Sunday, April 17, 2011

Isolation

            Like a lot of other days I was late to school. It wasn’t anything that surprised me or any of my teachers. Most mornings I could never make it on time and the same thing went for the class right after lunch. I always struggled when it came to keeping track of time even when there was a clock nearby and the fact that I not only wore a watch but owned a cell phone that I was almost always texting on. Sure, texting was almost majorly an American phenomenon since we’re a group of super socializers and always have to be talking to people we’re not currently with.
            For me the people I was texting were people that lived in other states that I’d never really met in person. I met all of them online and had never had the option of meeting in real life up until this point. Many of these people did seem to have lives away from their cell phones and the internet which was something I hadn’t seen for myself since I was a little kid. Many of my classmates had started to run away from me when I started discovering I had crushes on other girls. It seems so common that people run away from the things they don’t understand or that they don’t want to understand.
            Being a lesbian seems to have given me a huge reason not to look for real friends, friends that exist away from my cell phone or my computer. For the “friends” that didn’t have my phone number they were all on IM or in my email and I often rushed home to log in to both and catch up with everything. Some of these people were even in foreign countries so I wouldn’t be able to text them. I would really like to get something like a blackberry so I could check it all of the time but unfortunately the bill would be way too expensive. Some of the emails were also long which would be a pain to reply to on such a small keyboard.
            If the high school I attended would allow personal email on their computers or would allow students to access their wireless it would make my life a lot easier. I could take my computer with me to school and it would allow me to use all of the programs that were already installed. It would help me keep in touch with a lot more people at once with less to worry about despite the fact that my laptop was large and heavy. My teachers and other students knew me to be very isolated and that I didn’t talk to others much. Many of them had accepted this to be my way of being and that there was nothing they could do to change it. This I was thankful for. No matter what I will always be isolated.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Plight of a Vampyre

Fairmount Mortuary, Denver, Colorado.
Base of statue inscribed J.W. Iliff.
Photograph taken by the author.

            I woke up and looked at the clock. It was 8 pm like it normally was. I could never tell if the sun was down because I covered all of my windows completely with blackout curtains to prevent myself from getting sunburned while I slept or while I woke up to get a glass of water. My skin always was very easy to burn and I prided myself on being vampire white anyway so getting any sunlight wasn’t something that appealed to me. For most of my friends being very tan was something to pride yourself on but it never was for me. Skin cancer was not something that I wanted to encourage by spending long amounts of time in the sun.
            Sure, I got tattoos, lots of them and all of them in black and grey. Those did encourage skin cancer some but since I didn’t tan I was willing to take this risk. It was something I did to make some sort of design to my body that I found attractive instead of one that would fade as soon as it got too cold to spend a large amount of time in the sun. Being someone who prides pale skin anyway it wouldn’t do me much good to spend time in the sun even if I had wanted to. Being the daughter of a man who owned a large amount of used car lots who also made sure that not only would the business run without me but that I would get plenty of the profits (the business itself kept a mere 30%, I get the rest) I had no reason to even seek a normal job.
            This being the case I often spent my time out in the middle of the night with my camera, taking pictures of things as they occurred in the dark, things so many people chose to ignore. If there was a graveyard open in the area I would usually choose the graveyard due to how beautiful I found gravestones. So many people saw gravestones and cemeteries creepy that few people would visit there unless one of their favorite celebrities was buried there. I went pretty much anywhere for my photographs, even common cemeteries where pretty much anyone can be buried there. The stones have a lot more variety than the ones in rich cemeteries and would often have big and small mixed together.
            I think part of my fascination with the gravestones was the fact that I knew I would never have one. I have always wanted to be cremated and have my ashes spread in a river. Its something that sounds more interesting than having my body buried underground forever. Not to mention there would always be issues with any grave I ever had. The town I lived in was small, it had only five hundred and fifty people in it. We all knew each other in some form and many of them worked in other towns. Some of them even worked for the car dealerships my dad once owned since many of them were close enough for many to drive to. Many of them believed that I was turned into a vampire and am now cursed to walk the earth until I have a natural death I will come back from my grave to haunt the world forever.
            I’ve had many of the members of my community have told me that once I die my natural death they will stake me through the heart so I cant come back to torture the community. They may have to dig me up to do so but they will never give up until at least one of them can prove that he or she did it. Since the morticians here wont let them get to the body this would mean there would be repeated attempts to dig me up until someone managed. As someone with a lot of respect for gravesites I don’t want to be repeatedly dug up until someone finds my heart (or, depending on how long it takes, what used to be my heart) and sends a stake through it. Cremation will assure everyone that I’m truly dead and scattering the ashes will keep any of the local teenagers from convincing their parents that them being all in one piece like that means I can still come back to life one day. With how superstitious most adults in this town are it would be no surprise if any of them believed it.
            I do identify as a vampire so their suspicions aren’t completely unfounded. I often go to other towns to purchase animal blood from the stores that will sell it. Thanks to the invention of the internet I’ve found a way to store the blood for long periods so I can buy it in large amounts and the townspeople will be less suspicious. In this town any sort of large purchasing out of town with local grocery stores being so close is something that attracts a lot of attention. A lot of the teenagers in the area would go to a mall in another town but many of them get away with it. Me leaving too late to enter any mall makes it look a little more odd and many of them do notice. It took me forever to find a place open late enough for me to get there and get the blood I so desperately need.
            With none of my friends being understanding of my lifestyle (and many of them thinking its funny that I do so much to make myself “look” like a vampire”) I’m sure none of them would be willing to complete my trips for blood so I wouldn’t have to do it. It’s also a very odd request. The store I currently buy from has gotten used to me buying large amounts of blood every few months without asking questions but I’m sure it would be even odder if a friend did it that didn’t look the same way I do. With as pale as I am I’m sure many of them assume many of the same things as my city but are glad to get the blood sold since so few people from other countries are sticking with the cooking of their original culture.
            Being one of the few vampires that wants to live what we consider a vegetarian lifestyle it makes it just as hard to get blood. I also don’t choose to eat meat very often since what is sold in my town often goes bad. Much of the area are hunters and keep their meat in their freezers for much of the year making grocery store meat less common. The last thing I want is blood that has had a chance to rot in animal meat because the grocery stores in the area don’t want to remove it from the shelves. Unfortunately this will always remain the plight of a vampire in a small town. Maybe the plight of vampires choosing a similar lifestyle to me in larger towns. For now I don’t know. Maybe, one day, I’ll move to a larger city and learn of the plights of all vampires. Maybe I’ll one day join my people in a way we’re meant to live.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The human vampyre

Lestat, played by Tom Cruise in The Vampire Chronicles
Vampires are something built of myth, something so many of us read about. Characters like Dracula from Bram Stokers book and Lestat (pictured left) popularized by Anne Rice novels have been present in popular culture for a long time. More recently the Twilight novels and movies (no matter how great/horrible you believe they are) have popularized a newer version of the mythical vampire regardless of hundreds of years of myth that we have all had to go on. Twilight being noted the fact that there are some people (which I'm hoping are mostly teenagers though I have seen pictures of horrible tattoos that picture someone who is clearly well over the age of 18 and often over the age of 30) that choose to claim they are "real" vampires despite the fact that many of them have little or no interest in real blood, animal or otherwise. Some of them, instead of being real vampires, are what are called lifestyle vampires. Lifestyle vampires being people that emulate the looks of real vampires but don't need blood or psychic energy to survive. They may find it from time to time in the bottom of their grocery meat packages or from some ethnic/Asian/Oriental stores that are willing to sell it, they may even replace it with a glass of wine, but it wont be something tat is a permanent part of their long term lifestyle.
There are some of us, however, that can't help but run off of blood or psychic energy. Some, like me, can easily run off of both and it doesn't matter which one we use since we all need it in some form. We have no choice in if we emulate the creatures we're so used to reading about in our favorite (or maybe not so favorite) novels and see in so many different movies. We know how hard it is to have a long period when we wont or cant feed and the effect it has on us. We are the real vampyres that have little to do with the creatures of myth. We can walk out into sunlight without bursting into flames or turning into a small pile of ash (though many like me will get headaches or migraines in daylight without sunglasses and will often need sunscreen to prevent burning). We don't have to sleep in coffins during the day to make sure no light gets to our skin. We don't have to worry about standing out to the general public because most adults wont worry that we're not truly human as we wonder around any street we like.
Many of us will hide from the general public due to the fact that many of us will be told we have clinical vampirism and asked to speak to a psychiatrist or other mental health professional. Some of us may have this condition this is true but a small fraction of us will be in this group. Another small fraction (thanks to modern education and access to things like the internet being so common) may have a blood fetish but are yet to decide to label it that way. For those of us who know we don't have clinical vampirism or a blood fetish we do rely on blood or energy to survive. The ethics for both will depend on if they are a sangrinarian (sang) vampyre, a psychic (psi) vampyre or energy worker, or are a hybrid which can do a mixture of the two and for the person themselves.
Some may choose to use animal blood instead of human because of the easy access to it. With grocery stores selling raw meat in trays being so abundant it makes it easier to simply by the package somewhere and drink whats left in the bottom of the package. With the psi vampyres and energy workers out there simply going to a place with a crowd where they can do ambient feeding is easy enough to do while some (that like using sexual energy the best) will find a willing donor one of many ways. The hybrids can easily use the ethics of both groups on which type they use and how they choose to obtain it.
Personally on my end (being a hybrid) I prefer to do ambient feeding and draw things from a crowd. Working at a very busy grocery store at the time this post is being written it makes it easy to ambient feed as often as I need without needing to worry about finding or paying to find a large crowd and without needing to feed in large amounts every time or often. For the sangs out there this may be harder for many to do since they often seem to want human donors and many of them may connect them to more of the Twilight fans that are claiming to be vampyres to emulate their favorite characters.
No matter how we feed we do exist. We are out there and not all of us are emulating creatures of myth. We will continue on living in many different societies and we will be the only predator that man will never be able to completely kill off despite their attempts.