Why I Wanted to be a Vampire

Why I Wanted To Become a Vampire

This past Friday (Halloween) around noon-so call it Hallowoon-I was down on Chambers street In Manhattan—having lunch with a friend. This is one block from City Hall—thousands of people jamming the streets, rushing around; talking, yelling, buying, selling… And the courts are all around that area too. So, added to the usual tumult of a major downtown street, there was the unavoidable look of fear and doubt on many faces-people not knowing how large their fine would be-if their husband would get probation or jail—if their kid would be taken away…

And In the midst of all this were dozens of little kids (three and four year-olds) parading around on the sidewalks (led, of course by their day-care teacher/baby-sitters) dressed up as witches, ghosts, vampires…

They look ridiculous and incredibly cute, all small and innocent, wearing their rubber, fanged masks, tiny capes; carrying miniature plastic brooms and pitchforks. All they know is it’s a day to dress in “scary” costumes walk around and get candy from people… Right there on Chambers Street, right next to frantic young mothers rushing to court, hard-bitten cops with paranoid eyes, gesticulating cheap jewelry merchants and heartless hack lawyers, is some half-dazed little witch holding onto her ghost-buddy’s hand and sticking her head into a restaurant to say “trick or treat.” These little kids haven’t the slightest conception that they are wearing the symbols and imitating the rituals of myths and legends that are universal—that have fascinated and terrified people all over the earth since before recorded time.

Part of this just reflects the long accruing disconnect between the primitive and the modern; the absurdist Bermuda Triangle into which has disappeared the old human connection to the spirits that dwell in all things.
And another part of it—these children not knowing what they are doing, or what spirits they are invoking and evoking—is nothing less than the timeless innocence of childhood; the very clay out of which the great spirits (and demons) are formed and reformed over the millennia.

What do they know about the vicious beasts that walk the night (or the day, for that matter?)? What do they know about the creatures that rise from their graves and haunt the living till madness comes? Not a damn thing-except what they might accidentally see in the New York Post.

When I see these kids I naturally begin to remember my own Halloweens; and not just the Halloweens, but a great deal more. I remember the beasts, demons and creatures of the night that haunted me the other 364 days a year…

Many times during the course of my life I have wanted to be a vampire. And why not? Everybody, they say, needs a goal, a dream, something to work for—or what’s life all about?

Becoming a vampire wasn’t exactly one of those childhood dreams that you hear about when successful people are interviewed at the top of their game: “Yes, Barbara, I knew, even as I slopped the hogs down on that little farm in Tehachapi, that I was born to dance!” Or, “Professor Feigelbloom remembers fondly the first particle accelerator that his father gave him on his 11th birthday… It was a short step from there to Institute of Advanced Studies at Princeton…”

I didn’t sit around and dream of one day taking advanced Vampire Studies at Harvard or even transferring from Andrew Jackson High School to Vampire Trades and Technical (they didn’t offer those courses then). I didn’t save up money from my paper route because I didn’t have a paper route so I could send away for a “Realistic Vampire kit! Terrify your friends; fangs, cape and an actual vial of bat’s blood…”

No, no—it wasn’t like that. My wish, my desire to be a creature of the night was never so concrete or clearly defined. But, none-the-less, it was very strong.

Wait! Just so were crawling down the same castle wall here, let’s just get that little definition out of the way… According to Webster’s: “Vampire: fr. German/Serbo-Croation, vampir; The re-animated body of a dead person believed to come from the grave at night and suck the blood of persons asleep; one who lives by preying on others; a woman who exploits and ruins her lover {as in the 1920’s: “Vamp”}.”

A vampire is a creature of myth and legend, a creature who is not dead, and yet, not alive either—sort of like Dick Cheney. And, just like the former Vice-President did when he was in office, the vampire inhabits dark basements and never emerges during the daytime. He comes forth at night and can take the form of any number of terrifying or loathsome creatures; a wolf, a bat or even a personal injury lawyer…

The vampire, known and feared since the time of the Greeks and Romans, is often thought to have to sleep in a coffin or at least a box of his/her native earth. Vampires are pale, have dark piercing eyes, and are capable of moving so quickly they can’t even be tracked by the human eye. They can jump hundreds of feet in one bound, or straight up in the air-as high as ten stories. They can hear whispers from a mile away and have the strength of ten men.
Vampires can also command the wills of weaker creatures, like rats, snakes, and people who think Judge Judy is a real judge.

And, of course, the final, and most important fact about Vampires… Unless they are unnaturally interfered with by crusading scientists, morally indignant virgins or misguided idiots with wooden stakes in their hands, Vampires live FOREVER.

So now you can ask me—Mike, why did you want to be a vampire?
Well, the first thing I have to say is, how can you ask such a foolish question? Did you not read the list of amazing vampire attributes above? Just look at the astounding things a vampire can do. If you had the choice, would you pass up such incredible powers? Would you give up the chance to hear and see over great distances, command the beasts of the air and earth, move so fast no one could even see you? Would you give up the virtual cessation of physical fear, even the fear of death? Or would you just say, if somebody offered you those things, “Nah, forget it, dude, I’m already late for the tailgate party,” or, “I better not, I just made assistant manager and I’m due for a big raise, not to mention 5 extra personal days a year!” Of course not, you—assuming you’re a normal human, would go with the vampire option.
Think of how dreary and deadly boring life can be, has been for so long, and promises to be in the future. Wouldn’t you like to cast all that to the winds? Wouldn’t you like to live the life of a supernatural being; beyond pain and fear and even death? And don’t forget, a vampire doesn’t have to meet an annual deductible or pay off their student loans.

Well, Ok, I suppose it’s always possible someone might say, “Now, hold up a minute there, pardner… Maybe I don’t want all those things. Maybe I’m happy just to be a regular human being… Somebody who walks around with their feet on the ground, works all week at a decent job; Somebody who has a nice family, and, at the end of the day—good works accomplished, loved ones provided for—curls up all snug and comfy under the covers and drifts off to sleep. Maybe you might say, “Look buddy, I like garlic in my salad dressing. I like to see my image in the mirror; I like to be able to pray to Jesus on Sunday without my crucifix catching fire.” And I could understand if you tell me, “I don’t want to sleep in a coffin all night and suck the blood of innocent people. I especially don’t want to live forever—it’s unnatural! There is something profoundly, bedrockedly wrong with having such powers, and that people who want such things are maladjusted, unhappy, twisted souls.”

So, would you refuse all those superhuman powers—presuming they existed—if they were offered to you? Well, of course, that completely depends on just how happy you are with your life—how much you have accepted the natural cycles of birth and growth; the changing of the seasons; aging, loss, pain; decline, death and rebirth…
We all exist on a continuum of acceptance and denial, of self-awareness and ignorance-of satisfaction and discontent. And this state of existence is constantly moving and changing—going back and forth. Only you yourself can know where you land on this continuum on any particular day—at any given time of your life. And your perception of these things will govern the extent of your interest or attraction, even your addiction, to such yearnings for abnormal and extreme powers…

Take me, for instance… Why would I want to be a Vampire and gain the powers of the supernatural? Why isn’t my regular, human life good enough for me? Well, I grew up in a house where my father was gone; far, far away, of no use to me—certainly when it came to protecting me from anything, either real of imaginary. My mother was crazy and mean, and when she wasn’t crazy, she was even meaner. She was demented; screaming, yelling, cursing, walking around wild-eyed, more than half-naked, her disheveled and dirty gray hair flying all over… She tore at her fingers till they bled, she screamed, her teeth were yellow and stained from nicotine…She tried to kill herself more than once.

If I wanted to hide from my mother’s terrifying rages, I had only one place to go—my bedroom. And that bedroom overlooked a large cemetery.

Day and night I sat or stood for hours at my bedroom window staring at that cemetery; at the gravestones, the freshly dug graves, at coffins being lowered into the earth, at thousands of people—over the years—in the throes of unbearable grief. I watched in the moonlight as rats, snakes, bats and birds skittered, slithered and flitted around the huge leafless black tree that sat square in the center of my vision, no more than fifty yards away from my window.

Growing up scared to death by what was going on inside my house—with only the most inconsistent and arbitrary consolation, I was ten times more terrified than the average kid of the usual boogie-men, spooks, witches, demons and so on. When you’re a six, eight or twelve-year-old, standing at the window, watching the wind blow over the tall grass in the cemetery, seeing shadows dart and swoop, hearing the howling of the wind and seeing dead leaves swirl up into the empty dark night, you become so deeply and permanently terrified that nothing can ever seem to take the chill out of the center of your bones. Even later in life, when I had my own family—career, money and responsibility, just the sight of a funeral parlor could chill me deep inside. You know the old saying, “You can take the boy out of the cemetery, but you can’t take the cemetery out of the boy.”

What to do then? If I was not to literally lose my mind to the fears that grabbed at me with evil cartoon claws, I had to establish a hiding place for myself; a fortress within which I would be safe from such demons. And, by a process of cancellation and the perverse gifts that God sometimes gives the helpless, that fortress was my imagination. I lived in the world of legends, fairytales and myths.

I’m not claiming that my experience of witches and demons and beautiful princesses and brave princes was richer or deeper than other kids. I’m just saying that given my enlarged imagination and my overwhelming need for protection, these tales of demons, heroes and magic powers, assumed a great importance in my life. I lived behind a self-woven veil of make-believe; my very nervous system was self-fashioned to provide me with the protection I didn’t get from the outside. I surrounded my heart and mind with witch booby traps and anti-demon mines; primed to go off at the slightest motion or approach. I fed myself on fears and rescued myself over and over again, just before the monster-du-jour could get me.

My mother hardly ever left her room, even her bed, though sometimes she did rise from her coffin at night to wander the house. Recall one of Webster’s definitions of Vampires; “a woman who exploits and ruins her lover…” Well, I loved my mother—as much, I daresay, as any boy ever loved his mother. But it’s impossible to say if my mother loved anyone herself—so consumed was she by fear and rage. But if she loved anyone, if she had any lover, it was me… And I could have actually been her lover—in the physical sense. She had no boundaries, no controls; and had been without a man for a long, long time. It was only (and this, sadly, is something that wasn’t just my imagination) my own will power and overdeveloped sense of self-protection that kept me out of her bed/coffin…   A vampire, roaming the night, looking to ruin and to exploit, to suck the blood and the life out of the living. Yessir, sounds a lot like home to me…

Vampires and sex, sex and death… If you’ve read or seen any of the modern vampire stories, or seen the TV shows and the movies, you know that sexuality runs right through the middle of them all. Bram Stoker’s Dracula, published in 1897, the first of the Vampire epics of the modern era—and still the most famous Vampire story of them all—would never have been written without the fuel of the overheated, introspective and twisted sexuality that prevailed in Victorian times. The late 1800’s in England (and other Anglo-Saxon countries) was the very height of repressed sexuality. It is the same dark, rich soil that gave birth to the theories of Freud; the hysteria of fainting women, the uncontrollable sexual violence of men…The hidden, the dark, the unconscious; the all-devouring, chaotic and uncontrollable Id!
There weren’t enough stays, girdles, belts and buttons to keep all the groping fingers of Victorian sex from the crotches and throats of the poor Anglo-Saxons. This was the time of underground pornography and decadent perversions; English boys’ schools with their raging homosexuality, caning, slapping, whipping… Boots, riding crops; Kraft-Ebbing, Leopold Von Sacher Masoch, Jack The Ripper… And towering above all of these demons of hidden super-heated urges was Dracula. (Bram Stoker himself was said to have been an extremely neurotic man, once fainting at a performance of his own play).

Much of the definitions of European “perversion” in literature, and, for that matter, of the great psychotherapeutic models, like Freud’s, come from this era of repressed urges and emotions. Well of course, if you keep something powerful hidden long enough, it will inevitably take on a life—a sometimes uncontrollable life—of its own. The deeper the desire, the greater the shadow. And finally, bury it deep enough (anger or lust) and it will transmogrify; it will squirm, boil, and then burst out as uncontrollable DESIRE, even lead to rape or murder. This then, is the psychological womb of the foul creatures that prowl the night, sucking the life out of beautiful young virgins… “I know what you did last summer!!”

Talk about juices flowing… Sucking blood from someone until they are dead; the greatest of all the oral fixations! Forget about sucking your thumb, smoking, drinking, slurping up an entire quart of toffee crunch ice cream. That’s nothing! We are, to use a certain expression, in the main vein here when we talk about Vampires. Phrases like “She’s sucking the life out of me,” “He’s draining me dry.” Where do all these expressions—and, more particularly—the feelings they express, come from?

Women know far better than a man could ever know what it means to have some greedy little creature sucking at you till you’re dry—the universal reality of nurturing, of feeding a living creature by actually giving the fluid of your body to another person.
A baby sucks milk from you and therefore lives. Could anything be more basic than that? And if you’re predisposed that way psychologically, which, God forbid you are, you might get the feeling that there will be nothing left of you when they get done; that you are almost dying so that they may live.

And what if you are a child—naturally disposed to pure appetite and the need for sustenance—and are denied this nurturing; deprived of the milk, the comfort, the love?
This explains the greediest among us. The ones who can never stop eating, drinking, consuming; taking everything for themselves; the supreme narcissists of the world. They are ravaged with an insatiable hunger; an insensate desire to empty the life of everything within reach to keep themselves alive. The history of the world can be, I think, measured by the hungers of the greedy; those who never have enough; riches, land, power… The great predators, the dictators, the robbber barons, the seekers after power… Pale and soul-less, they rise at night from their underground bunker, surrounded by their foul minions, and stride forth in the sulphurous miasma of violence and war, sucking the oil and gold and money out of the earth and out of the bank accounts of the masses. Hundreds of thousands of innocents die to feed their thirst—a thirst that will never be satisfied. As the famous quote about Alexander the Great goes: “When Alexander saw the breadth of his domain, he wept for there were no more worlds to conquer.”

All of these things, the hungry baby’s thirst for milk, the sad alcoholic’s thirst for drink, the power-mad politician’s search for power, the mad intellectual’s feverish search for knowledge, the greedy man’s search for oil and gold, for land and buildings and money, all of these are the same thing. The great emptiness must be filled, the great hunger must be fed, the great fear must be calmed.

The greatest, most enduring myths and legends dwell in the deepest wells of the psyche, especially when those wells remain deep, black and fathomless. Vampires, like ghosts and witches, like God and the Devil must be created by human beings. Just as we create the great nurturers and saviors—Jesus and Mother Mary, we create the great demons—the arch deprivers and despoilers. If we were completely aware and responsible for ourselves—all perfectly realized Buddhas—there would be no need for gods and demons. But we are all imperfect. We are all, more or less, forever children and therefore we locate the origin of our guilt and fear, our rage and hatred, even our love and goodness, outside ourselves, lest we be completely possessed by them…

But wait—I have digressed…   Let’s get back to the original question… Why did I want to be a vampire?
From the deep, dark fear that assailed me every day and night of my childhood, I wanted to protect myself; defend myself against all the foul things, real and imagined, that threatened me. Now how could I do this? I had no power at all. I was a child, and a short, skinny child at that. So I wasn’t going to scare anybody with my brute strength. I was athletic but nobody was paying particular attention, so I wasn’t going to get anything out of that—no local fame or glory. I was smart, but too strange and perverse to study or care about getting A’s in school—so my star wasn’t shining in that quadrant of the heavens. And girls? I wanted to be with them but they terrified me.
Now and then I could get some solace from my tough old immigrant grandmother who lived not very far away, but she was just that:tough; and had a very low tolerance for my relentless, over-developed fears.

I could hang around with the relatively normal neighbors and my friends on the block, but, really, how much could one live at someone else’s house before it got too strange (adoption was not big in my neighborhood).

What was left? Nothing but me and my imagination.

I lived in my imagination… sometimes daydreaming for hours at a time. I read for hours every day, usually fantasy and science fiction or historical novels. And when modern make-believe became to thin, I read mythology and fairy-tales; Greek, Norse, Indian, Asian—anything and everything. I merged my small, pitiful existence with the lives and personalities of great heroes—slayers of dragons and witches and hags (especially witches and hags!). I sailed to the far away Islands of the Pacific, climbed the hidden mountains of the Andes; traveled the vast reaches of space, and even wound up fighting twelve-foot high, six-armed, tusked green men on the planet Mars. And I was always triumphant! Not only that, but I got the girl, too—whatever that meant to me when I was nine years old.

I lived inside these books, and having to come out of them—Bullfinch’s Mythology, 1001 Nights or Edgar Rice Burroughs—having to come out of them to live in the real world, was like being forced to swim up from a beautiful dream—only to look around and realize, with a terrible sinking despair, that I was still me, still in my house—still prey to any passing bad thing.

…Out to my backyard, I set up toy soldiers (the World War 2 version) in a large patch of dirt and played God with the troops…directing violent battles in which great casualties were suffered on both sides. I am happy to report, though, that I was still sufficiently in touch with reality and had a developed enough sense of right and wrong, so that I always made sure that the Americans beat the Germans.

But those battles were just warm-ups to my more desperate attempts to give myself some power. When nobody was looking, which was about 98% of the time, I took matches or something we called a “punk” (a simple stick of incense) and burned ants. My method was to get one of the ants alone or away from the nest and hold the punk just close enough to roast it to death slowly. When I look back on all these things I did, I see, despite the extreme dysfunction, how very natural it was. I needed to even the score; had to provide some strength and power for myself, even if it was imaginary or confined to a tiny, almost hallucinatory universe. (I have no doubt, that when I arrive in the after-life, I will discover that God is a giant ant. And it will serve me right).

As I recall this natural urge to clothe myself in whatever available protective power I could find, I believe I see that such behavior was/is, I believe, the basis of the more universal experience. And that is the latent drive behind most extreme actions and beliefs of mankind. In short—not a new idea here—I think people often imitate or even become the thing they fear the most. I was afraid of being overwhelmed, swallowed up and destroyed, so I became the conqueror of Mars, the slayer of the Medusa, General Patton, the Godlike destroyer of helpless ants.

As any kid knows (and not just kids), the best, most enduring stories are the ones that go to extremes. Ugly becomes beautiful, the unpopular nobody becomes the great lord or lady; the thin, 98-pound weakling becomes the big, bad bruiser, and so on…

What scared me most, there, amidst all the scary things, was the dark, the black night-and the things (real and imaginary) that lived in the night. So, when I stumbled across Stoker’s Dracula, saw Dracula movies on TV, read other stories of vampires, I was mesmerized. I experienced a crazy thrill upon discovering that there might be something that, not only was not afraid of the night and all its dangers as I was, but was, on the contrary, MASTER of the night! As I stood at my bedroom window, I imagined flying right out over and into the cemetery and lording it over every creature, living and dead, that crawled or howled there. Imagine! You couldn’t be harmed. You could be the one that terrified other people! You could be the one that caused the blood to chill, the heart to quake. Yes!!

This is what the Vampire’s glowing eye says: I am no longer afraid of demons and the darkness. I am no longer afraid of the rat, the snake, the bat, and the wolf. I am not even afraid of death. Why? Because I am the Lord of them all. I am death! That’s just what Oliver Stone’s fearsome Sergeant Barnes said in the movie “Platoon.” He had no fear of death, and he had contempt for anybody who did. “I am death,” he said.

It’s probably foolish and even insultingly superficial—considering how much real suffering and horror such people bring to the world—but it’s tempting to wonder about the inner lives of people like the Wall Street bankers and Hedge Fund executives, and other current Masters of the Universe. Is the old folk wisdom about bullies really true? Are these Lords and would—be Lords of our world actually scared witless? So scared (and so angry as a reaction to the fear) that they have to gorge themselves on all the power in the world? It seems as if, for people like that—and to take it all the way down the line—for people like Hitler and Stalin and such, that there is never enough power to calm the terrible fears they must have inside. These are people that must consume the whole world to feel safe!
They choose to be like Milton’s Satan—Better to reign in Hell than to serve in Heaven…

This madness of the need for ultimate power, of the illusion of triumphing over death itself, is one of the things that drives the vampire myth, that claims a little patch of ground in every imagination where this perverse power can grow. In Mario Puzo’s The Godfather, (the book, not the movie), when one of Don Corleone’s lieutenants is dying, he smiles knowingly at the Godfather and tells him that he is sure Don Corleone can make a deal with God to save his life.
For the woman or man who grew up abused and terrified, seemingly cursed and alone, there is a way to win over it—whispers the subconscious—And this is it: “Become the abuser and the terrifier—and suffer no longer the fate of the weak and helpless.”

I remember one time, about twelve years ago—at the end of my rope—not caring if I lived or died, boiling inside with an almost uncontrollable anger—I wandered late at night over to Riverside Park in Manhattan. For those of you who don’t live in New York, picture a park that runs for a couple of miles along the river; a place where there are dark, thick patches of trees and underbrush. The park is closed at night and only the insane, the drugged or the psychopathically vicious will venture in there. Cops won’t even walk through the place—they ride in their cars, two at a time.
Around midnight, I went into the park. I walked the dirt paths, through the trees, heard odd noises, growls, sounds that didn’t sound even remotely human. I saw large shadows move. I heard thumps, grunts… a distant scream. But I didn’t care. I crashed through the woods, my eyes lit up, looking for something, someone, anyone, to confront. It was nothing less than mania, madness, but I felt a wild kind of joy—a feeling that I was invincible.

After about a half hour of this I calmed down enough to retreat back to a normal human state of fright and I retreated back out of the park. But I have always, somewhere in my bones, retained the primitive wild thrill of that time. It was, I am imagining, a taste of what it might feel like to be a master of the night…
In my life, I’ve read a lot of true crime and military history books. Most of them talk about the common fears and miseries of the foot soldier, the cop, the criminal…
But some of them also talk about the perverse addictive rush of breaking into a house, driving away a stolen car, risking your life to cheat, steal, even rape or kill.

People say: Such behavior, it’s madness, it’s incomprehensible. The word evil begins to be used. How, one asks, could he/she do that to someone else? How could he/she lose their humanity so badly as to perpetrate such an outrage? And most of the time, we really don’t understand because most of us are within the normal range of civilized perception and behavior. But I have been in places, both as a worker and an inmate, a cop and a breaker of the law, where that civilized range of behavior and perception is not the norm; indeed, it is almost the exception; places where boundaries almost cease to exist, and what might have just yesterday seemed to be incomprehensible, makes perfect sense in its madness.

Is such madness really “outside” the range of normal behavior? Yes…and no. You read about such things every day in the newspapers, and, during time of great wars or privation, people think and feel and act in ways that later, when the danger is over, the world naturally describes as insane.
It is from this well of madness, too, that the vampire myth is drawn…

And so I imagined as a lonely kid—when my imagination seemed to take control of me—that being a vampire, a master of the night, would be the solution to my isolation and helplessness. And now I note that the really classic Vampire is always alone—lonely. This loneliness is an essential part of the mythos, the psychological foundation. The one who feels this deep need for revenge, this insatiable, raging thirst, knows that he or she was, is, and ever more shall be, unloved. This is the engine that drives it all: I will never be loved and so I will wreak my vengeance on the world. If I can’t have it, no one will have it. I will kill love itself…

Well, back to earth…and not a moment too soon, for the sun is going down.. So, some closing remarks before I rise and walk the night…
Clearly, the sense of wanting to have great, even supernatural powers is universal (look at the astounding popularity of superhero movies). But universal, too, is the realization most of us have that it is unnatural to have such powers. To be superhuman, to fly, to remain young always—to live forever—these arouse in us, not just a primitive fascination but also a great fear, revulsion and pity (the basis, as Aristotle said, for true drama).

Think of Wilde’s great story, The Picture of Dorian Gray, where a young man, beautiful, popular, rich, retains his youth and beauty way past its natural span. But hidden away, up in his attic, is a portrait of him, painted in the glorious apogee of his youth. As Dorian ages, the portrait ages. As the “young” man, whose face and body never changes, indulges himself (in order to surmount his increasing boredom and world-weariness) in ever more extreme forms of sadism and decadence, his portrait becomes more gross, twisted and evil looking. (In a more minor sense, we feel the same shiver and instinctive pity when we see the thousands of sad souls walking around the city; the ones who have had dozens of face-lifts, botox injections, hair transplants, breast augmentations—the whole pitiful panoply of artificial additions and deletions… Who, they wonder, would pay attention to them—love them—unless their youth was preserved at all costs?).

Peter Pan is another wonderful (and, obviously more benevolent) variation on the same theme: Peter remains young—a boy forever, but Wendy must grow, age, know the joys of love and the pains of loss. She must be, in short, human. The story is written with great compassion for Peter-but, in the end, he remains, as all immortal beings must, (just like our beastly friend, Dracula) alone. And though he gets to live forever, and enjoys superhuman powers, he must give up the one thing that seems to rescue us poor, earth-bound humans from the pains and trials of this world: Love.

This theme has been repeated a thousand times in stories and myths since the beginning of time—and right up until the present. Look at Superman. He only retains his powers when he ajbures love. And you can see the same wrenching theme in The Lord of The Rings: Love and immortality do not mix.

Love. The one word, says Oedipus, “that frees us of all the weight and pain of this world.” As long as our lives are framed by death, the only thing that seems to provide a rescue, even a connection to God and eternity, is love. So, in the end, the great raging beasts of myth and literature, of stage and screen, like the vampire, are the outer forms of our fear and rage; phantasms all borne from the failure of love.

Do Vampire’s really exist? Who knows? And besides, with a world full of the likes of Charles Koch, Dick Cheney and Saddam Hussein, what difference does it make. There are enough monsters in the here and now to concern ourselves with. In the end, we remain human and must make the best of this world we inhabit during the current incarnation.

(** A couple of references: Dracula, by Bram Stoker (and don’t miss Frances Ford Coppola’s great 1992 movie version: Bram Stoker’s Dracula)
The Complete Book of Vampires, Leonard R.N. Ashley; Barricade Books, 1998)


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