Passings in the Night

Passings in the Night

The plan tonight was to share some Vampire tales and adventures and truly funny things, but plans change.

Tonight I saw The Ghost, Nigel. He wore an impeccable black suit, his hair was a perfect glossy black and all in place. He motioned for me to sit with him out on my back deck under the cold night sky.

His eyes met mine and he told me a story.

“I died December 3, 1986. I normally wouldn’t have remembered the anniversary of my own death, but, it was the strangest thing, I was standing out in the woods, not doing much of anything. When you’re a ghost you don’t do much of anything. Anyway, I was out in the woods and a woman came towards me. She was smiling at me and I knew things about her. Her life had taken up where parts of mine had stopped. Then her life stopped December 3, 2013.

She looked at me for just a moment in passing. It was dark but I could see the light coming over the horizon. She asked me who I was and if we knew each other. I told her “I don’t know you, but we’ve loved some of the same people.” I turned her in the right direction.”

Nigel stood up and looked up at the stars, hovering in and out of a transparent state. Then he came close to me and made himself look as real as a live person.

“I couldn’t go with her. But I sent a little bit of my love along, I hope. Well, I know I did. Don’t look all sad. I’m a ghost. These things happen. Hey, nobody should die alone. She left surrounded by love.”

“Who was she?” I had to ask.

He shook his head slightly. “I don’t know. But we loved the same people, just not at the same time. I loved them first, then she loved them after I was gone. I have a feeling she was better at it than I was, or most people for that matter.”

There were so many questions I wanted to ask him but tonight was not the time to ask or to try to get answers.

Love is a force that we can’t explain or quantify. It goes beyond worlds, beyond sorrow and beyond grief.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

First posted December 2013 – In memory of Julian Elsworth and Lil Longshore.

 

angel sacramento

Raised but not out of the crypt yet…

For the first eighteen years parenting is all consuming. Even if you’re not one of those helicopter parents, your job as a parent 24/7.

Then it happens. All your hard work pays off. You’ve raised responsible, well balanced, and lovely young adults.

Now what?

I’m still active but not hovering.

I’m still giving out advice.

I’m trying to be positive.

I’m still teaching them.

And I’m still learning from them.

An old friend recently asked me if I’d talked to my kids about drugs, sex, and other adult trouble. Of course. I started young on those talks. There is no reason to be shy about it. Would you be shy about the dangers of fire or picking up rattle snakes? Of course not, so there is no need to be shy about other potentially dangerous activities.

Excuse me… something just hit the window. I thought it was a bird, then I saw a ghost standing in my backyard flipping me off.

I hate ghosts.

But does he stay outside? No of course not. With a slight hint of sulphur and lavender he materialized next to me, then pulled up a chair and sat. He wore a black suit, white shirt, black tie, with black 80’s Bon Jovi hair. He was as every bit good looking, maybe even more than Jon Bon Jovi, but I didn’t want him in my breakfast nook.

“What are you doing here Nigel? Ghosts haunt people at night, not mid-morning,” I said to him.

“You’re a Vampire so it is only fitting that I haunt you during the day. What bug crawled up your cold ass,” he said without even a hint of a smile.

I tried to ignore him. He flipped my computer around.

“Stop it,” I said pulling it back.

“So how are you doing in this heat wave? Has your body temperature reached 70 yet?”

“Go away.”

“No. I want to talk about your Vampire spawn. They’re all grown up. What are you doing? Getting all empty nest weepy?”

“Shut up Nigel. You never had kids.”

“You don’t know that.”

“Yes I do.”

He sat for a few seconds and pouted, then he stood up and walked around for a bit, then came back to me.

“I was young once. I even died young,” said Nigel The Ghost. “My 40th high school reunion is in a few weeks. I’ve been checking in on the reunion meetings. My middle-aged classmates have no idea I’m there but I am. I didn’t even make it to my ten-year reunion. Holy shit. The thing is, Juliette, is that I’ll be young forever, or at least I’ll appear young, when I choose to appear. The only photographs of me are when I was young. But I come by my eternal youth honestly. I died young. You on the other hand are young because of your parasitic nature as a Vampire. Ever think is that? You have no right to talk shit about ghosts when you suck blood out of living people in order to have eternal youth. How fucked up is that?”

“You can go now,” I said, tired of his insults.

“And now you’re all bent out of shape because your kids are leaving the crypt, and you can’t write about their perfect childhood, or your perfect child rearing advice, or your cold little perfect life, or whatever you call it. Are you alive?”

“Nigel,” I said to the ghost in a calm voice. “Don’t ever say I live in a crypt again. And get the fuck out of my house.”

“You’re beautiful when you’re angry,” he said with a mean-spirited grin. “I can imagine you with blood dripping down your chin.”

He knows I never have blood dripping down my chin.

With a flip of his glossy black hair, Nigel started to talk again. He never shuts up. “They were talking about me last night. It made me sad, and angry. You know I was murdered, and I have no idea who killed me. It could have been someone in that room. But it was taken away from me. I could have had a wife and kids. I could have… I could have had gray hair, I could have had a wedding, I could have had a dad bod, I could have sat around with my friends and talked about the good times we had, and people we lost, but they were talking about me and I couldn’t say anything because I’m dead, sure my art is still around but man, it just kills me, and I’m dead, and I will always be dead…and it just sucks. You, maybe not YOU, because you were born the dead way you are, but most Vampires have the choice to be dead. I didn’t have that choice.”

“Could they have seen you if you wanted them to?”

“No. That is the frustrating part. A few could feel a cold breath of air, or a lost memory.”

“I’m sorry,” I said.

“Don’t be. You don’t owe me anything.”

Then he put his hand over mine. All I felt was an icy chill. Then he looked into my eyes, and in a wisp of blew smoke he vanished.

I always want to ask Nigel if he was that big of an asshole when he was alive but I never do. I have a feeling he wasn’t. Being a ghost can do that to a person.

A lot of kids are lucky enough to go through childhood without any loss, tragedy, or well, without any bad things happening. Once they turn into adults all bets are off. It seems to start with car accidents, then illness, other accidents, suicide, and even murder. Wrong roads are taken. Bad decisions are made. Bad relationships last too long. Then again, if we all look back we’ll find the good stuff is there. Sometimes it gets hidden, but it is there.   I’m not getting all Sunday School on you. The good stuff is there, even if it is the memory of laughing with old friends, a walk in the cool fall air, or finishing up the best book you ever read.

My kids are out of the crypt. Unfortunately for ghosts they never get out. Don’t be a ghost until you’re dead. Think about it. You couldn’t give better advice to your young adults.

That’s all.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

don't be a ghost

 

 

 

 

Let’s Talk Dark Matter (with ghosts and teenagers)

If you know about Dark Matter you know about teens, ghosts, and parenting.

Dark Matter is by definition: Dark Matter is an unidentified type of matter comprising approximately 27% of the mass and energy in the observable universe that is not accounted for by dark energy, baryonic matter (ordinary matter), and neutrinos. The name refers to the fact that it does not emit or interact with electromagnetic radiation, such as light, and is thus invisible to the entire electromagnetic spectrum.

Teens by definition: Teens are an unidentified type of matter comprising approximately 27% of the mass and energy in the observable universe that is not accounted for by dark energy, baryonic matter (ordinary matter), and neutrinos. The name refers to the fact that it does not emit energy of any kind, or interact with negative adults, and is thus invisible to the entire electromagnetic spectrum.

Ghosts by definition: Ghosts are an unidentified type of matter comprising approximately 27% of the mass and energy in the observable universe that is not accounted for by dark energy, baryonic matter (ordinary matter), and neutrinos. The name refers to the fact that it does not emit energy of any kind or interact with just about everyone, and is thus invisible to the entire electromagnetic spectrum.

What about Vampires? We’re in there somewhere. Like most modern relationship status updates on social media Vampires fall into the ” it’s complicated” category.

The reason I bring this up is due to a story I heard on NPR earlier this week. Nigel the Ghost just happened to be hanging out trying his best to act cool and full of contempt.

The story is called, If Dark Matter Can’t Be Seen What About Ghosts?”

Here is the link: http://www.npr.org/sections/13.7/2016/09/13/493725999/if-dark-matter-cant-be-seen-what-about-ghosts

The story is really great and you just need to read it or listen to it. But it covers the issue of how to prove something you can’t see is really there. Seriously, check it out. Let me know what you think.

Nigel, being the asshole ghost he is, flew off the handle. “There are other things you can’t see. You can’t prove love. You can’t prove humor. You can’t prove anything about cats. You can prove reason or lack of reason. You can’t prove what lies in the soul of a man.”

I gave him my best serious mom look. “Theoretically Dark Matter has stability. You’re not stable Nigel. Just chill. I can see you.”

He scowled at me. “Right.”

Then he vanished as usual, this time without a flourish of blue mist or any other ghost trick.

Oh well.

And as usual don’t forget to hug your kids, show interest in what they do, talk with them, and let them know that they MATTER. That kind of matter is REAL.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Crazy Ghost Band

 

 

A Visit from The Ghost (or I never knew there were really Vampires until I died)

This morning, before the sun came up, I was thinking about a friend of mine from years ago. I wasn’t thinking about anything specific except about the way we keep memories of those who are gone. He had blonde hair and green eyes and a smile that wouldn’t quit. He left no dark ghost of fear except the one I used to keep in my heart for a while. Then I thought of someone I lost this week last year – another blonde and an angel on earth who should still be here. It is too soon to think otherwise. So I count the years and think of things we wanted to say. At first we ask questions and wonder what if, then we stop wondering. I turned to the sound of a voice.

“I died today. Weird.”

It would have seemed weird coming from most people but this was from a Ghost. The Ghost (Nigel) who lurks around my house and now most places in my life. It isn’t that odd of a statement for those of us who live in the shadows, sometimes between life and death and other places.

He stood next to the fireplace in my home wearing black slacks, and a white shirt with a black skinny tie.  No jacket today. He ran his fingers through his longish black hair and held my eye in his usual intense way.

“I didn’t even know where I was buried until I’d been dead almost a year.” he told me. “People go to my grave. They leave flowers. They leave glasses of wine and whiskey. I’ve gotten love letters and women have written poems to me. Someone even put up an easel for a weekend and people came by and waited for me to paint from beyond the grave. Creepy.”

“Did you paint?” I had to ask.

“No. I don’t want that. I could have, but I don’t want to be brought back. I mean, I’m already back but I don’t want to be known as a ghost. I want to be known as the artist I was…the man I was…I am. Twenty eight years. I’ve been dead for longer than I was alive. So much has happened since then. December 3, 1986. Damn. This morning she was there at my grave. I don’t remember who she is but I know she was important. She talks to me and has a glass of wine and pours one on my grave. Then she talks for a long time to my friend buried next to me.”

“Nigel, isn’t so much that December 3rd was the day you died – it was the last day you lived. What did you do that day.”

He gave me a bitter smile. “I slept with my best friend’s wife then I went to his funeral. Wait, Juliette, the woman at my grave. That’s her. That is… oh my God. I was in my car. Your Wildest Dreams was on the radio. I hated that song. I missed Enter the Sandman – that didn’t come out until what, about 5 years after I died. Damn. The Cold War ended. I should have been there.”

“What kind of car did you have?”

“Porsche 944. 1985. Black on black. Right before he died, my friend, I remember we went to Yosemite. I can’t believe how fast I drove. He died there, I know that much but…that part of my life, the part just before I left is so foggy.”

“How strange that you only remember bits and pieces.”

“It is strange that I’m a ghost sitting here talking to a Vampire chick trying to remember my life before I died. Did you know the Internet wasn’t even out yet? What am I saying? Electricity wasn’t even out when you were born. I’m a Ghost talking to a Vampire.”

“I never had a ghost for a friend until I met you.”

“I never knew there were really Vampires until I died. I missed out on so much. So much. I should be 55. I should have a family and… damn, I missed my own funeral. I wasn’t even there. I had no idea.”

A quiet voice with a strong old fashioned accent spoke out. “Nobody goes to their own funeral. Funerals are for the living.”

Mary materialized next to us. “I’ve been a ghost for a long time. Nigel, I never knew love until I met you.”

She was a small delicate ghost, almost like a fairy with her long red-brown hair flowing down her back, wearing a green mini skirt and white sweater and fuzzy scarf and over the knee black stiletto heeled boots. She died around 1600 but she still kept up with fashion.

Nigel smiled – not his usually snarky or sarcastic smile but one that was genuine.

I told them to go and have a lovely day in their own ghostly fashion. There are more stories of those two and the funny things they do. But today I’ll be content to keep in my own thoughts and watch the rare rain storm we’re having.

I will also make sure to spend the extra effort with those who are physically here, no matter who or what they are.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

Sacramento Old Cemetery