It possibly wouldn’t entirely surprise you to learn that I wasn’t a conventional child. Whether that’s because of quirky genetics or being raised under a “children should be seen and not heard” regime , I’m not sure. But I was quiet, thoughtful and reflective – more loner than lonely – and to be honest that suited me just fine and dandy. I wasn’t withdrawn or antisocial either – I just liked my own company and my peculiar little interests.
One of which was death. Not “Goodness, why are all the neighbourhood cats ending up skinned lately, doesn’t that strike you as a bit odd?” psychopathically unhinged, but it didn’t scare me. Obviously though, the process of dying itself was a different matter, and something I didn’t want to dwell on. I wasn’t stupid – I knew the chances of dying by chocolate ice cream overdose were pretty slim, but I was willing to commit to giving it my best shot.
I can’t remember when I read my first piece of vampire fiction, or saw my first undead movie, but I’d put good money on it being roundabout when puberty kicked in. You can talk all you like about the neck being an erogenous zone, about domination and submission, about biting being a penetration metaphor, but bottom line … vampires are hot. They combine the beauty of eternal youth with the seductive lure of experience, and traditionally they’re raw merciless predators who are hell-bound on being sinfully hedonistic. Yum.
Casting aside the all-night orgies down the blood bank, what exactly does the (un)life of a vampire consist of though? Not dying, and attempting to not die over an extended period. Hell, I’m doing that already ! Give or take 40 years or so and I’ll probably be happy to call it quits… so the thought of trudging on, albeit in a spritely and spiky-toothed incarnation, doesn’t really appeal.
Don’t I want to live forever ? Immortality is a curse, not a gift. To watch the slow decay of age in those nearest to you, to watch them wither and die and to still go on? I think I’ll pass, thanks. I imagine losing a child is devastating whether they’re 9 or 90. I believe in the natural order of things. When it’s my time and I hear the tinny jingle of the frozen dessert truck being parked outside by the grim reaper I won’t resist. I will throw open the door and serenely offer my 5 litre bucket to be filled, and yes, I would like extra nuts and a flake please.