You wake up in a house that’s not yours. What do you do? Don’t panic.
The recliner that I’m lying on is not even a recliner. It has a goth art deco style to it. I had to climb out of it to stand up. The room is black. Black walls. Black tables. Black everything. How incredibly depressing. I can tell you this place is definitely not mine.
The clothes on me are fine. They’re mine. Know the type. Blue jeans. Boots from the Gap. White Tee. Incredibly generic. Well, because I am generally… let’s just say it. I’m boring. Nothing really ever happens to me. Except for that time in second grade. Lisa had a crush on me and got nervous and threw up on my lap. Somehow I become known as puke pants. Children are strange.
Wallet. I pat my hips and feel for my wallet. It’s safe in my back pocket. A relief. There’s a few bills inside. What a sad sight I am. My ID says Samuel Jenkins. How’d you end up here, Samuel? I’m a poor son of a bitch. Maybe I should get a new job.
The windows are practically boarded up. What the hell time is it anyway? My watch says 5:45. Must be winter. Or fall. I can see light beyond the locked up shutters. And that tickle in the back of my throat. Ugh… you better not be getting sick, Samuel.
I get my jacket and keys and wonder what animal the owners had locked up in this place.
Much better. Outside. New York. That city you heard that never sleeps. In case your like me and your insomnia is temporarily healed. Otherwise, give up and stay wired all night.
I tried everything doctors told me. Changed my diet. I’m that jackass vegan you love to make fun of. Look, sleeping is a thing I enjoy and I’m willing to do anything to get it.
I sit at a local spot. Their vegan salad is delightful. It’s got everything a body actually needs. I scoop the lettuce up and chew.
Something’s wrong. Something is very very wrong.
My tongue forces itself out of my mouth and waits for gravity to take hold of the leaves sitting on my tastebuds. What is happening. This isn’t a cheap meal. This has got craisins, almonds, kale, sesame seeds and shredded cheese and for some reason it tastes like sandpaper. I don’t understand. I’m a master at this. It probably didn’t help that I tried a second time and I made an involuntary sound from my inside. Dry heaving? Gagging? Cursing?
I know when I’m not wanted. The food was terrible. And the service. I paid for something that was inedible. Shame really. that’s how it starts. Once bad review and it all comes down.
This experience taught me one thing. Nothing lasts forever. And I’m still hungry.
I circled the same spots that I frequent until I realized something simple. I don’t want salad. F*** insomnia. I want food. I sit myself down and order the biggest burger. I wait twenty minutes for my order and take one bite. Waitress did a double take. No good. I couldn’t put my finger on it. I sat back. I had the same reaction with the salad. She winked. Tina. Pretty girl. She said she knew what I liked. She said I looked like a medium rare kind of guy. I had never tried it. She smiled and spun around. 10 minutes later she has a juicy burger. One bite and I’m able to stomach it. But it’s missing something. Tina winks and comes back with a rare burger. One bite and I feel better than before. How could this be? This gut instinct. I asked for the burger. Not cooked.
I’ve never felt so full in my life. Well, to be clear, the cook made it a point to make eye contact with me from the kitchen. They were yelling about health code violations, but I’m a New Yorker. Damn it all.
After I had finished my food (realizing that it was barely dead and licking the plate clean of all the sauce that was left) I had grown thirsty. Tina, she had been at my beck and call. The restaurant cleared out, complete with disgusted faces. Their loss. That was the best damn burger in the city. In existence. I don’t see what the big deal is.
One glass. Two glasses. Three. Three glasses of water. I laughed melodically. Nothing was working.
Tina, she’s loving this. She’s never had a customer like me. She wants very much to satisfy my desires, but the water wasn’t working.
I smacked dishes off the table. How theatrical of me. Where was this coming from?
I drew to the door. Faster than I noticed my feet move. Out to the street. The night air. crisp. Wonderful. I was driven. The thirst within me. The urge.
Tina. The poor woman. She followed me thirteen blocks. I know. I counted. My eyes drinking every electrolyte infused energy I could get my hands on. Each one tasted worse than the last.
Finally, Tina leapt into my arms. Somehow we ended up on a rooftop. I do not know how. But wow. She looked ravishing. Yes. Her red lipstick… I was attracted it. Delightful. Her black dress laid bare all her succulent limbs. Yes. Yes. My mouth watered. Perhaps she… she would quench my urge. My thirst.
I took her. I grabbed the back her skull and waist and drew her in. Her lips parted as she breathed raspily. I kissed her. Over and over and… no. This is not what I wanted. This was terrible. A travesty? I was certain Tina would quench my urge.
I sat in the corner, moping. What have I missed.
Until it occurred to me. Yes. The drip on my lip. The tip of finger wiped the corner of my lip. I licked with my spit. What is this? Heavens! What is this… ecstasy I feel? The drip. The drop. It’s red.
Whose blood? Certainly not mine. Tina. Yes. Tina. Her blood was intoxicating. Why was this happening? She sat before me, facing me, daring me to move forward. To continue.
I found my hands on her body, the way you would a turkey Thanksgiving dinner.
What is this, I wonder?
Oh shit. I’m a vampire.
“What’s wrong,” Tina asked.
I dropped her limb like a rag doll and threw my arms together. How did this happen to me?
Tina started to hyperventilate. She asked me a million things at once. I tongued the tip of my fangs. How sharp. That’s when she said it.
“Just stay with me, until the sun rises.”
My eyes widened. “Nope!”
I leapt over her. The time! I lost track of the time. I was so far home.
“Wait, where are you going,” she said as she struggled to face me. “Will I see you again?”
My stomach grumbled. “Your future is looking dim,” I said. Her shoulders drooped. “But maybe. I just am too hungry to think. And I need to get to bed or else…”
She mumbled under her breath about the twilight hour. I shuddered under the thought of it. Twilight. I bared my fangs and flew out the door.
As I flung back into my coffin in the strange house I woke up in I wondered if I’d ever see the sun again, or I’d love anything I didn’t want to eat. In this strange place, I was free to live out this new life in complete seclusion. That was fair. Vampires don’t feel anything. Right?