Perfection

This is a story about my brother Max, first posted in 2013. A lot has happened between now and then. But more than that it is a story about trust, and frustration, and friendship, expectations, relationships, and love. Sort of. Nothing much is ever clean cut or easy.

Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Perfection

First posted in 2013.Maxwell drove down the coastal highway, roof open under the stars and the cool night air, thinking about his life as a top of the heap alpha male Vampire. It was a good time to ponder.

He didn’t have personal friendships with humans, the way some other Vampires did. He would protect them when necessary but he wouldn’t be their friend – at least not a close friend, not for a long time.

Of course he had human lovers, but that was pure physical need for their touch and their blood.

Vampire woman were another matter. He tended to be a freak magnet when it came to them. The normal ones were out there but they were always involved or off-limits in some way or another.  Or they were too strong and independent. Or in rare moments, years ago, he’d used bad judgement and not seen the big picture. Screw the big picture, he’d grown up and moved on. He was different now.

There were always other men, but right now he had the need for a female of his own kind. Someone safe and easy. Someone who would be there for him after a job that often involved violence and other unpleasantries.

He’d had plenty of friends with benefits.

Camel by the Sea. The beautiful village on the California coast. A place full of artists and rich people and those just wanting some peace and quiet. His Grandmama had lived here when the artist colony was thriving at the turn of the 20th century. He used to visit her and fall in love with the place and everyone in it.

This weekend was the Concourse de Elegance the most prestigious car show in the universe. Everyone who was anyone would be here, including Vampire Hunters. And since Max was the world’s foremost hunter of Vampire Hunters he was looking forward to it. A weekend of perfect cars, perfect women and perfect hunting.

It had been a long day and a long drive. He took his bags out of the car and walked to the door of the cottage he’d rented with 3 of his colleagues. He wasn’t sure who’d be here as it was last notice for him. He’d hoped it would be Pierce and David, two of the best and total car guys. He figured as long as they were there they might as well have some fun.

He used his key and as he opened the door cheers came up. Female cheers.

Elizabeth, Janye and Mehitabel. Vampire women who were also Hunter/Enforcers of the highest order and all GIRLS.

This was not what he was expecting. Not at all.

They exchanged warm greetings (he didn’t show his true feelings about the situation) and he left to shower off the weariness of the road. As he was drying off he could hear the girls talking. He stopped rubbing his hair to listen.

Janye: I can’t believe the choices Max makes. His last girlfriend was one of those types who always looks perfect and helpless. A total control freak.

Elizabeth: Total bitch. She just used him and he was too stupid to know it. Oh my God she had fangs like a saber tooth tiger, no it was more like a rabbit. And she was always telling everyone how attractive she was. I wish she’d done us all a favor and gone down with the Titanic.

Mehitabel: She used him. Most of them just used him. He wouldn’t know his perfect match if she slapped him across the face.

The women went on talking about his physical attributes (excellent), his professional attributes (excellent), his qualities as a Vampire (outstanding) and his relationships with woman (pathetic.) Great, this was going to be a wonderful weekend.

He’d known all three of them for years, over 100 but he’d never heard this side of the story. Damn. Was he that ridiculous? No, it had to be them. Women were so skewed.

He’d always been friends with Elizabeth and Jayne. It wasn’t like the movies or books where Vampire women drop their clothes and crawl naked all over their dominant male counterparts. Besides, these two were like sisters.

Then there was Mehitabel. Beautiful and strange, at least to him. He couldn’t stay away from her at one time, but he couldn’t be with her, not in his heart. She was too easy for him to use. He’d never love her, but he’d never met a woman so sexy, who could drive him so insane with desire. But she wasn’t the one. He made that clear from the start. It would never be.

The women helped him bring in the weapons and they sat around the table with bottles of wine, Bourbon and blood. They laughed over old times, new times and everything in between.

Despite his first impression he knew these three Vampire women were at the top of their game and would be loyal and true with him. And in turn he would do anything to protect them. They’d be a good team. They’d get the job done.

Beside that, he knew they’d like the cars.

They were excited to show him their dresses. Elizabeth, the most outgoing, a California blonde of the first order, had a red-flowered strapless sundress of silk with a wide skirt and strappy red heels. Jayne had a royal blue halter dress that looked like it had come right out of Grace Kelly’s closet. A redhead with an attitude, Jayne had a fierce sence of humor and a fierce sence of the fight. Mehitabel had a black sheath dress with a pattern of leaves woven into the fabric. It was form fitting, which was good since she had an extraordinary form. She’d wear it with a long strand of real black pears and matching earrings. She’d wear her brown hair sleek and long.

Mehitabel was as odd and unusual as her name, but he had always liked her. He was drawn to her humor and her matter of fact ways with a touch of something sad that he could never quite figure out.

He’d also had a history with Mehitabel. She knew his every move. And in turn he knew every move she made, every inch of her body, everything she had to give him and then some.  But she wasn’t the one. She wasn’t the girl of his dreams. She was different. Max wasn’t looking for different. He was looking for perfection. But that was a long time ago, at least 90 years, maybe more like 100.

As the night went on he thought maybe he’d relive some of the magic of days gone by. It would be a way to get off some of the tension before a week of dangerous work.

“I’m going to go to the beach. Anyone want to join me?” He asked that as he looked at the women.

“Sure,” said Mehitabel, “I’ll go.”

They walked along making small talk. It seems so comfortable and so right. Old friends forever, just like old time. As they came to the beach on the edge of the Pacific Ocean Mehitabel became silent.

“You’re quiet tonight,” Max said, ready to make a move on her. One kiss and she’d be his for the week. The others wouldn’t care, unless it was pure envy.

Mehitabel stepped away. “It was never friends with benefits or fuck buddies or whatever you want to call it with me Max. I loved you but you never wanted it. You just threw it away and treated me like some common girl that needed to be slut shamed. I loved you for so long and now I don’t know. I’m not perfect enough for you. You want a woman who will break your heart into a thousand shards and I can’t do that for you. If you had spent some time with me, some real-time and looked past the imperfections…”

“I never said that…” Max protested.

“You didn’t have to. You used me Max. You used me so I had to let you go. Don’t you understand?” Mehitabel was now angry, something he’d never seen.

He tried to take her hand, “The last time we saw each other, I mean romantically, you were the one who turned me away. You told me to go.”

She stepped away again. “To go back to your girlfriend. I wasn’t going to be with a man who was cheating on another girl, especially another Vampire. I told you that. Remember?”

Max remembered too well. She’d always been so friendly and compliment about his relationship rules.

Mehitabel continued her rant. “And there had been no romance. Sure we’d talked into the night. Sure we had some sort of weird connection where we could read each other’s thoughts, excuse me, I could read your thoughts, or at least I know when you’re thinking about ME, but it was never romance. Not with you it wasn’t. You did everything you could to talk yourself out of caring about me.”

“I’ve been thinking about you a lot,” Max said gently, trying to calm her.

“I know that.”

She was right. She always knew. There was some sort of strong connection where she always knew when he was thinking about her. It was spooky.

“Why didn’t you contact me?” Max was almost feeling hurt that she’d think of ignoring him after all of their history.

“Why didn’t you love me Max?”

“It wasn’t like that Mehitabel. I was just looking for something else.”

“What? Oh right, perfection. Well Max, I might be among the most elite hunters on the planet but I’ll never be anything but an imperfect slut to you.  I’m never going to let you break my heart again. Do you understand that Max?”

“I’m sorry.”

“So am I.”

She walked down the beach alone. He wondered if she was crying. He’d find out later.

Over the years he’d taken down Werewolves, Vampire Hunters with fire blowers, Ghosts, Rogue Vampires and Zombies. He’d seen it all. He was Maxwell August Todd, one of the greatest Enforcer/Hunters of all time, but this was one battle he couldn’t win.

“Mehitabel, I’m sorry,” he called after her.

Then he remembered something his mother had told him, one of those things that he wished he’d remembered earlier. “Max, my darling boy, remember, if we were all perfect then life would be so boring you’d hardly be able to stand it.”

Looking down the beach at the woman walking along the edge of the night surf, he suddenly realized he was in love and this would be the most difficult fight of his life.

He called her name again. She turned and yelled “Go to Hell.”

“Yes,” he said to himself out loud, “to hell and back.”

cornerpiecedark

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

How to write a response to a love letter (which is more fun if it isn’t addressed to YOU)

Love letters… everyone is in love with posts about love letters. As you know I cover all sorts of subjects on this blog ranging from teens to terror to ghosts to the elderly to… well ev…

Source: How to write a response to a love letter (which is more fun if it isn’t addressed to YOU)

Crashing and Burning on the Road Less Traveled

It is never a dull moment around my house. I just received a call that my husband Teddy was in a car accident. He is ok. The other car is totaled. Someone pulled out in front of him on a busy street near his business. We don’t know the damage to his truck yet. The last truck was totaled the same way – someone pulled out in front of him. In fact, just about every car we’ve had in the past twenty years has been totaled in a car accident. It has never been our fault. It kind of makes you wonder. Shit happens, but not once every eighteen months. To be honest shit happens almost every single day, but this is big dog shit.

I’d written the title of this blog post before I got the call from Teddy. I was going to talk about being a parent, and how those tiny babies grow up and, well, grow up and go out into the world. I was going to talk about how that feels, and I will. Right now.

My husband Teddy and I have both crashed and burned so many times during our lives that I’m amazed we’re still even here. I’m amazed that we’ve done so well. Then again, we’ve both learned to learn from our mistakes.

I have to admit that his biggest crash and burn was becoming a Vampire, but like a lot of things it worked out great in the long run.

I might take another road. I can still take another road. In fact I am taking another road right now. The great road trip of life is like anything else. You have to plan, be prepared, sort of know when you are ready, be willing to take side trips, don’t go too far over the speed limit, don’t drive when your tired, and have fun.

Being a parent is sort of like an eighteen year-long road trip. My mom (mother of five) would say it is a road trip that never ends. Ever.

So what is the point of this post. I don’t know.

We all have our adventures, good or bad, we can pass on our experience and knowledge in a positive way to the next generation. Rather than giving young people negative input about what to do, or more often what not to do, we need to give them positive input about their dreams. We need to support them. We need to gently guide them. And when they really screw up and get into dangerous territory we can take action because we’ve earned their trust.

Yes, I’m having an opinionated parenting day, but this is a blog, and blogs are opinions for the most part, and you dropped by for some unknown reason. Glad you did.

A long time ago when I was a teen I was sitting outside on a hot summer night with my brother Val we talked about how one day we’d have telephones in our home. This was 1878. We did end up with telephones in our homes.  Just wanted to share that random memory. But there is a point to random memories.

I kept most of my random memories to myself this summer when my daughter Clara and I took a 3,600 mile road trip from California to Nebraska and back. We talked and listened to music. We met wonderful people (both Vampires and other.) We visited old friends and made new friends. And all the while the thought that she was going to soon start her senior year of high school never left my mind. Then the thought that my son Garrett would turn twenty-one in a few months.

As Clara talked I recalled in my head old adventures, old friends now gone, stupid things I’d done, fashions we’d never wear again, and plots to stories I’d write. Then I’d be back on her. Back listening to talk of politics, music, school, history, and talk of family and friends. It was a road we traveled together.

It was a road I was glad we were traveling. It is a road I think I’ll stay on for… well, I’d like to say forever.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

night drive

 

 

 

 

 

 

Experience: Parenting, Teens and New Vampires

As smart as the teens in your life are, as worldly as they may seem, they are still inexperienced children. Sure they look like adults. Sure in some places in history and in the world today they’d be considered adults, but they aren’t.

One earns the right to be an adult with experience and that moment the lightbulb goes off when you suddenly realize out that money is earned, relationships need to be nurtured, and it never gets easy. That doesn’t mean that it never gets fun. That doesn’t mean that all happiness gets sucked out of your life. It just means that you have to wake up and pay for your own coffee. Yes, and remember to smell the roses without anyone reminding you to do it.

As the poster child for missed opportunities, cluelessness, bad decisions and what-could-have-been, I can say all this. Yes, I learned from my mistakes. It doesn’t mean I still don’t make mistakes. Oh, and I forgot everybody’s favorite what-could-have-been. But yes, like I just said, I learned from my mistakes so I can see what young people go through and try to guide my children, or at least encourage them not to let fear, anger, despair, misplaced romance or plain stupidity fog their judgment.

Anyway…

I’ve found that when someone turns into a Vampire, it is almost like being a teenager again. Everything changes – both physically and mentally. They change in ways they could have never imagined, no matter what they thought they knew.

My young friend Cody was a happy and successful Silicone Valley executive when he woke up one morning with a craving for human blood and fangs. Four years after the fact Cody has adapted quite well and embraced his Vampire self, but there are still frustrations. The learning curve is still there, even thought Cody firmly believes he knows everything. Yes, does that remind you of any seventeen year olds you might know?

Just as you need to give your teens a break and spend time talking with them, and listening, you need to do the same with your new Vampire friends.

Yes, they’re going to do stupid things like over indulge on blood or sleep for a week. They’re going to offend older Vampires. They’re going to make a lot of mistakes, but they’ll learn. So give them a break and let them know if they’re making fools of themselves. It is our job to protect them and teach them. After all, we will be spending a long long long time in their company.

That is all for today. Just a thought. And don’t forget to give a hug to your favorite Vampire today. And don’t forget to tell your kids that you love them – always.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

Learning from mistakes

No need to wax and wane poetically… I was clueless when I was young. I was totally, completely and absolutely clueless. There are large chunks of my younger life that I just try to forget.

But I’m glad I didn’t, not completely, because it has made me a better parent.

Why?

Because I have LEARNED FROM MY MISTAKES.

Everybody, say it out loud, all together: I HAVE LEARNED FROM MY MISTAKES.

So when it comes to raising kids I knew I didn’t want my children to be clueless. I didn’t want them to sputter and flounder and feel utterly hopeless and alone. I didn’t want them to feel like dreams and achieving goals is not a fantasy.

Have you ever had someone in your life that you just want to smack because they keep doing the same stupid things over and over and over? Usually that involves romance or jobs or everything.

No matter who or what you are you can’t continue to live in a la la land and be an immature moron forever. It isn’t cute. It isn’t smart. It isn’t safe.

Sure nobody, including me, does everything right all of the time. We live with all sorts of fears. We have different comfort zones. Nobody said it was going to be easy.

But if you have kids you can give them the tools they need to get a good start in life. Sure they have to make their own mistakes, but don’t you want to send them out in the world prepared knowing they’ll have some support. You are the elder. Yes, forget your age phobia, you should have the wisdom to share and support the youngsters in your life.

My greatest fear is that my children will flounder. A lot of doors used to slam in my face. I have shown my kids that you can kick down those doors. You can go around. You can get in through a window. You can yell FUCK YOU and go to a better door. OK maybe not yell the F bomb but you know what I mean. You can quietly think it – then go kick ass, even if you do it quietly.

If you know a young person all it takes is a kind word. All it takes is sharing a book, a story from your life, a URL to an interesting website, or a little of your time. It makes a difference. A small gesture can make the difference between a young person feeling alone and isolated to feeling empowered and hopeful.

As for romantic mistakes… my advice is GET A CLUE. When it goes bad cut your losses. Alway leave making everyone think it was YOUR CHOICE even when it wasn’t. Move on. Keep an open mind. If the situation is toxic you need to leave. And don’t do it again. No. Don’t. Just don’t.

Another thing I have to mention. Teach your kids to like themselves. They need to embrace who they are. So many kids feel compared to others or compare themselves to other. You know who the others are – those kids who always seems smarter, prettier, stronger, better at everything. But you know, they aren’t all that. They just believe they are smart, pretty, strong and good at stuff.

So, yeah, maybe later I’ll post more pathetic young Juliette stories. It isn’t all that bad. Maybe just to me.

UPDATE: Yesterday I posted about my old dog Jasmine. She is doing a lot better today. She was perky and wagging her tail. Good dog. Thank you everyone for your kind words.

Your assignment for today:

  • Tell your kids to LEARN from their mistakes.
  • Learn from YOUR mistakes.
  • Pass that information on to your children.
  • Hug your kids.
  • Talk with your kids.
  • Love your kids.
  • Don’t be stupid (again.)
  • Hug your dogs and cats.
  • Kiss a Vampire.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

A Vampire Muses on Youth

You can live forever. You can look like you’re 26 forever. You can know everything. But you are only young once, just for a few short years then you can never get it back again – even if you live for 1,000 years.

I try to teach my children to grow and fly, but at the same time I want them to enjoy and savor this time. I want my teens to still be kids and not grow up too fast. That doesn’t mean I want them to be immature babies. It means I want them to enjoy and savor this wonderful time of growth and discovery.

There are many quotes about youth being squandered on the young.

I made so many stupid mistakes – things that I can never undo or take back but at least I learned from those mistakes. Yes, remember that point… LEARNED FROM MY MISTAKES. That said, I’ve used that knowledge to be a good parent.

I’ve told my kids to learn from their mistakes. And to learn from their triumphs as well.

I want my kids to spend long nights talking with friends about ideas and solving the problems of the world. I want them to laugh until their sides hurt. I want them to be excited about life and the future.

I want them to fall in love but come to me when their hearts break so I can tell them it will be alright. I want them to fly but I want them to know I’ll catch them if the wind dies from underneath their wings.

I want them to experience college. Not night classes or working for a few years or waiting. I want them to live the dorms and make friends and connections and have that experience of COLLEGE. I didn’t get all of that and I wish, I wish, I wish I could have done that.

My friends of my youth are still my best friends in the universe. I have let my kids know that one of the most important things they can do is to choose their friends wisely.

Things they do will have consequences good and bad. When one is young without experience, philosophically or morally or emotionally they can make bad choices. I have raised my children not to be followers, but to be skeptics. If they’re leaders that is a plus, but never be a follower. You can be blind in your eyes but not in your brain or in your heart.

I tell my teens, “respect yourself and don’t get lost in the feeling that you’re alone. When you grow older you’ll understand that you do have value and that you are someone. Never forget that.”

They’ll know what it is to be different. They know that they’ll move on and their friends will grow old. But like their friends, they’ll have been young once. We can all say we were young once.

I want them to remember it well and have no regrets. Isn’t that what every parent wishes for? And it is what I work for, because I’m their mom.

So dance until the sun comes up, sing out loud, discover the music that makes your soul sing, dare to have ideas, imagine the impossible and love, laugh and learn with abandon.

Be young. And if you’re old, then keep doing everything I mentioned above.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

dancing

 

 

Unfortunate Business Note: Due to a large influx of SPAM and weird SPAM-like comments I’ve changed the settings for comments -you have to be logged into your WP account. Please be patient. This is temporary.