Even Vampires Need a Break

moth

 

I didn’t want to deal with my family. It isn’t that I don’t love them, but sometimes I need a break.

I went to San Francisco for a meeting and didn’t even call my parents or my two brothers wo live there. It was my day in the city, alone, just me and my own business.

At Harrison and 2nd the light changed at the intersection and I headed out across the street with everyone else. A normal move, just crossing the street, when something, somebody snagged my arm. I looked in the face of a man, long, lean, good looking with a dazzling smile. He’d pulled his honey blonde  back in a short tail and a 3 day beard (oh so hip these days.)

“You’re like me,” he said.

“Yes.” Yes indeed. That was all I had to say. He was a Vampire too. I didn’t even notice him in my brain haze of family drama and overwhelming emotional wave of… well, you know, family.

“Let’s get coffee.” He took my hand and dragged me into a parking lot filled with music, food trucks and tables. It was dark, under the freeway and loud. It was perfect. We sat at a bench, coffee in hand, huddled together.

His name was Marcus. He’d been a Vampire since 1971. A few months ago he’d moved down from Seattle with his girlfriend who was also a Vampire. It was for a job, more like minded Vampires and his parents lived in the area. Yes, his parents.

He’d kept in touch with them over the years and now he wanted to take care of them. His parents were progressive in many ways and had accepted the fact that their son was different. Alright, it isn’t that simple. Most people are horrified when they find out Vampires are real, much less somebody they love, or their own child is a Vampire.

Think about it. Can you imagine if your child said “Mom I’m a Werewolf.” That would horrify me to no end. I’d have to accept it. There would be no other choice in the matter.

Marcus told me about his parents with great love and care. They were still living in their own home. They were fragile and didn’t get out much. Driving was a thing of the past. Marcus and his Vampire girlfriend Kate had moved into the neighborhood of 1920’s homes and watched over the two old people.

I told him that I was feeling that no matter where I went, no matter where I was, someone was going to bother me. If I was someplace quiet suddenly it would be full of annoying noises. There seemed to be no place where I could be alone. As I said this the noise around us was like a blanket that kept everyone else in the world out. Nobody knew were were Vampires or different or feeling stress or like we wanted to scream.

We just chatted about the good things. I told him the best places to get blood and spices and what small venues were good for concerts. I told him about the shop with the pug and the white French bull dogs who lived in the front window – not for sale but just to keep the owner company and to look cute. I told him how funny my teenagers were.

In turn he told me about finding a great house and exploring the area. He wanted to know about the culture and the local Vampire lore. He’d heard a lot of it over the years but he wanted to know more.

Marcus was a fairly young Vampire, born in 1948, and like I said, he became a Vampire in 1971. Over the years he’d only met a few of us who were born into it, that is born as a Vampire. He was even more surprised and tickled to find I belonged to one of the “Vampire Power Families” as he called it. Our roots are ancient and the exploits of some of my family members are famous among our kind.

So anyway, to make a short and unremarkable story even longer, we exchanged information and planned to keep in touch. It was really nice to meet him. I know what you’re thinking – the term “really nice” and “Vampire” shouldn’t mix. Hey, if you’re a Vampire you come to appreciate “really nice” and little moments. We all should.

NPR has been running a series of articles on stress this week. I’ve listened but been grateful for the attention Weird Al is getting and stories about science and books. I might be “undead” but I’m not immune to stress and the pressures of everyday life.

Before I left Marcus we grabbed a bite (some geeky hipster programmers he knew) and then walked together to where my meeting was being held. When you’re a Vampire you learn to make quick friendships since there are so few of us. We have to stick together.

So I suppose I must stick to my family. On the way home I stopped by the farmhouse to see check in on the Elders. My brother Val was there already. He’d made sure they’d remembered to turn on the fans in the heat and brought by some cold bottles of blood. They sometimes forget to eat and we worry they’ll go into a Vampire Coma or worse, find piles of ashes where they once stood.

My voice mail was full of messages but I didn’t answer any of them, except to my husband to tell him that I loved him too.

All things considering everything is good. It is better than good. But sometimes a mom just needs some time to be herself. Sometimes everyone needs that.

 

Have a good rest of your week everyone.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

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My Vampire Maman

moulin-rougeShe walked into the crowded bar as if she owned the place. I waved. She flashed me a dazzling smile and walked my way.

Black jeans, a dusty plum-colored coat over a white dress shirt she borrowed from her man, buttons open to give a hint of a promise of something soft and lace covered, the most darling gray boots with buckles and heels, a gray and blue scarf, and a black messenger bag with a tiny gold bat pin attached to it. Her nails are covered in glossy gray varnish as perfect as perfect can be, set off  a perfect dark fire opal on her right hand. Loose dark brown chestnut colored ringlets cascading down her back. Perfect smoky eyes as gray as a winter sky shot with blue and a slight hint of pink lip-gloss on cupid kissed lips. She could be somewhere between 25 and 35 but it doesn’t matter. She is perfect. Every male head in the place turns. My mom just walked into the room.

She walked to the bar where I sat nursing a gin and tonic. She didn’t need to pull up a stool – four were immediately offered to her. She grabbed one a few places down and sat it next to me. Her arm went around my waist and squeezed. All was right in the world. Mom was here.

She still calls me her baby. I still call her my maman.

She picks something off of my sweater. She liked my hair. My nail color made my hands look dirty. Was Teddy home with the kids? I looked tired. Was I getting enough sleep? Was I spending all my time driving the kids around? Was I working on my novels? Was I planning my spring garden?

My dad with at my brother Aaron’s house. It was a big girl night out.

She scanned the room and said “we won’t go out hungry tonight.”

No we wouldn’t.

I put my hands in my lap, then decided to ignore her comment about my nail color. I liked the color even though I doubt if I’d wear it again.

We spoke quietly, our heads together. A man asked if we were sisters. My mom said we were.

He was in his early thirties. Blonde hair, green eyes, button down shirt. Cute bordering on handsome. My mom is 378 years old.

She whispered something in his ear and put her hand on his shoulder. He smiled. He was hers for the night if she wanted him. That isn’t what she said to him, but she can make anyone feel good. She said there was a girl in the bar who liked him, the pretty girl who is never the prettiest in the room and never the one who gets picked first. The girl was smart and funny and sexy and a little different. He’d pick her tonight and in a few months time he’d pick her forever. My maman has a talent for facilitating happily ever after events. How Vampires got the bad rap I’ll never know (actually I do but that’s another blog post) but we’re quite the romantics and lovers.

Her wedding ring was on a cord around her neck, hidden under her shirt. It was funny considering we spent most of the evening talking about my dad. She said she wanted to spend the weekend with my kids.

She said she’d planted the strawberry plants I’d given her. She’d also started mine in pots for me since I hadn’t dug up my planting beds yet. Hers were doing great but mine were still smallish. I told her that was because she loved her plants more than mine. She laughed.  She had my plants in the car. I told her that I’d give them lots of love.

We were like any other mother and daughter meeting in the evening. Except we were out for blood. But that’s ok with us.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

manet maman