Short Story Sunday: None of his concern

Senator Wallace “Wally” Baskin stood on the podium as his fans watched on. They knew he would cut funding to arts, which after all were only for high brow perverts and didn’t do anything for the economy. He had cut funds for National Parks which everyone knew were just glorified playgrounds used by retired folks and boy scouts. Bears and rock formations were not his concern. If he didn’t see it or like it then it wasn’t his concern.

He’d never seen a bear in the wild, an underaged prostitute, a Indian burial ground, the inside of an art museum, or a whale, so they were not his concerns. He had never personally known a soldier with PSTD, or one with missing limbs so that was none of his concern. Wally Baskin had never known a child with cancer, or anyone with AIDS, or an opera singer, so they were none of his concern.

Empathy, curiosity, and compassion were for the weak. They were none of his concern.

The Senator looked out over the crowd, a mix of white, brown, and a few darker folks picked out by his staff, mixed in with people who’d just come to the State Fair to see the hogs, goats, and a popular local metal band called Fire Pods. Wally wondered about the Fire Pods. He wondered if they worshiped the Devil, or ate exotic cheeses with California wine, or had sex with women who happily showed off their large breasts and snake tattoos. He thought about them with those women, legs wrapped around the skinny lead singer with the handsome face and long blonde hair.

Wally never liked Metal music. Wally never liked any music. His kids listened to music, but he never asked them about it. They were grown now and had been poisoned against him by his first wife. He didn’t see them but he still thought about it and it made him angry.

He’d told his son that majoring in English was a waste of time. He told his daughter that she’d never find a husband if she majored in Chemistry. When his ex-wife got remarried he’d called her a whore for not being faithful to the father of his children. It didn’t matter that he’d married a woman only ten years older than his son.

His new wife, a beauty named Desiree, was always by his side in her high heels and monochromatic suits. He didn’t see her much in his off time, but she was always there with a million watt smile, not a line on her face, and not an extra pound on her body. He wasn’t allowed to often touch that body, but he didn’t think she let anyone else touch it either. Today she stood by his side smiling and holding the hands of their extremely bored nine year old twin boys.

The boys had told their father they didn’t want to be there. Wally told him he’d whip their butts if they didn’t behave, so they behaved.

Maybe Wally should have whipped the butts of his older children more. That was one reason his wife left him and poisoned his unruly children against him. He thought of his daughter asking her stepfather to walk her down the isle when she got married. Wally was still trying to find dirt on the man. He refused to go to her wedding, but instead went to a church retreat with some of his political donors. He’d rather spend a weekend with God and other’s who appreciated him rather than his loser daughter.

Senator Wallace “Wally” Baskin stood on the podium and started to talk about family values, American values, God, and bringing back the goodness of yesterday. The crowd  gave a luke warm response by clapping politely and not walking away. As he walked to his limo, with his wife and whining boys behind him, he could hear the crowd roar with approval as Fire Pods started up their noise.

Wally would find the dirt on Fire Pods and have them ruined, especially the lead singer, the good looking blonde named Ryan Green. Fuck you Ryan Green thought Wally. Your career is OVER.

At home Wally said grace over the dinner table and told his wife that he was pleased with the outcome of the day. She smiled, but looked tired, even after changing into jeans and a tee shirt. He didn’t like it when she wore jeans, but he’d gotten tired of her bitching about it. He’d check her bank account in the morning and take out some money just to teach her a lesson. The twins ate chicken nuggets in another room while he and his wife had some sort of noodle dish. She called it pasta but it would always be noodles to him.

Life was good. Wally instructed his staff to post on all of his social media sites about his good life, his good wife, and his bright manly twin boys. He watched the news about floods, fires, quakes, tornadoes, murders, and all kinds of unpleasant things but that was none of his concern. If you don’t you’re house to shake don’t live in California is what he always said.

Later that night his wife was sitting on the back deck of their mansion sipping a glass of wine. She’d taken her make-up off. Wally told his wife she looked ugly without her make-up and he’d prefer to keep it on. She called him an asshole. He slapped her. She told him that she was unhappy. He said it was none of his concern and she’d better do her job as his wife and keep us her end of the deal.

The next morning Wally woke up to the sound of nothing. No breakfast cooking. No children with their annoying noise. No sound of their annoying dog. Not his wife singing some stupid songs he didn’t recognize.

On the kitchen table he’d found a note.

Wally,

Maria will be in tonight and make you dinner. She’ll organize the domestic staff from now on so you won’t have to see them. Remember Maria, our personal chef? She is the one you called a cow when she made stir-fry that night. If you call her names again she’ll leave you.

And speaking of leaving you… I have left you. I’ve gone off with Ryan Green. I’ve taken the twins, after all Ryan is their biological father. You were too stupid to guess that. Why do you think they look so much like him. 

If you wish to speak to me or send a message contact my lawyer. 

D.

Wally called his wife on the phone and left a long message. This would be the death of his political career. He called his ex-wife, he called his eldest son, he called his daughter. He even called his elderly mother.

None of them answered.

Two weeks later when his naked bloated body was found floating in his swimming pool the police asked his staff, his neighbors, and his family, why nobody had called to report him missing.

They all had the same reply.

It was none of my concern.

~ end

 

 

 

 

 

 

Every generation thinks the next generation is worse. That isn’t true.

Teens have always had their own style.

Teens have always had their own style.

 

Opinion: Juliette Kings

Every generation thinks the next generation is worse. That isn’t true.

Facebook is full of memes saying …

When I was a kid we were polite, we respected our elders, we were beaten with switches and had our mouths washed out with soap… 

Oh screw that. I’ve always seen RUDE hateful mean despicable young people. I’ve seen it for decades. They learn it from their elders. They learn it from those same parents who are posting those stupid memes.

The teens (and little kids for that matter) in my life are polite. They are respectful. They are great. And you know what? I didn’t have to resort to paddles or other barbaric violent means of teaching them how to be good.

I think back of when I was young and saw unspeakable things done to other children. I remember them being physically and emotionally tortured. I remember children being humiliated by their unloving abusive parents. These were “normal” two parent Christian households. Throw not the first stone they say, but these people should have had stones thrown at them. When I look back I can’t even say out loud, or write the words of what some of the children I knew when through – it is too disturbing. But I can see patterns in the type of parents they had. Some things never seem to change.

Fortunately now there are resources, though not enough, for children who need help. There is never enough help. Foster care isn’t an answer. Family counseling isn’t a solution. These kids need new permanent families who love them, even if it isn’t a traditional family.

I see families where step-parents are the real parents. I see single dads and moms raising kids on their own and the kids are GREAT. I see kids doing great things. I see them talking about everything. I see them questioning the world. They need to question. They need to have their own opinions in order to grow.

Well mannered and polite teens are more of the rule. They aren’t the exception.

The teens in my life have more empathy than anyone of my generation ever had. They are smart. They are focused. They like old people.

They question the world around them. They want to make the world a better place.

The media would have you think otherwise.

If you want the teens and young adults in your life to show respect then you have to give some respect as well. You need to listen to them. I don’t mean “blah blah blah” sort of listening. I mean hearing what they have to say. I mean respecting their opinions even if you don’t agree. I mean explaining things to them if you’re pissed off rather than yelling at them.

Show them that their time is as important as yours. Because it is.

Yes, of course there are kids who are assholes, bullies, trolls, turds, tattlers and trouble makers. But look at their parents. The adults they live with are usually assholes, bullies, trolls, turds, tattlers and trouble makers. Unfortunately for the rest of us, and for teachers, there are one or two of those children (and their awful parents) in every single classroom.

And you know what? It is those asshole parents who post those negative memes. So screw them. If they want respect they have to show a little respect. Show a little interest. Get out of your own head and your own tiny little world. Learn something new.

Fortunately by the time kids are in high school a lot of the assholes (and others) have learned that their behavior gets them nowhere. Teens aren’t playing by playground rules anymore. Assholes are put in their place, and a lot of them realize what jerks they’ve been. It is called growing up.

In AP History the 11th grade students are reading Huckleberry Finn. My daughter and I have discussed the book and the context of the book considering when it was written.

She said, “Huck’s father was just like the white trash, or any of the trash that you see now. They don’t want their kids to do better than they did. It is awful.”

So if you see a kid who is an asshole consider the source. Consider who that child is learning from. Maybe that kid can learn from you. Think about it.

It isn’t Vampires you should fear. It is apathy. It is lack of empathy. It is people refusing to listen to everyone, young and old.

You need to study history because if you don’t know where you’ve been you can’t understand where you are going.

In turn, we need to look forward to the future. We need to listen to the young people and have open discussions with them. For they are the ones who can change the future. Now is a scary time. Now is the time to listen to the teens and young adults. They can see with a fresh eye all of the bull shit the rest of us have become numb to.

So stop complaining and see the incredible talent and resources right in front of us – in our young people. If you’d just open your eyes, your ears, and your heart you will see what I see.

Spend some time with a young adult – some real quality time. It isn’t all smart phones and hook ups. It is a lot more.

 

~ Juliette aka The Old Vampire Maman

 

 

 

Empathy

You know you’re fully human, or of a human sort when you feel love, but more so if you feel love and empathy.

When you’re kind of old, and kind of dead, and living a hundred or so years past your expiration date, and drink blood right out of the container, you need empathy.

In order to not really be dead inside and cut off from everything that makes our existence with living, you need to understand and imagine what others feel.

Do they feel fear? Do they feel love? Are they afraid? Are they alone? Do they despise you because they see nothing in your eyes, like a hollow black-eyed demon, with a black unfeeling heart, or worse, a selfish heart.

I tell my kids (almost 16 and a little over 19) that sure, it is always fun to scare the shit out of someone and bite their neck. It is fun to seduce someone with the promise of sex and bite their neck. But it is better to let them know you understand and take them quietly without fear, but with respect and understanding. They’ll never know you are a Vampire, but you’ll know just whose blood you’re carrying around inside of you. Vampire kids, and any new Vampire needs to know that. We need to appreciate those in our lives – even if we do feel kind of dead. We don’t need to make others feel dead.

In turn, you never go hungry. A win/win all around.

I mean, we all know we’re not dead. We’d be, well, rotting away somewhere or not here if we were. We’re just a little reanimated. Some of us have always been reanimated. Don’t ask me to explain. I just blog. I don’t write scientific papers.

I once knew someone, a lover of long ago, who lacked in empathy. It was like being with a ghost, or a child.

I’d hear bad news and say something like, “Can you imagine how awful that must have been for her to lose her family to Werewolves.”

Then he would say, “No, I’ve never been in that situation.”

I think at that point I knew it was over between us. I can be cold. I can be deadly. But I am not without empathy.

Empathy is an early lesson for children. On the practical side the earlier they learn empathy the less likely they’ll become brats. When they get older having empathy makes them better friends. It also makes them better leaders.

Sometimes empathy doesn’t come naturally, for many reasons. It is sad on so many levels. Those who are clueless to the feelings of others miss out on so much. But how can one miss what one does not know?

Of course there are the Shadow Creepers who can’t feel much of anything. They are the Vampires without souls or such fractured souls that they can’t function outside of their own dark unbeating hearts. Lock the crypt and seal it up is what I say. Unfortunately we can’t always do that.

 

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman