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People are Strange – there’s a vampire song that says so.

FromTheDeskOfJanissSignatureOkay, so it isn’t REALLY a vampire song, but it is on a vampire soundtrack, and the band who wrote and performed it aren’t vampires (I think). As I’ve ventured out into social media recently, I’ve noticed an obsession with vampire lore…FOUR. That’s how many times I’ve written the word “vampire” so far, FIVE if you include the title.

What’s my point? It’s about something called the Vampire Community, places where (I’m not making this up) real vampires communicate with each other online. And demonkin. And otherkin. And elementals. If you’re still reading this, you’re probably thinking, “People believe this stuff is real?” I’ve wondered myself, specifically why anyone would want to be known as a vampire or demon or anything other than human.

I don’t wear my own mask as tightly as I should; my resident readers know this. I share this with all of you because I am seeking my own understanding – dying before coming back and all. It’s something I remember vividly and (unfortunately) now from more than my own point of view (long story). Short version: I had plans, I saw someone in need, and I paid for that throwaway act of kindness for all of eternity. Would I have done the same thing knowing what I do now? Probably; too few people help when they should. Am I bitter? Hell yeah, and I blame the bastard who did this to me (you know who I’m talking about).

But back to the point: why would anyone WANT to be this? To be seen or thought of as a vampire?

“You wouldn’t understand,” is the most common response I get, followed closely by, “You don’t know me.”

Let me try: you want attention, even if it’s negative.

I’m not judging. Not everyone gets to be the sports stars, the beautiful people, the cool kids, the musicians, or whoever you identify with. Sometimes we live vicariously through the lives of others; karaoke, anyone? Look at the entire music industry, or better yet “American Idol” (while you still can). Singing in the shower, singing in the car (even the lip-syncing cops are on You Tube singing Taylor Swift), or singing for your smart phone. Everyone wants to be on TV, right? Everyone wants to be wanted, accepted, and admired…to a certain degree.

But a vampire? Well, why not?

They’re the bad folks, the dangerous ones, with power to spare. No one admires a bully, but we do admire strength and confidence. Piercing eyes, a wild look styled to appear on the edge of losing control, and clothes that say look if you dare but don’t touch. Now it’s even body modification, a respect for the pain endured to earn every inch of ink and every piercing, the secret art that disappears up a sleeve or down someone’s back. Even if it isn’t your thing, it still creates fascination and wonder – it tantalizes.

There’s nothing wrong with identification. Be a cosplayer, be a goth, get inked or pierced.

The problem is when it goes too far.

You didn’t die and become immortal. You weren’t mystically transformed. Your blood hasn’t become a healing agent incapable of contracting or spreading disease. And sharing your bodily fluids with others because “you just know” nothing is wrong with it?

Don’t do that. For the love of whatever or whoever it is you love.

We get it. We wouldn’t like you when you’re angry. You can be whatever you tell yourself behind a screen and keyboard; it’s a form of roleplaying. No, I’ve never lived your life and all that…and you haven’t lived mine. We all crave that moment of acceptance, when someone else is willing to accept any would-be truth at face value without question. Of course, that kind of online talk is a lot more effective when you don’t sound like the Black Knight telling Arthur you’re invincible as he hacks off your arms and legs. Or maybe those kids from Dude, Where’s My Car wearing bubble-wrap jumpsuits in the hopes their cult leader Zoltan could get them to space parties with aliens who think they’re really cool.

Identify all you want, but stay grounded in the truth.

When you’ve been buried alive and your heart stops beating every sunrise; when you can prove you haven’t aged in almost a decade since your rebirth; when your craving for blood makes your eyes go completely black, your fangs elongate, and talons push an inch out from your fingertips in seconds – THEN you can tell me you’re a REAL vampire.

Until that time, don’t judge.

You don’t know me.

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