“I’d like to first thank you all for agreeing to speak with me” I begin, shifting nervously in my seat. I’d invited three local vampires to come have a chat with me about life, death, immortality, and media representation, (for obvious reasons). They sat across from me, and seemed to share the same nervous energy I was feeling. “If I could have you each state your name and age please.”
“Uhhh, my name is Appius,” begins the man seated on the far left, “I became a vampire at the age of thirty during Marcus Aurelius’s reign of the Roman Empire, so I guess that would make me almost 2,000 years old.” ugh, boring. Marcus and his stoic philosophy. Why couldn’t it have been one of the interesting Roman Emperors who cared about important things: wealth and tyranny.
“What did you think of Commodus, Marcus’s son? Was it fascinating watching him disgrace the Empire?”
Appius awkwardly scratched at his arm, “I kind of spent my first century as a vampire on a random island in the mediterranean letting loose before rejoining civilization”
“…Okay, and you?” I turned to the young man next to him.
“My name is Walter, and I’m seventeen”
I took a sharp inhale, here was my moment: “How long have you been seventeen, Walter?”
“Just over a year, actually. I was turned last month”
“Why are you dressed like an old man, then?”
He looked down at his knit sweater and baggy trousers, “I just like the look, I guess. I’ve always felt like an old man in my heart, which… I guess I’ll never actually get to be…” Okay, now he’s just ruining the vibes. I turned to the women next to him, the last of the three, who seemed to get the hint.
“Don’t worry, kid. You’re lucky, you get to stay young and spry forever, unlike me who’s been stuck with an old woman’s bones for three centuries. I’m Bertha, I was turned during the Salem witch trials and got out of being burned at the stake by sucking dry the men who threatened me. And no, I’m not talking about their blood,” at this, Bertha winked. “Nowadays you can often find me on church street, I’m the owner of Bertha Church, the lingerie store.” Wow, we love a sex-positive feminist icon.
“Thank you, Bertha.” I looked down at my notes for my next question, “yes, how do I smell?”
“Like you need a shower” replied Appius, and the others grunted their agreement. Awkwardly I tucked my nose toward my arm-pit and took a sniff. They had a point.
“Yeah, we prefer a clean victim. You wouldn’t want to eat unwashed meat, would you?”
“I’m vegetarian” They all rolled their eyes at that. “Next question: what is the process like? Being turned into a vampire, I mean”
“Not as homoerotic as you might think” Walter responded.
“Yeah, it’s really awkward, actually” Bertha chimed in, “Both for the one doing the turning, and the one being turned. There’s nowhere to put your hands in a way that doesn’t make it weird.”
“But it looks so sexy in Twilight!” I argued, distraught at this revelation.
“Twilight got it wrong” Bertha replied, “They got a lot wrong, actually. Sparkling in the sun? Nope, just a bad sunburn.”
Disappointed, I thanked them for their time, and accepted a coupon to Bertha’s store.
Categories: Emily mattison, interviews, oct. 26, vol 25