Tuesday, February 11, 2014

It's Me... BILLY... I'm Talking Tonight.. 2/12/14.

'First of all we must agree that what comes next is fiction'.... They made me say that. Tomas did actually, three and a half years ago when it all started. He talked about the old days back then. That made it safe. There was a distance. It didn't seem real, even to him. Vampires are like that. The long lived ones, I mean. They'll tell you a story from centuries ago and they know what happened. They have feelings about it. But it's like they're talking about somebody else. It's them, but it isn't them. 

Once they had a shrink, some psychologist. Didn't really treat any of them. Found him at an art show. Some gallery on North Second Street. Think he wanted to buy some painting. Gallery Bitch said thirty seven hundred and fifty dollars. Way too much. Artist painted in Kool Aid, but like the kind without sugar so bugs would not eat it. Guy felt bad. Said the work reminded him of pictures his brother made... Not as an adult. When he was a child. When they were in camp. And not with Kool Aid. Just water colors. Told the Gallery Bitch he liked the picture but could only pay fifteen hundred dollars. He wasn't lying. That was the truth. Bitch goes - Oh, how unfortunate..... Gives him a sick smile and goes off to sniff out more money. ( I have to hit publish and continue via 'edit' because I keep getting an 'error' message at top of the page. The internet's not easy. The internet stinks. We just have to pretend it's easy, 'cause they ain't gonna make it any better. So if you see the post this way...please come back later and read the whole thing. I'm sorry. I have to put up with a lot, And the vampires I blog for can't help. It's horrible. It's disgusting. Give me a few minutes. I'll be back...)Okay, I'm back. So let me finish this part. Tomas overhears this crap, grabs the Gallery Bitch and buys the painting right then and there. Oh, she smiles. She bats her eyes at him. Goes - tee hee hee.... Wanna push her out a window, but we were street level. All she'd do is trip over a bike. Takes the thing right off the wall. Everybody looks, cheese cubes poised in mid air. Bitch has a kid who works there. Real snide thing. Gives it to him. He goes and slips it in a brown paper sleeve, like a big envelope. They had 'em behind a counter just in case. All sizes. Never know how many 'marks' are in the crowd. Some people like to be seen writing out that check. Shrink guy looks. I can see he felt bad. Yeah, I was there too. Hey, I like Colby Jack. And they had these little kiwi things too. And some king of cheese stuffed figs. There were cocktail weenies. But these creeps camped out right by the door where the guy with the tray comes out and WHOOSH they suck 'em all up in a minute.... The art world version of illegal aliens. They got no business being there. Unless they help clean up when it's over. 

Shrink guy comes over to Tomas and goes - You like that picture too? ..... Tomas says - The important thing is you like it..... And he hands it to him. Guy looks like he doesn't know what's happening... like he doesn't know what's going on. But ( we learned this later) his brother's dead and he really wants that painting. Sarah comes over. She smiles and takes Tomas' arm. She says - Please, take it..... She has this way about her. She has this look. So he does. Guy doesn't even ask who they are. Tomas says they know. He says people know they're in the presence of a 'more than mortal' being. They sense it. You know that 'resonance' they talk about?  Maybe that's what they feel. Tomas and Sarah were no threat to him. They weren't going to feed on him. Had two crooked cops before we came. They go like that. For months it'll be crooked cops. Then crooked doctors... Racketeers.... Crooked politicians..... Street toughs..... 'Black Widow' husband poisoners... That's how it goes. The 'visions.' They have the 'visions.' 

Ten minutes later we're in a cab going home and the shrink is with us. I sit up front. He sits in the back. Sarah sits in the middle.  It's quiet. Nobody talks. Cab's got a radio. I guess they all do, but the drivers hardly ever turn 'em on. Yet this one does---- Billy Joel singing 'In the middle of the night, I go walking in my sleep, through the valley of dreams..... I chuckle. How fitting. Like background music in a movie. I always see things that way. Just how I am. 

Driver goes the long way. Gets lost on Arch Street. Winds up west of Broad. Tomas doesn't say anything. He don't care. I like living in Center City, so it don't bother me either. Shrink guy goes - You mind? I gotta pee...... Tomas says - Ten more minutes. 

Edith lets us in. Gives us hot tea. Vampires can tolerate plain, weak tea. Sits us down in the family room. No fire. Just like a forty watt light from this dark red spice jar, Chinese, porcelain lamp they have. I like a dim room, actually. Feels quiet and peaceful. 

I'm wondering why they brought this shrink home. After some completely transparent and pointless small talk (guy has got to know this ain't 'regular') Tomas (who obviously picked up my thoughts) says - We brought him here for you..... I blinked. I didn't know what to say. Guy looks nervous too. But not too nervous. Maybe Edith put something in his tea? 

Little by little we begin to talk. Tomas says - He's a writer. Tells about us...... Shrink says - And you don't mind?..... Tomas shrugs.... Shrink goes - So what's the problem?..... I say - People, people are the problem. This has got to be a unique story. This is real. You know it's real. It's not 'TrueBlood.' It's not just about the 'kill,' or vampire sex, though we touch on that too when it's ... part of the story. It's about life. It's about their life. It's about what happens when strange things happen to good people..... Tomas looks at me. I say - That's what I see.... He nods. Sarah looks like she's tearing up. But I can't tell. Might just be the reflection of the light..... I ask the guy. I go - Why won't people read it? ..... He says - Nobody reads it?...... I say - No, some do, but not enough....... Tomas smiles and adds - He wants to put us in the movies. Has a script. Most of it's real. Most of it's about us. But some of the details are different. (looks at me) What's it called again?..... Philadelphia After Dark - I go. I tell him how I sent it out to dozens of places. Most never responded, even via the handy enclosed response card. All they had to do was check off a box. I put a lot into those presentations. I researched just how it should be done. Well, maybe half responded. But always the same thing.... Thanks, but no thanks.... Because the only thing I didn't have in that presentation was a name. I didn't have a connection. I didn't have any recommendation. One guy, supposed to be real famous for 'always having his door open, so anybody with any kind of idea can drop in and talk,' a big producer partnered up with a real hot former actor who now just directs, does respond. Sends back a big, heavy stock envelope. I think - This is it..... But it ain't it. Some functionary in the legal department stuffs in all I sent, plus pages of their own saying - Don't contact us. You can never contact us. We will never read your material. We have not examined your material. We are not familiar with PHILADELPHIA AFTER DARK. We have not read... and then he outlines all the different story points they 'have not read.' Boy, did that feel weird. Much worse than a simple 'no thanks' on a response card. Agents send those back all the time... the ones who want traditional submissions through the mail anyway. Everybody tells me SOME will accept submissions without a big name 'who sent you'.... That's what they call the recommendations... 'who sent you's'....But I never found any. 

Shrink listened. Then he said - How does that make you feel?... I thought for a few heartbeats (picked that 'heartbeats' thing up from the night-folk) and said - Ignored. Smothered. Like they don't even sanction my right to live..... Shrink said - You have a choice. You can get used to that feeling, or take the power out of their hands.... 

We talked some more after that. Tomas asked a few questions too. He still has issues about surviving his mortal family. Over nine hundred years ago and he thinks about it almost every day.

Then it was over. Everybody shook hands. Tomas said - Don't forget your picture.... Guy goes - Are you sure?.... Tomas nods.... Shrink got issues too.... Takes the picture. Edith calls a cab and he goes. 

Tomas looks at me and says - Did that help you any?.... I said - Maybe, but it's not like I'm a musician. I can't play my instrument outside some big building. I got no guitar case to leave open. People gotta read it. At least look at it.

Well... even vampires don't know everything..... I told you this was real life.


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