Thursday, January 1, 2015

Night-Folk Observe The Human Condition... 1/1/15

I will cross over to my old 'home.' I will re-assume the burden of vampirism soon... But not this night... not this 'Eve' of The Trinitarian New Year. This night I go forth once more and Sarah goes with me. I enjoy walking the streets on nights like this. Holidays reveal the truth of things. The convenient numbness of ordinary dates is swept away, replaced by heightened sensitivity and emotions. Sometimes this temporary condition tilts toward the good, as it does during Christmas, or Passover time, or even the universality of a 'hot dogs for everybody' town square Independence Day. But more often than not 'they' (people) just become more full of themselves and aware of their own desires.

It's cold and crisp. The stars are bright. The firmament is so precise, I can see scuff marks on the surface of the moon, though I am not privy to who, or what made them. Center City is alive. Twenty somethings flit from club to club. Tittering girls hug their naked arms and shoulders, as they tap-tap along in high heels. A few intelligent examples bring their coats. Fathers would be so pleased. Their gelled up dandies are little better... shirttails out, cuffs rolled back, yelling to all the 'bros' and 'dudes' in loud, artificially lowered voices (what's the opposite of falsetto?). Some carry bottles of beer. 

Older revelers huddle in high priced booths, hidden from the masses in palatial dining salons selling status and meat to the rich and almost rich. They laugh at jokes from last night's talk show monologues, drink fifteen dollar cocktails and suck bits of flesh from between their teeth. I could watch them for hours. There's an oblivious complacency about them, like the court at Versailles before the fall. Though this crew would probably mutate rather than disappear.

But tonight we look for other souls.... scared people... threatened people... struggling people. They buy party fare in mean bodegas and convenience stores (convenient for whom?) for familial get togethers in rude walk-ups, or crumbling narrow row houses.... a box of doughnuts... a bag of chips... perhaps an artificial tasting, chemical laden 'dip.'

We drop paper money where they will find it. How wide their eyes grow. How quick their hands move. A 'twenty' here. A 'C' note there. Some grow furtive, lest neighbors see and 'try something.' Others continue smooth as silk. A pound or two of tavern ham beats canned Vienna Sausages any day. We don't judge. 

One girl, foreign, East Indian, I think she was, though dressed in 'skinny' jeans and grimy shearling boots, was happy. She approached the counter with two scratch-off lottery tickets. The slacker clerk, deep in a convo with visiting colleagues about the merits of this or that rolling paper tried to avoid her. He looked. They all did, what with her long, dark wavy hair and that little diamond chip in her nose. She tried not to notice. Finally, after thoroughly exhausting the academic ins and outs of rolling papers, he turns to the girl and says - Yeah?...  She shows him the scratch-offs and says - May I please redeem these for the money?.... Clerk says - I-I-I can't help you. You gotta do it in the machine (they have a completely incomprehensible, digital gambling machine.) Get a voucher. Bring it back and I'll cash it.... Girl goes - I do not know how to work that type of machine. The other one, the lady often helps me. Could you please help me?.... He looks at the tickets... two of them... each good for one hundred and fifty dollars. I suppose he didn't like that. Why should he help her get three hundred dollars? His friends didn't like it either. I could tell by their faces... dull, flat, expressionless hate.... He says - Nope, can't leave the register. Go read the instructions. You can't read the instructions?   

She takes her tickets and goes to the machine. Sarah and I pretend to browse containers of hummus, but we watch and we listen. The slight, small girl reads the screen and scans her tickets. She has her heart set on the  money. I can tell. Though five heartbeats later she moans. The machine doesn't care about her either. The screen says - Three hundred dollars has been credited to your balance. Didn't even let her pick her game. Just spat out a whole tray full of ordinary, daily number 'quick picks.'... She blanched and sighed, whispering - No.. no.. no.... Then she found a bit of courage and called for the clerk. She said - Excuse me. It scanned my tickets and gave me all this..... Clerk comes over. NOW he comes over. He goes - You must have picked that.... She pleads - No. I told you I did not understand this machine. I told you that. Can you switch it? Can you cancel it? Please, can you help me?... His friends at the coffee station take it all in too. Clerk goes - Nope. Lottery's a whole different thing. You gotta call them..... The girl doesn't know what to do. I think she came out to buy treats for her family for New Year's Eve and all. Why they'd send her, I don't know. Maybe the others are children, or older people who can't speak English?.... One of the guys by the coffee station yells - Turn it over. There's an eight hundred number on the back... She doesn't understand. Clerk shakes his head. Guy yells again. She takes one of the papers and looks. Clerk says - You got a cell phone?... Anyone could see the store phone right on the counter but he didn't offer it.

If I didn't take vows. If I was a vampire already, I'd kill all three of those guys.... By now the girl's crying. No, weeping would be a better word. She's standing there, staring. She doesn't know what to do.... Clerk says - I don't know what to tell you. Call 'em. You got a phone..... Then he just sits there.

Sarah slips an emerald ring off her finger. She looks at me. I pass her a few hundred dollar bills. She rolls them and puts them in the ring. Then she taps the girl who sniffs and looks up. Sarah holds up 'the gift.' The ring's got to be worth at least nine thousand dollars, not counting the three hundred in cash. Girl doesn't say a word. 'Vampire eyes' can do that. The other three creeps don't look. They think it's funny. They don't want to do anything for her. Sarah nods. The girl takes the ring and the money and stuffs it in her pocket. Sarah whispers - Go... The girl runs out. She did take her Daily Number tickets. Hope she wins plenty. We slipped out too.

Maybe I won't kill that clerk...but I can scare him plenty. Late nights in that place will never be the same again.

Wait til I cross over. Wait til I begin to sublimate. Wait til he starts seeing things.

That's how it goes.... 'Wait.'..... Everything is 'wait.'

Maybe this year will be different?... Happy New Year....

Have a good one...


google Vampire Wonderland by Billy Kravitz, then ad practically ANY word to it and see where it takes you... fun way to explore the 'archives.' possibilities are endless. like a game.
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