I found myself in a small outdoor bar called the Coffin Club, elegantly titled because the bar itself was ringed by a selection of coffins to be used as tables. The theme was, of course, vampires, and the young men behind the bar sported tight leather pants and appallingly bad face paint. Their faces were caked with a horrid mix of white and blue, I suppose trying to play up the corpse look that people attribute to vampires, a sort of sunken pallor that matches death.
When I sat myself at the bar, a young man clad in vampire uniform and hair spiked up, sulked up to the bar in front of me and almost draped himself over the coffin that sat between us. He slunk against the counter and gave me his best and most threatening vampire glare. I was by this point too amused to consider leaving. So, I read his tag pinned to a shimmering purple shirt and layered leather vest: Tristan. Playing his part like a dedicated method actor, staring at me with a dark glare under his hooded eyes.
I ordered what their drink list called “Vampire Martini,” which came in the most entertaining glass. The bottom of the cup contained a small light and button, which, when pressed, lit the entire glass blood red. When this Vampire Tristan gave me my drink, he leaned against the counter again, both arms spread and hips tipped to the side just so. The novelty was so impressive that I decided to play the game and I leaned forward into his space. I asked him, “are your fangs real?”
I have seen very good fang replications. I have known people who have gotten their teeth filed (which I do not recommend), teeth capped, fitted, or worn disposable fangs purchased online. Some of the fake fangs I have seen are quite convincing and do well with a normal night of wear, including talking, eating, and drinking. His looked well fitted and I had to assume therefore of a professional craft.
Instead of answering, he looked at me with the same brooding expression and replied, “Are yours?”
It never fails. This world, so diverse, that hiding has become merely standing in the open, never denying or revealing. I could answer his question with an honest and sincere “yes,” and he would not run screaming. There would be no terror, no scenes from black and white horror movies of being driven from my home by angry peasants brandishing pitchforks and torches.
I have never been hurt by humans. Those frail creatures, all of you, so divinely delicate and fascinating. It has only ever been my kind, those who see me for what I am or imagine how I must be.
Such faithless faith in human nature. Even those who say that they believe in God still rely on facts, science, and the natural world. If I were to say to someone, “I am a vampire,” they would imagine me mentally ill. Never for a second would most of them entertain the idea that I may truly be, and even those that did would discard the nagging sensation in favour of their common and so logical sense.
This is an age to enjoy.