The Rally

Andy stood in the dark on his back patio looking at the night sky.  He sang softly to himself, barely audible.

L’amour est un oiseau rebelle
Que nul ne peut apprivoiser,
Et c’est bien in vain qu’on l’appelle
S’il lui convient de refuser.
Rien n’y fait, menace ou prière.
L’un parle bien, l’autre se tait.
Et c’est l’autre que je préfère.
Il n’a rien dit mais il me plait.

Turning around he found his brother Max standing by the French doors that lead to the patio. Andy in his jeans and white dress shirt was in stark contrast to Max’s all black, mostly leather ensemble.

Max smiled. “I’m still in awe of the beauty of your voice baby brother.”

Andy gave Max a bro hug. “Thanks. You worked tonight?”

“I’m keeping the world safe for Vampires everywhere.”

“And you’re greatly appreciated by all of us.”

Max was a hunter of Vampire Hunters. Andy was an opera singer. Both were Vampires. And they were brothers, with the same chestnut brown hair and hazel eyes that could go pitch black on demand.

“Tonight,” Max began, “I was off from work and looking for a bite to eat, and I ended up in an alleyway with an incredibly angry woman.”

“Were you going to…”

“No. I’d passed some sort of event, I think it was a rally of some sort. People were mingling outside and it looked like fun. Then one of them called me a faggot when I walked by.”

“What an asshole.”

“It doesn’t matter. At least it didn’t then. You know I’ve never cared what they think. I’m not one of them.”

“You’re the most standoffish Vampire I know.”

“Like I said I’m not one of them. But tonight was different. She got to me.”

Andy smiled. “She? Love?”

“No. Of course not. I turned the corner into an alley, and there stood a woman, alone. Someone yelled, “You’re a cunt Lila. You know that? Would you rather hang with a bunch of fucking rug munchers and queers?” She didn’t respond to him.

She looked me straight in the eyes and said, “Have you ever known what it is like to be different? To be hated? Do you know what it is like to feel hated for not hating?”

Not a single warm blooded human has ever asked me that. “Why were you there?” I asked her. I wanted to know what would have convinced her to be at such an event.

“A couple of coworkers asked me along. One of them has a friend I kind of liked. I thought it would be interesting. I had no idea how interesting. It was like going back to 1930’s Germany. The guy, that asshole who yelled at me was dating the girl I liked. I didn’t know.” She looked at me in an odd way. “Why were you there?”

“I wasn’t there.” I told her. “I just got off from work. I was just passing by, on my way to get a bite to eat. There’s a wine bar a few blocks from here. Please join me. We can talk.” As we left the alley there were more jeers. I turned to the men and gave them the most awful visions. One fell on the ground clutching his stomach. Andy, you would have been proud of me.”

“So tell me about her,” said Andy. “What did you talk about? Did you talk?”

“We talked for about three hours. She asked me if I was gay.”

“Did you tell her your preferences?”

“That I am attracted to both, but mainly women? Yes. She didn’t blink and eye.”

“Then what?”

“We talked. Then we walked for a while. I drove her home. Then I kissed her cheek. She didn’t even mention that my lips were cold or my eyes had gone almost black in color. It wasn’t romantic, but I’m going to watch after her. She might not know it, but she’ll never be alone, or unsafe.”

“What about dinner? Was it her?”

“No, some guy in the bathroom of the bar. It was fast and easy.”

Andy didn’t ask the reason for the rally and Max didn’t mention it.

About an hour later, on the drive home, Max watched the sunrise through the rain. He tried not to think too much about the night. He could have killed the men who called him names and yelled at Lila, but he didn’t. There was a lot he could have done, but instead he decided to perform the rare act of listening. Just listening.

After dropping his clothes on a chair he texted a Vampire woman he was trying not to fall in love with and asked her to come over. Then he climbed into bed and closed his eyes to the new day.

 

~ End

 

Note: I wrote this after listening to my teenager talk about what is going on in the news and the bigotry and hate and sheer ignorance we hear coming out of so many public mouths. This is a quickly written sort story, and not great literature (or even a great story) but I hope you understand the meaning behind it. Haters are going to hate but wouldn’t it be nice if they didn’t hate and didn’t spread that hate to others. It is something we all must think about if we value our freedoms and the future of our children (who are usually smarter than we are.) ~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman.

 

What we talked about on the way to school this morning

The ride to school with my teenager always brings up school, current events, and everything else.

“We’re starting existentialism today. I don’t know what we’ll be reading. But the teacher already called out kids before they made complaints that it was against their religion.”

Some devoutly religious kids and their parents have complained in the past about these books and the ideas they write about. That bugs me is that ANY parent would want their child NOT to be exposed to other ideas, including religion, philosophy, and well, anything. Ignorance is not an option folks. It will not help your children. It will not make them better people. On the contrary, ignorance and extreme sheltering will make your child into the WORST kind of person – that is an ignorant closed minded person.

I asked my child what they were reading and she didn’t know. The class just finished 1984 and Brave New World, so now that they’re all throughly disturbed and depressed I imagine story stories or a play might be in order.

Who could it be? Kafka? Camus? Sartre? Beckett?

AP English Literature. No Exit. Bahahahaha. But seriously folks, I’m glad the students are being exposed to so many different ideas.

College applications are due today for University of California. Of course someone (my kid, my kid) waited until the very last day. She’ll be applying for two schools. We’ll see what happens.

We talked about the Supreme Court and what scary things might happen, which seems appropriate considering the discussion on existentialism. And no, Ruth Bader Ginsburg is not 93 years old. She is 83 years old (or something like that.) We also talked about Clarence Thomas who is an odd waste of space. The guy does nothing. Says nothing. Votes on nothing. He is just weird. This isn’t political. Everybody else in those black robes works hard. This guy just takes up space.

Clara asked about Anita Hill. I told her that almost every woman I know has been sexually harassed, or bullied by males. Most of us, like Anita Hill, just go on with their lives, because we can’t do much about it. It isn’t like she just brushed it off, but (I speak from experience) if one makes a big deal about it there are consequences – unfortunately even now. But, that said, we need to keep speaking up and speaking out, and making sure there is equality for ALL – women, men, children, everyone.

Luckily in the Vampire world that isn’t an issue, at least when it comes to other Vampires. Sure some guys are jerks but they know what is right and wrong. Seriously, it would be a better world if we had a voice as who we are, but like other groups of the past we can’t speak up. That is one of the hardest lessons for us to teach our Vampire children.

We talked about the rain. We discussed our schedules. And we just talked, like all parents and their kids should do. Seriously, sometimes the talks serve no purpose, but you have to talk with your kids, not just when they’re young. Share ideas. They might not be your ideas, but that is why you have these discussions, and find out what makes your kids tick, and what is important to them.

It was a quick ride and there wasn’t much traffic today. Tonight I’ll find out what the next book or story is. I’ll find out if anything else interesting is going on at school. I’ll find out if weirdness abounds, or if all is well, at least in our little corner of the world.

Then she said, “Uncle Max said all of your boyfriends before dad were douches.” OK, I’ll have to have a talk with my brother, or just let it go. I had to laugh.

 

Hope your day is full of interesting thoughts, discussions, and loads of laughs. Just remember to keep your mind open and your temper in check.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

vampire teens

ro·mance

ro·mance

rōˈmans,ˈrōˌmans
noun
1. a feeling of excitement and mystery associated with love.
“in search of romance” love, especially when sentimental or idealized.

2. a quality or feeling of mystery, excitement, and remoteness from everyday life.
“the beauty and romance of the night”

3. a stupid feeling of unrealistic expectations that makes one do stupid and potentially embarrassing things.

 

In 1988, the night before a business trip from Sacramento to Seattle, I had a dream about a man with sandy colored hair and a great smile. Yes, he was the man of my dreams. I called my brother Val and told him about it. We laughed.

The next afternoon, wearing a blue and black dress that hugged my lovely curves and black heels, I boarded my flight and found myself sitting next to the man in my dream. I kid you not. This is not a flight of fancy or fiction.

We talked the entire time. He was a landscape architect. He asked me out. I was there on business so I said no. That was stupid. That night I knew I should have gone. I should have gotten his number. Ships that pass in the night. He could have been the one.

But there was no used being frantic about it. It was just one of those things. I don’t even remember his name. Despite that it was romantic and lovely.

And yes, I called Val and told him all about it. We laughed out loud.

People long for fairy tale romance. Don’t. In the real versions of fairy tales the  mermaid dies. Snow White ends up with chronic health problems due to her poison apple induced coma. Someone always gets eaten by a bear or stabbed in the neck, or turned into a lizard, or just alone in the forest with a broken shoelace and a broken heart. It sucks. The prince isn’t going to take care of you. He has work to do. He expects you to work too. Or he’ll fall back in love with his exceptionally unattractive ex-girlfriend, you know the one he should have married in the first place. Yes, she looks like the back side of a baboon but… that is just the way the marbles drop. You wanted the fantasy. You got the reality.

On the other hand we will always love the fantasy. That is why we read romance novels and love romantic movies. But the reality of romance is even better.

As with love, romance won’t work if it is forced or contrived. It can be planned but it always needs to seem spontaneous.

Romantic moments are everywhere. It is that touch of a hand in the small of the back, then a quiet kiss. It is when he brings flowers home from Costco. It is a glass of wine on the deck watching the stars and bats.

Romance is doing something to express your love in a fun way that makes your heart smile.

Romance is falling in love. Romance is also old people holding hands after 60 years of life together.

My brother Andy, the king of romance, always says, “Romance isn’t about someone one person taking control. It is about two people completely letting go.”

I’ve seen him hold out his hand to a woman, then with a smile, gently pull her into an embrace, then quietly dance. A touch of a hand, a kiss, a quiet song in her ear is all he needs. Then he’ll whisper to her that she is beautiful and put his forehead against hers. And everything else in the universe is shut out and it is only Andy and his lady, together, and nothing else.

My husband is a romantic man. I still get all fluttery when I think of him. So of course the romantic day I have ever spent was with him.

It was Valentine’s Day 2001. We took the day off with no children. Then we went to an old building in Old Sacramento and looked at dinosaurs. Yes, dinosaurs. It was a Russian dinosaur exhibit. We saw amazing creatures, huge creatures, we’d never even imagined. Oh the squat giants with armored plated and massive jaws. We saw spikes and horns and teeth – oh so many teeth. There was of course a T-Rex but there was so much more. We walked the quiet halls, it seemed like nobody else was there, viewing creatures who lived 25 million years or more ago. It was just the two of us, arm in arm, quietly in our own world, nobody else. It was a perfect day. It was the most romantic Valentine’s Day ever.

I write romantic stories (as my regular readers know.) Romance comes easy for me, but not for the reasons you imagine. Yes, it does come naturally, but romance isn’t always natural. With romance there needs to be elements of truth, of comfort, of surprise, of attraction, of desire, and of wit.

Those who are selfish, narcissistic, jealous, controlling, or desiring to be pursued will never find real romance. Their agenda is filled with preconceived notions. Their agenda is self-centered and pretty much heartless.

There are those who pursue romance and seek it out their entire lives, and never find it.

Then there are those who attract romance. Those are the people who keep their hearts and minds open. Those are the people who are open-minded. But more than that, those are the people who know that for romance there must be affection.

Yes ladies, romance has nothing to do with how much money he is going to spend on you.

Romance is not a rescue. It is not a way out. It is not a Rock Hudson/Doris Day Movie. It is not a man sweeping a woman off of her feet and taking control.

Romance is when two people thrill in a touch of a hand, a kiss, a glance, a walk on the beach. It is two people together. Equal.

Women, don’t you know how romantic guys think it is when you make the first move? Yes, you can seduce. Don’t wait for him. This is the 21st Century.

So many women get caught up in rules. There are no rules, except to be nice and honest. After that you can get as crazy romantic as you want. But no games. No games.

I have to get this out of the way, we need to talk about flowers. Guys, please, don’t give her the red roses. First of all it isn’t personal. Second red roses from the florist tend to be void of scent. On day two the rose buds will start to droop. By day three your love will have a dozen ugly drooping red dead heads. Go for other colors or red blossoms mixed with other flowers. Go for something that says something about you or about your lady. The exception is red roses from a real garden, yours or your mom’s or from a friend.

More than half of the visitors on the blog are looking for romance. These aren’t the usual hand full of kind folks who take pity on me and leave nice comments or WordPress bloggers. These are the random love lorn off of the street looking for advice on love and love letters. I hope, yes, honestly hope with all my heart that I have been of some help. Because we all need love and romance.

When you get a chance, if you’re feeling the romance, check out some of my other posts on love letters, romance and relationships. You’ll find that in my short stories as well.

 

xoxox

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

true love with heart small

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