I am not alone.
There was a time — a very short one — where I had foolishly considered I might be the only Vampire left in the world. It was an irrational thought born out of fear for others, that maybe my own destruction would ensure what happened to me couldn’t happen to anyone else.
I vowed never to create another of my kind. I’m proud to say I’ve kept that promise.
Since then, I’ve met and learned about other immortals, the survivors who’ve figured out how to subsist with humanity instead of draining it. As you can imagine, we each have a personal code of conduct, the things we will or won’t do, the imaginary lines we won’t cross.
As a result, we judge each other harshly. One of the things I’m most self-conscious about is how young I look. It’s been almost eight years yet I still look twenty-two; people in a close community tend to notice things like that. “You’ll figure it out,” the others tell me, “allowing yourself to age. We all do it.”
What I really hear is this: “Youth and talent are no match for age and treachery.”
Forget all that Anne Rice, Armand, and eternal-child Claudia stuff. While modern mortal culture champions remaining young forever and fighting age every step of the way, Vampires embrace it, settling on a later middle-age where they maintain a beautiful yet mature appearance. When you’re immortal, fifty is the new twenty, and people tend to dismiss someone who looks fifty-something for two decades than a twenty-two year old who hasn’t aged for twenty years. If you have ten times the strength, energy, and fortitude of a virile twenty-something, why look like a Spring Break party-goer when you can appear sophisticated, regal, and easily vanish into a crowd as a non-threat?
For the seducers among us, it’s not just about being the bait but enticing victims with the promise of learning a new trick or two from someone with experience. Think Lauren Hutton in Once Bitten — without the fully functional Vampire lair — and you’re on the right track.
Cougars with actual fangs.
Where’s all this coming from? Maybe because I’m heading toward thirty?
Oh, poor me, stuck looking twenty-two…how horrible, right?
Or maybe it’s that vow thing, the one I haven’t broken. All the personal code stuff.
I have some serious things to think about this year.
Keep each other safe.