Wednesday, December 25, 2013

SOMETIMES VAMPIRES GET TALKATIVE .. the wee hours of Christmas...... 12/25/13

Sometimes when they feel threatened vampires retreat. They stay close to home, peering through the draperies and sipping fine distillations by the fire. Tomas is no different. And when he stays home, they all do. Sarah watched a cooking show about recipes she'll never make. Conrad and Leo gambled on line, playing hand after hand of joker-poker. A 'familiar' set it all up for them. But the market's been good and the night-folk have plenty. So a thousand dollars every fortnight or so isn't too bad.  Besides, the 'boys' really enjoy it. Don't ask me where the elferinos and elferinas are. They're so quiet and discrete. Sarah thinks they look like Kate Moss, but with ever so slightly pointier ears. The males not so Kate Mossy.... maybe like Sebastian Bach. God knows where they are.

Edith made a big pot of pasta. Rigatoni, I think. She tosses it with some kind of soft, crumbly cheese and a little bit of cream. Then she chills it. It's good. She eats it. I eat it. Them four Kate Moss' will eat it too. Look, when I say 'eat' I mean taste. They're vampires, after all. They throw it up, five minutes later (hopefully in the little powder room down the hall) and then, soon after, taste a little more. You know how the Romans were with their tricliniums (dining rooms) and vomitoriums? Well, vampires are a lot like classical Romans too. 

They like the starchy aroma. The vampires, I mean. But only the younger, 'pubescent' ones actually taste the stuff. The night-gift settles differently on them. They can do things like that. And I know Tomas envies the way they fly. You see, he 'sublimates' through the air. Moves through the actual molecules like a knife through butter. Looks like he disappears and reappears someplace else. Sometimes you see a streak, but not always. Elferinos and elferinas, on the other hand, truly fly. They float on the air and dance through it like bubbles in champagne. And they're vain about it too. Believe me. They know how cool it looks.

Tomas calls me over. He wants to talk. I sit in one of the club chairs. It's warm. The lights are low and I love the way the apple wood fire smells. Edith watches a midnight mass in the kitchen. It's Christmas Eve in the old, red brick warrens of Philadelphia.

I met Charles Dickens, you know. Went with him when he toured Eastern state Penitentiary - he says. Called it a 'strange menagerie.' They let him peek inside the cells. More an assemblage of hopeless dungeons they were.  That's where the expression 'lock the door and throw away the key' came from. He didn't know I was a vampire. He didn't even know I was a Jew. You know how he wrote 'Fagin'? I didn't want to get into all that. Some mortals love their hatreds more than they love life.... It defines them. They were crazy, you know. The penitents, I mean. Locked away in dark, tiny cells all alone. They didn't have open bars. They had doors... stout, heavy, black, iron doors...... Then he just stopped passed me the bottle. Grey Goose. Always Grey Goose. I think a connection with the state liquor stores sends it over to him. Edith bustled in from the kitchen. Brought me a little glass. You know she's a witchy-woman.  Telepathy's like the first thing they teach 'em.

I think he feels locked in too. Edith says he wanted to be a saint. When he was mortal, I mean. Used to read books about it. 'Into every generation of men thirty six blameless souls are given.'..... And those old, devout, Spanish Jewish families really believed that. 

I'll tell you what he's gonna do. It's still dark for a few hours. He has time. He'll get up, put on his coat and his gloves and his scarf and all. Got this wool hat he pulls down too. Then he'll stuff his pockets with silver dollars...real silver dollars. Go out. Walk the streets and give them to homeless people. That's his 'thing.' He does it for almost every holiday. Then he'll go sit on a bench in Washington Square Park, talk to the ghosts for a few minutes  and come home.

I feel bad for Tomas. I really do.

You know, Charles Dickens had a pet raven named Grip. Been mostly dead for a hundred and sixty years. Main Library in Center City's got it on display... all stuffed and mounted and all. Sits in the rare book room. Still looks like it wants a peck your eyes out. Apparently, death don't mellow ravens. 

This is Billy. I'm tired. I gotta go to sleep. 

May the Season of Miracles be magical for you and yours.
That's all I got to tell you tonight. I don't make it up. I just write what happens.

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