i'm fussy, i like my vampires sucky*
*or 'Just one of the reasons I hate 'Twilight' because, good Lord, I hate that book, but I'll spare you my actual list of reasons why because, rest assured, it would be massive.*
I was 20 when I met the boy known as The Vampire. I suppose he was 20, too, though, believing himself a vampire, he may have been 2,000 years old. And perhaps saying we met is a bit extreme, for we never actually met in person. Our paths crossed on a computer message board maintained by our tiny northwestern Missouri college. It was a Friday night, and where else would a 20 year old good girl who never drank illegally and treasured her virginity like a precious jewel kept under glass and a boy who believed himself Lord Of The Undead find themselves on the cusp of a weekend?
The Vampire. His username intrigued my roommate and me. Entering the board as Maurice (me - channeling Steve Miller's The Joker, my lack of creativity in full bloom) and New Cynsation (my roommate - earning a high five from me as I feebly attempted to contain my jealousy that her chosen pseudonym was a perfect play on words on INXS' hit, New Sensation), we sent the first missive inviting The Vampire into our world.
"Hello, Vampire! Does your Friday suck as much as ours?"
Oh, we were hilarious, New Cynsation and I, and we congratulated ourselves heartily on our clever wordplay, so sure we were our parents would be pleased to know how well spent their money was in our pursuit of journalism degrees.
Then the computer chimed, signalling a response.
"'Tis but another night I await to do my bidding. I am a vampire, weary from hours toiling among silly mortals. I crave the dark relief evening brings," The Vampire replied.
We spent hours that evening chatting with The Vampire. Questioning his habits. Apologizing for keeping him from his darkened hunt. Asking if blood tasted as tin-like as we imagined it must. "'Tis the nectar my blackened soul craves," he responded. If The Vampire was the hook and his words were the line, consider old Maurice and New Cynsation sunk. By the time the campus servers shut down for the night, we were convinced our dark lord was a magnificent creature on the other side of the quad. Was it possible he was just a loser like us, busting a gut with his floormates because he'd roped two lame girls into his web? Absolutely not!
We were thrilled when The Vampire asked that we continue our correspondence. The thrill grew when he deemed the electronic means we'd just used "too bourgeois," and suggested we "put quill to parchment" instead and share our words through campus mail. His first letter, filled with words like "doth," and "thou," was fantastic, poetic, and magical. He signed each one with love, and his signature was, plain and simply, The Vampire. Only it wasn't so plain and simple. No. Instead, the points of the 'm' were fashioned into pointy fangs from which drops of black ink blood pooled at the bottom of the notebook paper. From time to time, he'd extend the flourish on his 'e' and doodle a bat hanging from the end of it.
New Cynsation and I often tried to spy The Vampire, casing out his dorm, hoping we'd see him depart his room. I know what you're thinking, and yes, we tried smoking him out at night and in the daytime. We never once saw him that year. Ever. But we kept the allure alive with the letters and dedicating songs to him over our campus radio station. The obvious choice was always Concrete Blonde's Bloodletting (The Vampire Song). Embarrassing? Probably, but I had a friend who was a DJ, and when we asked him to say the song was dedicated from The Maidens, The Vampires chosen means of addressing us in his letters, he'd sigh and play along.
A couple years after we graduated, New Cynsation received a letter from The Vampire. It had been awhile since either of us had heard from the blood sucker. The letter was signed as they all had been, still no real name, but this time there was something new included in the envelope. A picture! Would our fantasy prince be dashing and dark? Towering and gorgeous?
Very much no.
Sure, The Vampire was pale. So very pale. Not because he was ethereal, avoided the sun in order to rise another day, nor because he needed the blood of a hapless stranger to fuel the fury in his soul. No. He was pale because his job as an accountant working at a desk housed within a cubicle left him pasty. And the red smudges on his chin? Were they the faded hemorrhagic remains of a victim or were they just acne scars. Let's take a closer look. Yep. Yep. That's an affirmative on the acne scars, New Cynsation.
Oh, but the best part was found on the back of the photo (which also included The Vampire's wife and adolescent stepson!). On the back of the photo was The Vampire's name. It was Mike.
Mike the Vampire. Which, wow, kind of sucked. No pun intended.
*OK, listen. I have a fondness for vampires that goes way back, so never doubt my love of those damn suckers, but I'll tell you one reason I hate 'Twilight' (which, yep, I know is just a story, a piece of fantasy, and if we were role playing and you were playing the part of a bookstore customer and I was playing the part of a bookseller, I'd preface this explanation with the words, "...but that's just my opinion, so..."). Vampires? They should be vicious! Deer sucking for sustenance? Really? Really? Oh, and look! You can go outside during the day! Isn't that special. Shred someone's face off, turn to a sloppy soup inside a coffin before the sun rises on the horizon, then come talk to me. Or try to bite my neck. Either way. Y'all can have your Edward Cullen. My heart's been staked by Kiefer Sutherland and Jason Patric in The Lost Boys. Now there's some hot undead.