What is it with vampires and roses, anyway?

When did I first awaken, and what sort of problems did I have?

I wish I could say that it was sudden, but it wasn’t. My life has been more of a gradual unfolding – like the petals of a rose. It is for this reason that I use roses on my own home page to symbolize vampirism.

I know that roses have a Gothic and vampiric overtone thanks to the marketing efforts of White Wolf Studios, who put a rose on the cover of Vampire: The Masquerade and thereby cemented the image in the minds of lifestyle vampyres forever, but for me the symbolism is more personal.

Roses take time to grow. They are fragile and must be nurtured or else they will not bloom; the bush might survive, but even the bush itself is not exactly hardy, although it has thorns that protect it and therefore give the appearance of hardiness. When a rose starts to bud and bloom, it has an intensely carnal appeal, with its seductive and heady fragrance and its velvety feel (especially the hybrid roses, natural hedge roses don’t always have that fragrance, and the flowers look less obviously sexual).

A rose in full bloom looks positively wanton.

Then it withers and dies, leaving only a memory – but after a sleep and a winter, the buds will appear again, if nothing goes wrong to stop their growth.

So too the vampire. I do not believe in immortality, save the immortality of the spirit – sooner or later, everything dies. I am not sure whether I have an unusually long lifespan or not, it’s a little too early to tell, but I believe in spirit and I believe that I will reincarnate after death. I have some vague past life memories and am not sure they come from the collective unconscious or from actual past lives, but I was a soldier in many lives, and why would I reincarnate as a soldier unless I wanted blood? Fighting a war sucks. Only a vampire, a fool, or a psychopath would want to reincarnate over and over again to such a life. I would like to think that I am the former, and that I reincarnated as a soldier because of blood lust.

And I am sexual. Lately my sex drive has been severely diminished, probably due to burn-out more than to physical problems (I have myalgic encephalomyelitis, also known as CFIDS) but I used to feed primarily during sexual contact. I was like a succubus. I’d go on the prowl for lovers, nearly always getting what I wanted and having to turn down ten times as many suitors as I accepted – and I have had more lovers than I can count, it’s a good thing I worship latex or I would have contracted an STD of some sort – and I would get high off their passion and sensation, leaving them drained and exhausted while I bounced off the walls. I have had two lovers who actually slipped into unconsciousness or whose hearts stopped briefly while I was feeding. That was a little scary. The main reason I started drinking blood was that it became available, but I think I also got too scared of my own ability to drain people and decided to get what I needed in a safer, easier way. With blood, all you have to worry about is how clean the blood is.

I am, therefore, a briar rose – I am a Sleeping Beauty that awakened to my inner nature, just as we all do eventually.

A rose.

The awakening was very slow, and I don’t know when it started. When I was four years old, I asked my father where I came from before I was born. He told me. I thought he was lying and promptly forgot his answer. I hadn’t been asking about sex, I wasn’t interested in biology – I had vague memories and wanted to know why I couldn’t remember more. Angels were somehow involved. I had a strong feeling that I really was cheated when I’d been born human. Why didn’t I have wings, and why couldn’t I be one of them instead of trapped here on this Earth? Something just didn’t feel right.

When I was a little older, my theory mutated a little – I had read books about fairies and I decided that i was a changeling. Certainly my parents couldn’t be my real parents – and far more significantly, I was too weird and different and abnormal to be anything but a fairy changeling.

I saw a NOVA special about vampires at age nine and was so terrified that I could not sleep with the closet door open, or with any part of my body below the neck uncovered. Believe it or not, I had absolutely no interest in vampires whatsoever until i read Anne Rice at age 19, and even then, I thought that _Interview With A Vampire_ was about the loneliness of being an intellectual outcast, about having forbidden sexual needs and being guilty about them – Anne Rice was to me a modern Herman Hesse. (I only read the first book of the series. I didn’t read the others until I had decided that I was a vampire, and wanted to read more about them) Until I decided that I must be a vampire, I had no interest in them whatsoever. My interest was in fairies, angels, and demons. I liked AD&D and fantasy books largely because of that interest in “other people.” Aliens, on the other hand, didn’t really interest me too much – if anything, they scared me the same way vampires did. The reason I mention this is that there is a hypothesis fashionable in some circles that vampires are actually people who have alien blood in them, and that the myths of angels, demons, and fairies came about because of aliens. I am not sure I believe it, I’m a skeptic and the very possibility of vampirism was something I found hard to accept, but I won’t rule the hypothesis out.

By the time I hit puberty I was having a miserable time of it. The onset of puberty gave me a nervous breakdown and terrible depression. I pulled myself out of it only to discover a loneliness so intense that I could not breach it even when I was among close friends. Sometimes the loneliness hurt, other times I enjoyed it. I would look out at the stars on a wintry night and feel the world and all its complications slipping away from me, and be overwhelmed by a sense of longing, only I didn’t know what I longed for. I would go for long walks in the park and find a tree to sit under, and mediate on the nature of God. I wanted to remove myself, and yet connect myself…I didn’t know what it was that I wanted, really, but the search kept me going. It felt good.

My boyfriend of the time compared me to a black hole.

At age 19 I started developing an affinity for healing by the laying on of hands, and other acts of magic and “psychic activity.” I have no idea how to explain magic, so I won’t try. As far as I’m concerned it’s like a microwave: I don’t know how microwave ovens work, but I use them all the time to nuke my lunch. Psychic abilities, on the other hand, are to me a function of right-brained thought and an ability to tap the unused subconscious – most people are trained out of intuitiveness and so do not know how to be prophetic, or empathic, or so in touch with their bodies that they can alter their temperature slightly or tell their health just by feeling inside, or automatically know which way is north or what time it is. At any rate, I developed a strong proclivity and ability for such things. I also worked with friends who were into witchcraft and psychic stuff, and I noticed that my way of doing things was very, very different from their way of doing things. My magic was always intensely sexual – my personal energy was frequently fueled by my libido, and working magic made me horny rather than draining me. Charms I made for other people often made them horny. People who tried to work with me in circles said that I was eating the energy. I had become sexually active by this time, and noticed that I got charged from activity – also that i often liked to pick fights because I found them exhilirating.

Somewhere around age 20 or so I think I finally decided that I was some sort of succubus or vampire. I had a couple of lovers who noticed it in me, and it sounded right.

At age 21, I met a young woman who had just started attending a local college. Her name was Michelle, she had a boyfriend named David, and she introduced herself as a vampire. She said that I was the only person to not fear her, consider her crazy, or worship her upon hearing this revelation. I in turn found her fascinating. She differed from me in many ways. She was asexual – I was hypersexual. She had problems with food – I loved food. She was violently photosensitive and got the shakes at every dawn – I liked sunlight in limited quantities, although I’d always been nocturnal.

Come to think of it, at the time I thought of myself as a succubus of sorts, and not a vampire; then things changed when I was involved in a small orgy with her, her boyfriend, and some of our other close friends. Her boyfriend and I were making out passionately and we both bit each other and exchanged blood.

Oh, boy, did I like that. Yum. I’d never considered that before. It was only a tiny drop, but so what? Yum. Oh yes, and my “psychic” abilities got much more sensitive, and I started getting dawn shakes and photosensitivity too, and I got thirsty a lot more often, and I was a lot more aware of what I did when I drained them of energy, and I started thinking a lot more about blood, and I got really interested in vampires because I wanted to find myself.

It was interesting.

Ironically, over the years Michelle grew more interested in sex (especially BDSM, which she had shunned) and grew less interested in blood, which used to obsess her; whereas I got bored with always being like a succubus, and I grew more and more interested in blood…

After Michelle, my interest in vampires, and my vampiric tendencies, increased dramatically. The next major step was when I started getting blood regularly. I had a lover who I would dig my fingernails into and scratch every night, and his endorphins were so efficient that he never felt any pain. His blood tasted like mangoes. I didn’t feed regularly on blood until last year, when I got involved with a lover in England who just happened to give me blood when I asked for it – and more than I’d ever had before, so much so that I became as high as a kite, and could feel his soul running through my veins. Intoxicating. I’m surprised I didn’t get sick – once I indulged for a full twenty minutes and managed to get about two mouthfuls, which really should have made me vomit but maybe I’d built up a tolerance or had some solid food in my stomach or something.

Problems. Hmm. The most obvious is lack of opportunity to feed – I’ve been very lucky, my lovers have usually been kinky enough that I could draw blood by biting, scratching, or whipping. However, I also have a tendency to get into long distance relationships, and there are times that i go hungry for long stretches because gosh, i don’t drink blood from just anyone, even if it weren’t for the threat of AIDS, syphilis, etc I still think it’s an intimate activity that shouldn’t be shared with just anyone. Intimate emotionally and spiritually, as opposed to sexually – I don’t get off on it unless my partner is doing something to other parts of my body, and sometimes I find that an annoying distraction, just show me the blood already, I’m not interested in romance…Blood for me represents the stuff of life itself. It carries the soul: no two people are the same or taste the same, I can tell so much about a person just by taste alone. I don’t know why, and I’m not going to attempt an explanation because I’m not sure there is one. I stopped going to church at about the same time my parents disowned me for being a bisexual witch and a disgrace to the family, but I come from a background of Anglicanism which takes the Catholic viewpoint that the bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Christ, and now i take Communion regularly because the blood of my donors nourishes my soul and helps me find spiritual peace. I see God in everybody and in every living thing now (I prefer the old-fashioned term “God” to “The Force,” “energy,” or “life force;” I would probably speak of “the Tao” if I were Chinese, but I’m not Chinese) and I drown myself in it as often as I can, and believe me, it is an act of worship.

Other obvious problems include food allergies, other allergies, photosensitivity, weakness when I don’t feed, and a certain emotional instability, all of which can be easily explained by the fact that I have a chronic health problem which probably has nothing to do with the vampirism whatsoever – although based on the number of vampires I’ve encountered who have CFIDS, systemic lupus, Sjogren’s syndrome, severe allergies, porphyria, etc, I do think that vampires might be more prone to autoimmune inflammatory disorders. Many of these diseases have a genetic link and are not just contracted via retrovirus, so maybe vampirism is a result of a recessive gene. I’m not sure anymore about us being the next fork on the tree of human evolution (whether “homo superior” or a dead end branch like the Neanderthals) because science has now shown evolution to be sudden rather than slow and gradual. If a mutant is to be “the next step,” the mutant will be very different…will have gills, wings, nictating membranes on the eyes, whatever, and will look truly bizarre. We look like everybody else. Some of us aren’t even porcelain white!

Then there’s the “I’m weird and I can’t talk about myself in mixed company” problem, which can be said of most countercultural minorities, and the “the world doesn’t run on my schedule” problem, which is common for all people who are naturally nocturnal, not just vampires.

I can’t really think of anything else.

And surely I have rambled on long enough


Categorized as vampire

By The Evil Cheezman

Purveyor of sacred truths and purloined letters; literary acrobat; spiritual godson of Edgar Allan Poe, P.T. Barnum, and Ed Wood; WAYNE MILLER is the head architect of EVIL CHEEZ PRODUCTIONS, serving up the finest in entertainment and edification for the stage, the page, and the twain screens, silver and computer. He is the axe-murderer who once met Andy Griffith.