Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Interview With A Philadelphia Vampire .. Jonathon ben Macabi commandeers the Spotlight.. 4/19/16

There will be no Crawleys tonight. I've had enough of that. Billy still likes it. Actually, Sarah does too. But I hate the spring time and I am Jonathon ben Macabi and I need my say. The nights grow short. The days grow warm and I grow restless. Life eaters revel in the cold.  Winter is best. Hot, fresh, steaming blood contrasted against the icy, frigid, damp of a January 2AM tastes so good. It's so right... The deathlike, chill of the grave... The beefy, warmth of 'el sangre calor.'  Que Bueno... Excuse me my Spanish, but it comes so natural to me.

Those new to this 'thing,' this 'blog,' may not know that I have two appellations. And just as I am known as Jonathon ben Macabi, I am also known as Tomas de Macabea. For I hail from the land of the olive tree.... a cilantro flavored realm of magic and spice.  Shhhh, while I imagine it. ( a few heartbeats pass) Ahhhh, how satisfying.

It may seem strange that a native of Al Andalus shuns the warmth, but I am not a mortal and have not been for so long that those few years seem legendary to me. I confuse true memories with dreams. Look, no kingdom is entirely just. Brutalities, even subtle ones are everywhere. But the Caliphate of Cordoba was, in my time, a special place... one of the academic, scientific and commercial capitals of the world. People travelled there for every manner of opportunity, not to mention medical treatment that was sterile and effective at a time when the Franks (Arabic term for most Europeans) salved wounds with dung.

And the music... such music... What you call 'classical Spanish guitar,' was already in existence more than one thousand years ago. Do you know that I play the oud as well as the guitar? If you do not know, the oud is to the guitar, as the viola is to the violin. Come back some night and I'll serenade you.

I love Philadelphia. It has been my home for approximately three hundred and fifty years, maybe longer. People assume I came over with The Lord Protector. They assume I made the voyage with William Penn, But I did not. When I arrived, the town that rapidly grew into the city of Philadelphia was ruled by the Swedes or the Dutch... I get them confused. But I spent most of those early years with another group. I lived with the 'Indians.' ... It is said that the term 'Indians' comes from the Spanish word, 'indios,' some say it means 'in the hands of God,' for the natives were seen as innocents in  need of 'true religion' and salvation. Perhaps it should have gone both ways? I value that time. I was 'windago' and a spirit-familiar to their shaman.... Like Moses among the Midianites, I was.

And now La Temporada de Pascua is upon us... The Passover Season. Friday is First Night. You'll have to excuse me, but I wax a bit spiritual this time of year...'the night God came to rescue me' and all that. I love transcendent experiences. I've always been that way... becoming a vampire only heightened that. Sometimes I sit in my room listening to recordings of old hymns and cantorials... They eavesdrop at the door. The others, I mean. I can listen for hours. Crying to Avenu Malkenu (Our Father, Our King) is a hobby of mine. Barbra Streisand has a version on You Tube. If anything can transport you to the foot of The Sapphire Throne, that can.

Now, please excuse me. It's 2:14AM as I write this. False dawn comes in three hours and fifteen minutes and what's left of the night calls to me. I love to walk the streets. I may bite a throat or two, but I will not kill tonight. There are rules about those things. I'll see young people playing vampire too. Certain old quarters of Philadelphia have a lot of that. The atmosphere just brings it out. I nod to them. They nod to me. We pass. That's it.

Then I nurse a mug of tea at some all night ham and egg joint and talk to the waitresses.

Perhaps I'll bite one of them too?

Oh, and lest I forget, Billy will still keep us up to date with Downton and the Crawleys once or twice a week. He thinks they actually exist.

Can you imagine that?

<more next time>


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