Saturday, May 21, 2011

SARAH FILLS US IN ON THINGS

Right off, I want you to know this is me talking. It's Sarah. They tell me I have a role to play in all this, but everyone else pushes in front of me. You should see Jonathon. He's going more 'meditterano' by the minute, mixing the Italian with the Provencal with the Catalan. But that's how they do it. That's 'Vahmpeerigo,' la lungua de los Vampiros, the tongue of the vampires. Oh, he strikes poses and waxes poetic. You know how some Europeans get. He's not 'Jonathon' anymore....Now he's Jonathon-Tomas, his Spanish name. And he says it this way. He says 'Yo-na-tahn--Toe-mas, real fast. You know Mandy Patinkin, in The Princess Bride? Well then you know what I'm dealing with. Next it'll be flamenco. Watch, you'll see. He liked that 'cull' the other night. He liked how he handled that ratty, little gangster guy. Not one false move. New-Age vampire central casting all the way. And the alpine breezes blow his hair just so. Mine to actually. It's hard to be plain in an environment like this. We went into a nice, cozy, Euro-contemporaty rest stop along one of the main roads (still narrow) in Il Parco Nazionale del Gran Paradiso (Romantic scenery to die for). Sure, we didn't want the coffee. You know that. We just wanted to look at the humans and smell the sumptuous Piedmontese aromas.  But the humans also apparently wanted to examine us. One woman told me I was 'motto bella,' I think she said. The husband compared me to a  young Susan Sarandon. He was making eyes at me the whole time. Said he thought Jonathon, no, Yo-na-tahn--Toe-mas, was my younger brother. Whew! You know he didn't like that. But always the courtly Spaniard, he just flashed him his best Andalucian sonrisa (smile) and gave him a curt, little nod.

I could exist here for ever. We carry very little with us, maybe a backpack. Sometimes we lose that. It's easy to sublimate through the wall of some cute, tiny souvenir kiosk and make off with a new ensemble, if you like tee-shirts, hoodies and sandals. Jonathon leaves some of the cash he takes from his 'culls.' We're vampires, but we're not thieves. It's important to me that you know that, OK?

The air here is incredible. The moonlight, like magic. I was two feet from a family of chamois yesterday. You know, those white, long-haired mountain goats with the short, black horns? Beautiful. The mother led her two kids right into our cave. Oh, she stopped short when she sensed us. I know she couldn't see us that far back, not with all the twists and turns. But I could see her. I guess it's those cat's eyes we've got. And the little ones were just adorable. One came up and sniffed my hand. Oh, I almost cried. How can humans possibly eat lamb chops? You tell me that. You'd have to be a real animal.

I slip into nearby towns every now and then, to visit the hopelessly ill. I can smell them. It's a talent of mine. I'll sublimate into some isolated niche in a hospital, or a modest, little sick-room in a house and quietly perform a minor miracle or two. This is my routine. This is how I do it. If they wake up, I say - Fear not. I am come to heal your pain......Remember this is a Catholic area, at least culturally. They're used to such things. According to the local newspaper, saints swing through here all the time. Must be on the annual tour or something? So then, when I have their attention, I bite into my lip, just enough to draw a drop or two, go over to the bedside, kneel down and administer 'the kiss of life.' Next morning, when I'm long gone, Nonna's asking for her biscotti and latte and cursing the grandkids for losing her false teeth again. I don't know. It just makes me feel good. Sure, Jonathon does it too. He taught me how to give that 'Fear not...' speech in the local dialect. But with me, it's different. In my case, I think it's why I was MADE a vampire.

Only thing wrong with all this is the smell. It's real weak. Just a slight, little whiff. I pick it up sometimes late at night, right before the dawn. It's a vampire smell. I'm almost sure of it. Yet it's a bit different. Jonathon smells it too. I can read his mind a little better than he realizes. This is 'noxious' territory. There's no way to avoid it. We have to go through it. Who knows? Maybe it's part of our pilgrimage? Maybe it's like a test? And maybe...we're both starting to get a little scared. Well, at least the world didn't end a few hours ago...Right? Thank God for that.........

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