I posted a picture of my holiday meal on Thanksgiving: a warm turkey-themed mug filled to the brim with my favorite nutritional supplement. Some people thought it was animal blood or some other creature.
Nope: pure grade-A human.
Several, actually; it takes five willing donors to measure up to 500 milliliters, so feel free to call the American Red Cross and accuse them of being “the real Vampires” since they don’t stop at a mere fifth of a pint. My requirements are negligible in comparison, even at three times a night.
But this post isn’t about that.
The holidays are upon us!
Following Turkey Week (because Deer Season is this whole thing here in West Virginia), there’s Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day, and every other holiday… whew! And during this time, we expect calls from relatives, friends, people you’re reconnecting with, new people you’ve just met, and more.
Warning: this might sound a little down for a moment, but stick with me.
There’s a real and understandable temptation to disconnect oneself from the commercialism and social expectations of the holidays. Sure, people like to talk about themselves, but it’s with the understanding they’re mostly willing to put in equal time to hear all about you. For a Vampire, I confess it can be bad. Everyone is a bit of a temptation — you can’t forget what you are — but you also get to practice averting your thirst by interacting meaningfully, remembering what it was like when concepts like “forever” really weren’t. Fostering this connectivity keeps you honest and “real” as well as merciful.
For me, it’s absolutely worth the risk.
What’s hard is knowing there are mortals who haven’t had a good year, have lost friends and family, and want no reminders of what’s now gone. This is when real friends need to reach out with those connections and let these lost souls know they’re being thought of. This doesn’t mean forcing them out of their safe space — please don’t — but it may mean asking permission to come into theirs, being with them until they decide they’re ready to be somewhere else with you.
Sitting with others at a meal can feel alien to a Vampire, but it bothers me more that others notice I’m not eating with them. I recall with perfect clarity the sensation of biting into a bacon double cheeseburger with everything on it, feeling the hot and the cold mixed with crisp and soft textures, the flavor of juices and dressings combining with salty seared meat.
In the same way, a proper turkey dinner provides many of the trimmings out of the turkey itself, such as stuffing roasted in the bird absorbing the deliciousness and gravy made from the pan drippings, every taste informing every other flavor. I miss it in a way… or maybe I just miss sharing in it.
Yet I still enjoy everyone else’s enjoyment, even if it’s something I can’t participate in. Does that make sense? I’m happy you’re happy consuming those meals. It’s like watching someone’s eyes light up when you get them exactly the gift they wanted.
Your happiness is found in their happiness.
Even Ebenezer Scrooge eventually got that.
I have faith in you — no ghostly visitations required.
“This night, you will be visited by one Vampire!”
Just kidding. Maybe.
Take your power seriously. Keep each other safe.