Monday, January 4, 2016


True, bone chilling cold descends upon the city. Steam rises from manholes and other street level grates.  The air feels like shattered glass and I love it. The heart of winter is here. Those about at this hour huddle in coffee shops and all night deli's, reading their fortunes in vapors rising from big bowls of thick, split pea and ham soup, or cut up all beef hot dogs if they like it like that. Some just have coffee, either for economic reasons, or the zen like purity of it. I walk by. If you're sensitive to it, and inside, you might feel the fresh from the dishwasher tableware in the racks vibrate a little. Vampires can cause that....

Have I 'culled' anyone tonight?... No, Jonathon ben Macabi, also known as Tomas de Macabea, hasn't kissed or killed anybody. I just walk and I just think. I hear the oud (medieval large guitar-mandolin combination) music of old Cordoba. How soothing it was. We'd sit in aristocratic halls, either Muslim, or Christian, or Jewish, sipping sweetened wines, precursors to Brandy or Sherry, while Andalician Gypsy girls danced ancient flamencos. How I long for the staccato beats of the fiery castanets.

That was my world.... No, you don't realize what I mean. You don't understand how fundamental it is. That was 'my' world.... And it still is. Yes, I have witnessed and absorbed the breath of other lands. I know Britain and Muscovy, Byzantium and The Levant.... I know Philadelphia. For over three hundred and fifty years (before the English, since the Swedes and Dutch) I have been at home here, though I still often dream in various old Iberian dialects, both mortal and life-eater.

We had orange groves and between the trees there were rows of aloe plants. Sometimes I'd walk the horses up and down the rows. Sundown was magic. Tiny bells tinkled on the bridle. I felt close to God then.

I want to go back. Look, maybe I've always wanted to go back. They say vampires always long for the surroundings of their mortal life. And I think that's true. We hide it. We deny it. We pretend we're changed. We pretend it doesn't matter. But everything matters. It all comes together. We can't help it. That's just the way it is..... Old people remember their childhoods and devoted wives instantly brighten whenever someone calls them by their 'maiden' name.

We long for the familiar.....

I realized that last night. We were watching Downton Abbey. The show is a drug to me. Ask me why. I can't say. At least I can't put it into words. But the heart of the story gets through to me.... A family... Their land... Their 'seat' (ancestral house)... Their lives... (sighs) Well, I suppose I have put it into words.

And I've watched it since the beginning, only now it's the final season. Six years isn't enough for a vampire..... Oh, God! Time is so different for us. I don't think I can make you understand that. A ninety year old, or a centenarian might have the barest inkling.... or parents watching their first little toddler grow up. It all happens so fast... baby clothes barely worn.... infant toys packed away.

We want it to last. We want it to mean something... We want to taste it and taste it and taste it and never let go. How can one mortal lifetime be enough? That's the funny part. I long for my own mortal childhood and youth, yet it's such a small part, temporally speaking, of who I am.... though it goes so deep.... (sniff)

Have I been mumbling to myself while we've been walking?.... There's a place near here. They have Yemeni coffee. We had Yemeni coffee when I was a boy. I want some.... How fundamentally cold it is.

He stops channeling. Billy stops typing...The usual 'ending' stuff appears on the screen. I guess he types that. But I'm just a disembodied spirit who helps narrate this thing.... What the hell do I know?

<more next time>


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