn’t thinking of the lost souls or poor homeless people who are stared at by people driving by. I wasn’t thinking of the people who need help. I wasn’t thinking of those without hope.

I was thinking about other people. You know the ones.

Yes, I know, I know, I know, I write all about positive parenting, and love, and raising your kids to be good people…but sometimes…

Sometimes we just need to be awful. Even if you’re not a Vampire it is ok to ride in the car with your brother, or a friend, or even your older child and speculate on such things. It is even ok to laugh about it.

So dear reader, if you had a Going Away Party who would you invite? Kim Jong-un? Kim Kardashian? Kim Davis? Your ex-girlfriend who slept with your best friend and still calls you once a week with all of her problems? Or just invite politicians. Take your sample ballot from the last election and invite everyone on it. Who would you invite? Take your time. Think it out. Write it down.

I turned the car into my own neighborhood. Val turned the radio back on. I didn’t recognize the song.

“Remember Juliette, the first time we went to New York City? What year was it? 1880?”

“1879,” I said.

“It was on that trip I discovered that I have a sympathy for those who live in the shadow of the Vampire bottom feeders. I don’t feed on the bottom, or rarely do, but you know, somebody needs to look out for them. I don’t really, but I have. It makes me uncomfortable but I have.”

“I know you have Val. You do it all the time but you won’t admit it. Vampires talk Val. They tell me what you’re up to. You’re a better man and a better Vampire for it. Better than most,” I told him.

He put his hand on mine. “Thanks.”

We got to my house and changed the subject. A large happy dog greeted us and peed on Val’s feet. The cats chased up up the walk. The icy wind blew our hair until we were able to get into the house. My teenager asked us, “sup?”  And we laughed.

That’s all.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

 

 

 

I’m going to write to you…

Excuse me while I kiss this guy. What is that about?” I heard Cody’s voice.

I could hear my husband Teddy laughing. “No, Excuse me while I kiss the sky.

He was in the living room with my brother Val and our friend Cody talking about, what else, misunderstood lyrics.

Now Teddy had to show off, “Juliette thought Bryan Adams was singing I’m going to write to you.

I had to defend my reputation, “Hey, it was 1984. People still wrote letters.” Until a few months to ago I thought the lyrics I’m going to run to you were I’m going to write to you. 

I’ve been overhearing and slipping into a lot of conversations lately that seem like I’m just sitting on the edge waiting to slip off and slip away.

Yesterday while at my daughter’s skating practice I overheard some of the spectators talking about how good it was to see all of the children there. We’ve had a lack of kids lately.  One of them said something to me about the boys. It was the the Uber Type A Aggressive mom. Every club of any sort involving children has one of those. I mentioned to her  that it was good to see so many boys in the club now. She mentioned that the thirteen year old male was rude to her girls. I said that all of the little girls pester the jeebers out of the poor kid. That is what little girls do – if there is a boy around. I didn’t blame him for being rude all things considering. I’ve overheard the girls complaining about the said boy, but honestly look at what your daughters say to the kid. Besides that they won’t leave him alone. What is the poor boy to do? No matter what he does they do their best to bother him.

Then Aggressive Mom says, “Which little girls?”

I wanted to tell her, “Why, madam, your bratty little tattle tale princesses pester the crap out of that poor young man.” But instead I said, “All of the girls do it. That is what little girls do.”

Yes, I’m always glad to keep them wondering, least I didn’t spew out vulgar language, as much as I’d love to. And I mean I’d really love to.

I thought now that my daughter is a teenager and my son in college that I would be done with annoying parents. God knows elementary school was full of psycho parents from Hell. You know who I’m talking about. Unfortunately I can’t show my fangs.

This morning some guys were out working on my house and I overheard them talking. I wasn’t really listening in but then my ears alerted me to “I’m tired of being a sugar daddy. Now I have a sugar mama.”

So back to my men.

Clara was upstairs doing homework (her nightly 3-4 hours) so I took a glass of wine and the bottle into the living room with the guys.

Val was talking about a couple he just met. He wants to be their Vampire, which means he wants to add them to his regular donor list. They’re youngish, in their thirties, with hipster style and a taste for microbrews, Beat Poets, and act as though they’ve single handily discovered vinyl records. They’re really sweet people, so says my brother. Both are type A+ blood, Val’s favorite (mine too.)

He had another interesting fact about them. They both want to go Big Foot hunting. Yes, Sasquatch hunting. Searching for the giant people of the old woods and mountains. I should have laughed but even I got the chills and could feel the hair stand up on my arms.

I’ll admit, that being a Vampire, I shouldn’t have this reaction. Sure I heard the stories going way back to when I was a child in the 1860’s. But back when I was a kid anything that moved was likely to be shot, so if the Sasquatch family was around they were shaved and wearing suits and hats, that is if they wanted to stay alive.

I can imagine if there are Big Foots they’d be masters of ease dropping and Tom Foolery.

Then Val mentioned that they would talk about their passion as if it were a huge secret but they’d tell everyone they met about it. That might have been their vetting system. I don’t know. I couldn’t imagine a guy in a waxed mustache and man bun out in the woods chasing around large hairy humanoids. I couldn’t imagine him chasing anything except a round of Brie that had fallen off the kitchen counter and rolled across the floor. But I might be wrong. I have to remember to assume nothing about everything.

“Did you ask them if they’d ever consider hunting Vampires?” I had to ask.

They all laughed.

Then I thought of another song…There’s a Bad Moon on the Rise.

You know, you know, YOU KNOW what everyone thinks THAT sounds like.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

strangereyes

 

 

Never ask…Questions, Conversations and Musings

Never ask a Werewolf about flea control.

Never ask a Ghost about transparency.

Never ask a Zombie where he left his heart.

 

Never forget to ask your child about everything.

When it comes to kids, the more you ask and engage (not drill, but engage) them the more they’ll talk to you without being asked. Start them off early. Don’t accept monosyllable answers. If you don’t do anything else you read about parenting DO THIS. You’ll thanks me for it later. And show genuine interest (that is why all of my kid’s friends talk to me with smiles on their faces.)

And speaking of genuine interest… I’m getting off subject a bit but you know how I am.

We’ve all said a lot of things we want to take back. I told my daughter to NEVER ask a pregnant woman when she is due. Of course in typical teenage fashion she asked why not. Because she might not be pregnant. Ohhhhhh. Yes, that has happened to me. It was a long long time ago. I don’t ask that question anymore. I don’t ask a lot of personal questions. There are two reasons. First because it is rude. Second because I know that if someone wants me to know something personal they will tell me in their own time and in their own comfort zone.

The other day my friend Elizabeth asked me to join her in shoe shopping adventure. How could I say no to that? We’ve been friends forever but run in different circles and we don’t always see each other that often.

We were on a tree lined street where shops aren’t in malls but in old store fronts, sometimes in-between Victorian houses and law offices and bars. Restaurants and art shops and boutiques call for me to stop and look. It was a beautiful warm almost Spring day. I saw an old car in front of the art supply story with the bumper sticker that said “imagine whirled peas.” I laughed out loud. It was good to laugh after listening to my child on the way to school talk about war, impending war, her predictions for war and the fucking evil nut jobs who are destroying World Heritage sites. No matter how far removed we are from world events, as we lust over red heels with bows on them, it still hangs heavy on our minds.

Elizabeth put down a blue wedge heeled sandal and said, “I’m seeing someone.”

The first thought that came to my mind was I hope it isn’t one of my brothers. I have three single brothers and as much as I love them I would rather they not become involved with my friends. Sure, I did marry my eldest brother’s best friend but that is a different story altogether.

That was a cue to purchase our shoes and go three doors down for coffee. Low and behold my brother Val was sitting at a back table with his laptop and coffee. He looked up with a dazzling smile and a flash of fang (just for us.) I got a hug. Elizabeth got a hug and a kiss on the cheek.

She started out in a round about way saying her new paramour was a lot of fun and smart and interesting and of course attractive. We politely smiled and didn’t ask any questions but let her talk. And she said something interesting and showed this wasn’t just any relationship.

“Your brother Andrew was married to someone…you know, someone who wasn’t like us.”

“They were married for forty years. She was almost seventy when she passed away. We all still miss her.”

Andy had married a woman who wasn’t like us. She made the choice not to ever be like us. So I decided to ask my friend, my old friend a question.

“He isn’t a Vampire is he?”

“No, but he knows about us. He accepts me.”

“Does he want to become a Vampire?” That was Val asking. He is always called on when someone wants to become one of us.

Elizabeth took a sip of coffee as if she had to think about the answer. “I wish the answer was yes, but I don’t think so. We haven’t talked about it.”

Good. That was good. I mean it could be good or bad, but right now it was good. So I asked, “are you happy, together, the two of you?”

“Insanely happy.”

That was all I needed to know right now.

We talked more about plays we all want to see and movies and general stuff. We talked more about Elizabeth’s boyfriend. We both gave Val a hard time for not seeing anyone. Let me reword that – Val sees a lot of women, of all kinds, but there is nobody who has captured his cold single adorable Vampire heart.

But I’m off subject again. Was there a subject?

Anyway, there is always a risk becoming friends or lovers with someone who is an unlikely choice. Sometimes we’re too different to make it work. Usually we find that, if we all keep open minds and hearts, that we are more the same.

I’m sure The Ghost will have an opinion on that but I’m not going to ask him because he’ll give me some snarky remark and insult me. That is just like a Ghost.

And never ask a cat anything because everything a cat says will be a lie. Of course a cat will say it with a smile on his face and purring.

Have a good day everyone, stay curious and creative and make sure you get your coffee (or whatever you need to get through the day.)

And talk with your kids!

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

Kissed by a Vampire
 

 

Trying to Believe

Oh what is this water falling from the sky? Rain maybe?

——————

“Do you remember Douglas and Cassandra?”

“Vaguely,” I said to my husband. “What did they do this time?” They were famous for pulling stunts and living dangerously close to being found out.

“They left.”

“Left? Oh. When?”

Doug and Cassie had been Vampires since the early 1930’s. The last of their children has passed away from old age so they decided to end it. From time to time it happens. Maybe more than any of us would like to admit. It didn’t surprise me. They’d never been happy with their choice. No kidding. They’d been party animals who decided to become Vampires after (yes after) their kids were born. Bad choice. They had no idea what they were getting into. Kids change people. Becoming a Vampire with three children at home at the same time is not a good idea.

I barely knew them, but it was still a shock, but then again it wasn’t. After sitting in the back of the memorial service for their 89-year-old son, their youngest child, they decided to move on too. Doug and Cassie crawled into a crypt they’d purchased decades before and sealed the door.

I won’t say that I started to think of my own choices. These days I’m beyond thinking about any choices I’ve ever made in the past. One can only think of those sorts of things so much before feeling rather stupid.

What I was thinking about was how to write the transition pages that would tie a book I’m writing all together. I was thinking of bringing my old dog to the vet for a bad leg. Down under the basement of an empty Victorian building my brother and I own I was looking for some of my old drawings I thought I’d left there about a century ago.

My friend Adam (a Werewolf and brilliant photographer) dropped by. I’d told him I’d be there.

“What do Werewolves do when they get depressed or feel regret for being what they are?” I don’t even know why I asked him that. I guess just the mood of the night.

“We howl at the moon. I don’t know, drink, pick up women, chase cats…take drugs, sleep, rip flesh, you know, the usual. What brought that on?”

I shrugged. Adam stepped closer. “What do you do when you get depressed Juliette?”

“I have no idea. I don’t get depressed.”

We ended that conversation as quickly as it started and moved on to general gossip about people we know.

I pulled out a file of sketches and spread them out on the table. Adam looked them over a bit. Then he edged closer, his shoulder touching mine.

“Remember how we were before I knew you were a Vampire?”

“Before I knew you were a Werewolf,” I said. I didn’t add before you almost ripped my throat out.

“Do you believe things happen for a reason?”

“Not really. I mean sometimes. Right now I’m trying to believe it. I’m trying to believe in the impossible.”

“What is the impossible?”

“I am. Everything.”

He put his arm around my shoulder and gave it a squeeze. “I believe.”

“Good.”

We went to breakfast, more for him than me. Then I took my daughter to school. On the way we talked about a boy in her school who’d come from Africa. His parents were wildlife naturalists. His mom passed away. They lived here now. Then we talked about the world economy and endangered species and phone chargers and roller skating.

Conversations are like rain the way they just fall. Crap, that was a line out of a really bad movie. I can’t believe I even wrote that.

In a bit I’m taking the dog to the vet for a limp, then for a few hours I am on my own, and trying to believe.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman 

 

 

Vampire Maman

 

 

 

 

 

The answer is still no

I’ve frequently posted answers to questions about Vampires on this blog. The answer is usually “no” or “I won’t tell you.”

I’ve also commented on things NOT to say to Vampires. Well, I’m in hot water because some readers want to know what the CAN say to a Vampire.

So what CAN and SHOULD you say to a Vampire?

Of course my brain immediately went blank. I suppose you could say anything polite and witty to a Vampire and you’d be OK…. maybe.

The general rule is that if you know someone is a Vampire, and you’re not, it isn’t always going to go well.

So in musing about this subject I asked Tellias, one of the ancient Vampires in my life about conversations with regular people.

We were sitting on his front porch a few nights ago sipping cold goblets of Poets Blood (from a new shipment at Dave’s Dark Wine Emporium) pondering the meaning of life.

He told me story about how he handled questions from regular humans who find through various means that we’re Vampires.

“Juliette, my dear girl,” he started as he took my hand. “They’re naturally curious about us, as you well know. Back in my Roman days they considered me a minor demigod. They knew I was different with certain powers but they didn’t know what a Vampire was. I went along with it and used it to my advantage, rather innocently I dare say. But sometimes I’d just be annoyed by not being with my own kind, like a foreigner in my own land.

Every once in a while someone would ask me if they’d suddenly have the ability to see the Gods or see the future if I’d drink their blood or something ridiculous like that. I brushed off most questions. I mean, it was a good life, I can’t say it wasn’t. I lived in luxury, the pretty blonde boy who couldn’t be killed and could read minds and keep everyone feeling calm. But after a while I wanted my own kind. I wanted to be with a woman who liked a cold touch and understood what I was. Converting someone wasn’t an option. Roman culture wasn’t right for Vampires. I needed a real Vampire woman. I found her in Britain. Right, but back to your question. Their questions. As long as someone isn’t rude or exceptionally stupid I’ll answer anything. Of course I’d rather they not even know I’m a Vampire in the first place. But if someone does know, like those rare people who DO know just because they know, or those who find out accidentally…what were we talking about? Oh yes, as long as they don’t ask to be converted into a Vampire or ask stupid personal questions I’m not going to be offended. It still doesn’t mean I’ll answer them.”

He ran his hand though his white blond hair and gave me a smile. “Of course I always taught you kids that no matter how friendly or comfortable regular people are with Vampires, you always have to keep that thin line of fear between you and them. We can’t let them get too comfortable or we might as well end up becoming Vegans and turn to dust.”

Tellias always had a way of making things make sense even when he wasn’t completely at his wits. The 2,000 year old Vampire looks all of age 20 but spent centuries nurturing and mentoring the Vampire community.

As for my friends, my few friends who know I’m not like them, I let them know there are limits on what I will and won’t tell them. It all boils down to good manners and respect.

Tellias started to hum a tune I didn’t recognize, something ancient and strange. I sipped from my goblet and listened to the sounds of the night thinking of how odd it is of us to be so different, yet to us it was so normal. Then again, maybe we’re the normal ones.

And the answer is still no.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman