Vampires I have known, or NEW NEIGHBOR ALERT

I have been chronicling my observances of my newish neighbors on social media lately, and it’s become something of a sensation.

In covertly watching them, I have entertained the thought that they may be vampires, and listed my reasoning thusly. Being supernaturally-inclined myself, one has a feel for such things, you know?

Our house has rentals on either side of it, and we get to see many different types of people. The newish neighbors are living in the basement apartment to the left of us. It is a tiny, one bedroom place with maybe three windows. Since it is a basement apartment, very little sunlight penetrates, giving it a tomb-like feel.

It is a perfect abode for a vampire.

I know very little about this couple, who moved in stealthily and with very little in the way of possessions save a few pieces of furniture and some trash bags of stuff. (No coffins were brought in, but since I am not awake all night, it is possible that they could have at some point.)

So, I have set this up in journal-like form, although it is not nearly as detailed as Jonathan Harker’s account was when writing to his dear Wilhelmina while he was held captive by Count Dracula.

Perhaps some of my readers have had interactions with the undead. If so, I welcome your input, and I hope you enjoy.

**********

So, we have new neighbors in the little apartment next door, underneath the main house. They’re an older couple – I think. You know how sometimes, you can’t tell if a person is maybe 30, or 40, or 50, or 60+….because that’s how old they look? Hard life, bad genes, who knows? Anyway, they sit outside on the stairs in the mornings, coughing and smoking. (Might be why they have an ambiguous age issue 🤔)

They are at least old enough to have grown children because one of them drives them everywhere and she appears to have dentures. This does not help me to figure out how old they are.

A short while ago, she brought them back from shopping, I assume, and there was a dude who was helping them with their bags. He, too, could be 30-40-50. I’m beginning to wonder if we have nosferatu inhabiting this apartment and they require the blood of the innocents to regenerate.

This guy helping them was carrying things up and down the stairs to the apartment and at one point, he dropped a bag and tried to catch it as it fell. He was unsuccessful, so before it hit the ground, he kicked it in frustration. It landed close to the porch. I hope it was not fragile. He continued to bring bags from the car, occasionally kicking this bag but never retrieving it. Finally, some other woman exited the car, she with a Karen-who-wants-to-speak-with-the-manager haircut, and picked up the bruised and battered bag. She placed it on the porch. They departed.

There, it sits, on the porch. I feel almost sorry for it. I also realize that I am nuts.

**********

Sitting in my garden with coffee and a piece of apple danish, watching as my solar dark fairy world comes to life. The bag I felt so sorry for is no longer on the neighbor’s porch.

I hope someone gave it a good home.

😉

**********

The toothless daughter of the Nosferatu couple next door is back, bringing with her two shady dudes who won’t make eye contact with me. Now I know they are the undead because they know that if you look a witch right in the eye, she will decipher your true intentions and then work a spell to bind you. 😏

No bags of unknown contents were harmed today, but some lawn chairs that my mother had back in the 70s were retrieved from the nosferatu lair and carted away in their Chevy Suburban with six different body colors. A Suburban IS large enough to hold at least one coffin. 🤔

I’m onto these undead. 😉

***********

The Nosferatu actively engaged with the sun a short while ago, sitting on the stoop of the porch while they smoked. I guess they shouldn’t have given those vintage lawn chairs to the toothless female spawn and her undead minions. They seemed to tolerate it well, but it IS overcast. Perhaps this is indicative of their age, which I could surmise as being ancient: thus, they can tolerate some rays.

I was treated to the male Nosferatu coughing wetly for about 3 minutes before he spit something out. Probably a coagulated blood clot from his last feeding, although I didn’t dare to look. I didn’t have my protective eye coverings on so that I could mask my witch eyes, which have been known to turn a nosferatu into dust. Not mine, of course, but in ancient times, allegedly.

Suddenly, the nosferatu spawn from yesterday – Karen and her I-want-to-speak-to-your-manager hair

and the bag-kicking scoundrel, accompanied by squealing grand-spawn (they kept shouting “Grandma! Grandma!” from the car so that’s how I knew they were grands) parked precariously in front of my car and they all tumbled out. I pretended to be asleep in my garden so they would not suspect that I was collecting intelligence on them.

The kids commenced to dance around and squawk while scoundrel stood, sullenly, grunting at the blood clot nosferatu and the two females stood, each talking on their phones. Then, the kids went out back after the youngest was told, “Quit eatin’ the grass! Some dog’s probably pissed there.” Small male spawn said, plainly, “But I’m hungry.” Instead of getting him a snack, he was sent to play out back, where there are any number of rodents or snakes to gnaw on. See? Undead.

Soon enough, Karen and her hair headed to the car, making some comment about “not hitting this car when I park” and I was ALL EARS. She saw me sit up and I think she jumped a little, certainly because she was afraid that I would fork my fingers at her and hiss. Nervously, she stammered, “I’m always so careful parking because I don’t want to hit this car. Is it yours?” I nodded, and deadpanned, “I certainly do appreciate you not hitting it, because it’s new and I’d be very unhappy.” She understood my meaning (I have a wooden stake at the ready for you, Karen with the hair nosferatu, and NO MANAGER is on duty) and hurried to her car. The scoundrel followed, and the nosferatu elders had to yell to the kids to come up from hunting for their afternoon snack because “Your mom’s in the car and she’s leaving.” I don’t know what they would have done had they not been alerted; turned into bats at sundown and flown home?

Then, a dark SUV pulled up and the nosferatu elders got in. I imagine they’re going to hunt their next victims. I’ll be listening for the tell-tale return, which will be heralded by the hacking rattle as they have their last smoke of the night out on their steps.

Should have kept those ancient chairs.

**********

The Nosferatu may not be Nosferatu. It is possible that they might be some sort of “good” Nosferatu, but after this morning, I think they may just be ordinary people with nocturnal habits (see: me) who have a toothless daughter and goony minions, a son with anger issues who takes them out on innocent, unassuming bags of merchandise while his wife, Karen with the I-want-to speak-to-a-manager hair tries not to hit cars when she parks.

My sweet boy, Lucifer, slipped outside last night sometime and I was out early to call for him. I had little fear; when one of my dumbasses, who never go out, manage to find themselves out there, they are always drawn to the back yard, under the house, or under the stairs leading to the Nosferatu Lair. I began my search first on the far side of the house, and then the other, nearer the blood sucking cave of doom. I called to him, and he returned a frightened meow. Now, to ascertain where it came from.

“Loo-See-Furrrrr.….Satanas, where are you?” He cried again. Just then, the Nosferatu’s door opened and for a moment, I wondered if my little Satan Kitty had been lured within. The female Nosferatu appeared and asked, mildly, “Are you lookin’ for a kitty?” I answered, “Yeah, he got out last night, bright orange, with a collar.”

How I feel when one of my babies is in danger.

She nodded. “My husband said he was sleepin’ up on the steps, early this morning.”

Was she warning me, in an ominous Nosferatu code, that he might have become breakfast had the male Nosferatu been so inclined?

I continued to speak to her, explaining that he had meowed and wasn’t far, because he would only go around the house if he managed to escape. At this point, the male Nosferatu emerged, and I saw that he had gotten a haircut and looked very normal. Upon closer inspection, she, too, appeared normal.

Now, I am not jumping to conclusions here; I know that they could just be deflecting suspicion by appearing to be human, so as to throw me off their scent. (Actually, Nosferatu have no scent, being fastidiously clean. At least, that’s what Bram Stoker and Anne Rice say. Anne and I have exchanged messages and emails before, so I know she would concur.)

But then, the female exclaimed, “Oh, doesn’t he ever go out?” The male commented, “He was up on the stairs this morning, sleeping. When he saw me, he went down under the house.” Whereas the female has almost a “down-home” way of speaking, the male is more articulate and cultivated in the way he speaks. Neither raised their voices or seemed the least bit alarmed at having a witch nearly at their door. Dare I say they seemed helpful?

“No, he has never been out,” I replied to the female, and she began to fuss worriedly. “Oh my gosh, I hope he didn’t get near the road!” she exclaimed. I assured her I had heard him. As I called to him again, he began to answer me, sounding frantic. It was coming from the other side of the house but I couldn’t see him, so I thanked the Nosferatu and made my way over there.

Lucifer appeared on my path in front of me, crying fearfully, and then retreated underneath the back deck. I called to him again, softly, and he emerged, this time not crying out of fear, but meowing in an accusatory tone, as if to say, “You let me stay out ALL NIGHT and I was SCARED.” As I scooped up my big, 10 lbs of traumatized kitten, for he is not quite a year old, I answered his outrage. “Who told you going outside was a brilliant idea?”

Now, I am left with uncertainty. The Nosferatu could be diverting my suspicion, of course. Vampires don’t get to live hundreds of years by being fast and loose with their true identities. They did appear to not mind the morning sun at all, which could just mean that they are extremely ancient and that sun no longer affects them. Or, they could just be an older couple with some strange kids who have had bad luck and now live in a teeny, tiny little apartment with maybe three windows total, in the basement of a house. Also, note my horoscope this morning:

Hi Lori,

There’s an entertaining mystery for you to solve today. Luckily, you will get some helpful, exciting clues early on in the day. Someone who you don’t usually take very seriously will say something that strikes you as a deep truth. This confuses you a bit-it looks like you’ll have to revise your opinion of them! Old dogs can indeed learn new tricks, and this includes you! Give a person a second chance and they’ll give you another important clue. Something will suddenly start making sense.

The Nosferatu angle is STILL much more entertaining.

When your blog site posts a draft, you finish it.

Seriously! Either my cats commandeered an electronic device (they once changed the font size of my phone and rearranged my icons) or my blog host had a momentary brain fart. I awoke to find a draft published, and a poem I was very much not done with published. And get this…..it happened somehow before my last blog, but I swear it wasn’t there last week. I either need acute mental care or I time-traveled and forgot. Anyway, here’s my ode to weirdness, because I certainly own that today.

I am in such a weird place right now. It’s a complex mix of emotions caused by shifts in my life. It’s in the way this world has become so bizarre that it resembles a dystopian, futuredoom novel. It’s in the subtle changes that age brings about to both physical and mental awareness. It’s just in everything. Weirdness abounds, and I am no stranger to weird, having had that label all my life. I’ve embraced it, inasmuch as I think we all have weird within us. Some consider it a compliment; others seek to cloak their weirdness in “normal”. Sooner or later, though, that cloak falls off or there’s a gust of wind and we glimpse their weird, even if only for a moment. Weird is unique; it is to become a part of a community where there is acceptance; it is human at its very core.

Let’s not gloss over the fact that weird – or the perception if such – is a negatively polarizing idea, too. That weirdness I embrace could be seen as offensive or unacceptable to someone else, and they may seek to change my mind or, more alarmingly, silence my weirdness. Weird is a broad term, too; it can pertain to self, lifestyle, religion, community, mindset; it adapts to whomever is regarding it. Being weird can mean anything. And to some, that’s just unacceptable.

I suppose that I have embraced weird. But weird still feels very isolating. I guess weird is kind of an island.

But, this is weird, and I like it:

And this:

My garden is weird:

Am I weird for dissolving into a puddle at the sight of cat teefs?

He’s weird, but he is also a silver medalist at the State Special Olympics, so his kind of weird is very acceptable:

Weird?

I dunno. Anyway, I guess it’s better to be weird than to be Republican, so I’ve got that going for me.

The Female Older Sibling Unit Chronicles, or: why, you ask, is my face twitching?

The Male Sibling Unit and I braved the mist of a particularly soggy morning today, and walked up the hill to collect small stones for my garden footpath creations. I’m making some decorative, flat discs fashioned out of concrete, and needed some interesting little stones and pebbles to decorate them with. I found a wonderful piece of slate that had been run over by a car and broke apart in a perfect mosaic of a rose. I can’t wait to paint and place it.

The Male Sibling Unit was notified, last night, that he will, in fact, be competing in the Swim Meet at the State Special Olympics next week. He had been told he was an alternate about three weeks ago, but the head of our county committee called me on Wednesday to let me know that The Male Sibling Unit would be going. I was waiting for the congratulatory letter to hand him. Ever since he found out he probably wouldn’t be going, he has made life very difficult. He lacks the ability to see outside of his own wants and desires; you might call it selfish narcissism, but I simply refer to it as The Way He Is. He can no more help it than I can make it FUCKING STOP RAINING. I blame the committee that chooses the participants; there used to be a hard and fast rule that competitors could not go every, single year; they would alternate, attending every OTHER year. This allowed all the participants a chance to enjoy three days of competition and fun at Penn State, where the State Special Olympics are held every year. It was a more than fair process. For whatever reason – maybe lack of participants, although I seriously doubt that – The Male Sibling Unit has been attending “States”, as we refer to it, every year for at least a decade. He has competed in track and field as well as swimming, and even bowled a couple of times. The past 5 years have been exclusively for swimming, because his legs swell due to the diabeetus. He’s amazing in the water, where his strongest category is the backstroke.

Nature is a funny fucking duck; she gifts in areas when she takes away in others. He may lack the ability to reason in an advanced way, but I’ll bet he can beat your ass swimming. You want him and not David Hasselhoff saving your ass if you find yourself drowning, because The Male Sibling Unit is true Baywatch material. The Hoff was probably using a stunt double.

Anyway, The Male Sibling Unit has been giddy as fuck ever since his coach messaged him, and I truly want to fart in her general direction or do something offensive to let her know that I am not pleased that she let the cat out of the bag. Not only did she ruin my surprise when the letter came, but now, instead of maybe 2 swift days of deliriously happy babbling and text messages and oral list-making and constant interjections about States into every conversation and when I say “every” I mean every – even if it happens to be about explosive diarrhea or an upcoming colonoscopy – I shall now be treated to 5 days of deliriously happy babbling and text messages and oral list-making and constant interjections about States into every conversation. Did I mention constant?

Don’t get me wrong: I am really happy for him. He absolutely loves participating, and as he is 44 now, there probably aren’t many years of competition left. I love that he can be with his friends, and make new ones, and be enveloped in the magic that is a Special Olympics event. It is a truly beautiful thing to see individuals with intellectual and physical disabilities shining brightly and taking part in a camaraderie with other competitors and the volunteers who are so awesome. They are stars; every, single one.

I was just hoping to not lose my shit and explode with frank and genuine exhaustion before he leaves and I am treated to three glorious days of peace and quiet; Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. The fact that The Husband has Friday and Saturday off is even more exciting.

We can eat steak without me having to prepare a different kind of meat for The Male Sibling Unit because he choked on a piece once, ten years ago, and is now quite adamant that he will choke again if subjected to its deliciousness. When he sees me place steaks in the shopping cart, the interrogations begin:

“What am I gonna eat?”

“I’m gonna have hamburger patties, right?”

“You could get me cube steak.”

“I don’t know what I can eat.”

We can jump in the car and take a short trip, just us, which doesn’t happen very often, and not have to worry about blood sugar readings.

We can have loud sex without the risk of an interrogation the next day (“What were you yelling about when I was in my room watching The Price is Right last night?”) or even worse, PeeWee Herman-like laughter coming from upstairs at an, ummm… crucial moment.

More than likely, we will simply spend three days breathing, with an occasional “Hope he’s having fun” interjected here and there. It will go quickly, that three days of peace, and then The Male Sibling Unit will return, triumphantly, with whatever medals he has won. There are always a couple and last year, there was gold.

So yeah, only 2 days of nervous prep was preferrable to 5, because by the end of 5, I am a gigantic ball of nervous, bajiggity twitch, likely exploding once or twice (or a dozen) times with

“Could we PLEASE talk about something else?”

or

“For the last time, YES you can pack your suitcase Wednesday.”

or

“No, I do not need to tell you what I’m going to be up to while you’re gone.”

or

“Yes, yes, yes, I hope you get the gold AGAIN and become THE TWO-TIME GOLD MEDAL CHAMPION.”

Time apart is good for the both of us. I use it to recharge and resolve to be a better sister, and I hope he uses it to remember that I’m the only sister he’s got.

Oh, who am I kidding?

He’ll return to interrogate me with demands for a play-by-play of our activities while he was gone and assurances we did, indeed “miss him”. He will investigate the cupboards, the fridge, and the freezer for new groceries he can plunder, and his hawk-like attention to detail will ferret out ANY addition to the house, be it a new rag rug in the bathroom or a new coffee cup from the Dollar Tree.

Finally, he will ask when his “celebration dinner” will commence – because we reward even a bronze or a fourth place ribbon with a special meal.

Alas, it won’t be steak. But it will likely be bangers and mash. At least it won’t be fish sticks or chicken tenders. I’ve successfully trained his pallet to request fancier food, even if it does come in tube-like form.

Here’s to hoping that the next 4.5555896 days don’t result in high blood pressure and an ER visit because I am sure all the blood vessels in my head have exploded.