Tonight I discovered something called an artichoke. It is a vegetable with a heart but it has no blood. I usually have no blood in my heart not unlike an artichoke. I find that extremely amusing.
Today I learned how to ride a bicycle. A bicycle is a machine with two large thin wheels, a small seat, pedals, and handle bars. One sits upon this contraption and puts one’s feet upon the two pedals. Then one moves his feet as if running in a circle. The bicycle then propels forward. Balance is not an issue with me because I am a Vampire. That is not completely true about the balance. It took an hour for me to learn. I was out in front of my home at 2:00 a.m. so that there would be no witnesses if I should fall. I like these bicycles. I can ride. I understand I will never forget how.
At dawn I rode my bicycle down to the bicycle trail which runs along the length of the river. I stopped to watch an otter catching fish. As a cool breeze fluttered across me I took off my helmet and shook out my golden hair. Then I took off my shirt and let the breeze surround me like a sweet caress. Then I heard a shout, a scream, and bicycles crashing. Behind me three female bicyclist had run into each other and were now in a pile of bicycles on the ground. I quickly put back on my shirt and went to assist them. There was blood. I could smell it. Alas this was no time to think of food.
I kissed their wounds to make the bleeding stop, as only a Vampire can do. Seriously that is something only a Vampire can do. As I helped the women up and tended to their bicycles I asked them why they had all crashed into each other.
They all said at once, “you happened.”
“I was standing at least ten feet from you on the edge of the water,” I said to them.
“You shook out your hair,” said one woman.
“Then you took off your shirt,” said another one of the women.
“Then the light hit you just right,” said the third woman. “You were too cute.”
“You’re magnificent,” said the first woman.
Then they all made high pitched sighing noises. Together. Every one of them.
I blinked a few times in an attempt to process this information. Of course they were distracted. I am magnificent. I am not sure about cute. Kittens are cute. Ducklings are cute. Babies are cute. I am a Vampire King which is not something to be considered cute. I still do not understand this cute.
After taking many group selfies with me the ladies went on their way. I offered to help but they only blushed and giggled despite their scrapes.
I shall reconsider removing my shirt the next time I stop for a bicycle break.
The weather is now getting warm. It is much warmer than what I have been used to over the past 675 years. Sometimes I wonder how I got so old. Lucky for me I do not show my age. That would not be cute.
But I digress. The warm air and bicycling made me ravenous. Tonight I had two hipsters with waxed mustaches, three vegans, a middle-aged mom who was more than happy to have me bite her neck, a couple of high school teacher who were out for drinks after work, and a State Senator who was walking through the park trying to sort things out. I am sorry but when Vampires are around there is not time to sort things out.
They are all fine. I never drink to kill.
I feel like, what does my neighbor say, like I just had Thanksgiving Dinner, twice.
After being held captive, locked in a crypt for three hundred years, then out in this time they call the modern Twenty First Century for four and a half years I still find myself at a loss. I lost three centuries of culture and technology. I might have well have found myself on Mars. Only there is no one on Mars so I would have starved, at least until the first human colony showed up, but that is neither here nor there.
I am in awe of many things but not so naive as to become enslaved by modern technology and culture, or by those who would try to take advantage of me.
But there are others… This modern world is strange indeed, especially for Vampires who have no direction.
Last night a bat flew through my bedroom window and dropped a note on my bed.
“What the fuck,” hissed my love Gillian. She was not amused. We were busy in other activities.
I opened the note and read:
Dear Vampire King,
Come and honor us in our coven of blood lust and darkness. We honor your reputation as the most powerful Vampire of all. We wish you to share your knowledge and wisdom with us. We want to learn. We follow the tradition of the Vampire.
Gillian grabbed the note. “Freaks. Don’t even bother with them. These guys don’t know the difference between their ass an a hole in the ground.”
My beautiful and gentle love was quite agitated. I am not sure what she meant by asses and holes in the ground but I am sure it was not a compliment.
“What would be the harm with me meeting with these Vampires?”
“They’re idiots Vlad,” she said, getting up and pulling on her pajama pants and a tee shirt.
“Where are you going?” I asked. Where was she going?
“Downstairs. I’m going to watch Narcos,” she said as she grabbed her pillow and left the room.
So much for a passionate romantic evening.
I dressed in jeans and a black shirt then I drove to the address on the bat delivered note. Yes I can drive. I own a car. I was born in the 14th century but I now live in the 21st.
In a storage building, I believe it is called a warehouse but I do not see any Werewolves so that confuses me, I find the Vampires.
I stood in the doorway and said, “I Vlad, King of Vampires have come. I received your invitation.”
They stand there, three men and two women, then jump on the floor and bow with their heads to the ground like bad novices in an ill run convent.
“Stand up,” I tell them.
As they stand I notice their clothing. One is dressed in a black suit and wears a black cape with a red lining. Another is all in black leather with many zippers. I wonder if he has trouble getting dressed. The third man was in black jeans and a black shirt with glitter all over his skin. The sleeves had flaps on the bottom that look like bat wings. One of the women has long black hair down to her waist, and wears a tight low cut black dress. She could hardly walk or keep her breasts inside of the dress. I wonder if I should loan her my knife so she can pick out the side seam. The other woman wears what looks like a giant red rubber band that barely covers her body.
“Oh my God,” said one of the women, “He is sooooo cute.” I did not catch which one said it.
“We are honored and in awe of your presence oh great King of Vampires, Lord of Darkness, we quiver in your sight,” said the man in leather.
“If you pee on the ground like dogs I will leave,” I said to him. My neighbor has a dog who pees when she gets excited to see someone. These Vampires reminded me of that dog. I looked again at their odd clothing. “You did write in the note that this was to be a costume party.”
“We are dressed as proper Vampires,” said the man in the red cape. “I take my inspiration from Dracula. Wasn’t Dracula modeled after you of King of Vampires?”
“No,” I said. “I have read the book. It is fantasy.”
“We take our inspiration from the great Hammer films. Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, Vincent Price,” said the man in the red cape.
“Who are those men?” I asked.
“Great horror actors,” said the woman in the red rubber band.
“Who are you fashioned after my dear?” I asked her.
I do not know who this Vampirella is but she has extremely bad and impractical taste in clothing.
“You are all like silly children,” I said. “Let me tell you how to act as a real Vampire least you starve to death or be killed by Vampire Hunters.”
“Van Helsings,” they all whispered.
“He is but a fantasy character in an old book. The real Vampire Hunters can and will kill you. Now gather around and listen,” I told them.
“Are you Vlad the Impaler or related to him?” asked the one in the tight black dress.
I found myself almost rolling my eyes at them. “Have you seen a painting of him? The man is quite unattractive. The man you speak of, who was not a Vampire, was born more than one hundred years after I was. I am not him, nor did he base his life and personal philosophy on me. I do not think he knew I existed and if he had he would have peed all over himself.” I was amused at my joke but the new Vampires just stared at me in awe.
To make them even more impresses, because they are of simple minds, I take out my iPhone and show them pictures.
“See,” I say, “this is Vlad the Impaler. He looks nothing like me. He is what is called rather goofy looking is he not? In the end he was vanquished by his enemies. He was an idiot.”
“And look at this one,” I continued. “It is an actor playing a Vampire. Do not tell me you think this is attractive or will get you more blood. If you use these imposters as role models it will only set you up to fail. Nobody want that in their face.”
These new Vampires were unfit to be Vampires but as my friend Randolpho says shit happens. In the old days they would have starved and turned to dust.
For the next three hours I told these Vampires what they should do to be successful. The first item was to change out of their silly clothes. The second was to stop basing their existence off of silly movies. The third was to wipe the blood off of their chins so that they did not look like silly children.
Then I went home. They exhausted me with their questions. I promised to meet with them at a later date. I hope they survive. On the other hand maybe I don’t.
Gillian and Randolpho laughed when I told them about my new followers.
“They will learn and grow and one day be embarrassing to me,” I said.
I think about the old days when I lived in a castle high on a mountain surrounded by wild forests filled with Werewolves, Ghosts, and dangerous creatures.
But then again I think about now. It is strange. Life is always strange when one is undead – when one is a Vampire. Even if one is a cute Vampire who likes to ride his bicycle, among other things.