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Blood sport

September 28th, 2018 Leave a comment Go to comments

Vampires are always portrayed as dangerous yet seductive, threatening but romantic, and it couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s not that there’s nothing sexy about prowling the night, or being magically outside of the aging process and forever young. Those are perks, to be sure, but these storytellers routinely turn a blind eye to the day-to-day experience of the undead and the plight that accompanies it. Mystery sells better than reality, I get that, but it can be frustrating to witness so many fundamentally misunderstand our existence.

One of the most obvious oversights, of course, is the nature of our blood consumption. Authors would have you believe that every evening of ours is spent wooing the most beautiful member of the opposite sex, lying in wait for the perfect opportunity alone with them, and then striking, siphoning that delicious blood from the fountain of the jugular. That’s a riveting story, but one that deliberately ignores all of the problems that come afterward. In the movies, it’s just another character gone, while we return to the comfort of our coffins, though real life is so much more than that.

For starters, you have to dispose of the body. I’ve been around a long time and know several tricks to accomplishing this, but bear in mind it’s a daily exercise. That’s a lot of corpses to hide from local authorities, and when one is invariably discovered, one of the first suspects is typically the person no one ever sees except when they’re slinking about the streets at midnight. Even steering clear of the debutantes and mayor’s sons and preying upon those society cares about far less isn’t the relief one might think. Dragging those lifeless bodies around is still a much bigger chore than is ever acknowledged, never mind the actual dispensing part.

Vampire social circles are nothing like they’re portrayed in fiction either – we rarely socialize with one another – but from the scattered moments I’ve had a chance to discuss this with others of my ilk, their stories are the same. We’ve all created our own individual coping mechanisms for the daily grind of murdering the living by sucking out their life force. Some mentioned thinking of the process as playacting, where they pretend nothing is real and they’re on the heels of a notorious criminal, determined to bring him or her to justice. Others talked about a religious rite, where they prefer to imagine the entire to do is in service of some higher power.

Both of these are nonsensical as far as I’m concerned, though I concede I employ some of the same fantastical thoughts to get through the day and the gruesome routine. To me, it’s a game. Some days I’ll look for the most rotund fellow I can locate, or the tallest. Other nights I’ll refuse to take a victim until I discover one with a green scarf, or yellow shoes, something challenging that keeps me engaged beyond simply lusting for blood. Being undead requires some creativity to maintain your sanity, and if lying to ourselves helps get there, I fail to see a problem. You’ve been lying to yourself about us all this time too.

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