How To Survive Your Death (page 6)

Dear Em,

Your life means I can’t keep drifting through my eternity without some sort of markers along the way. I still occasionally forget the century, but, not much, not too often any more. It’s just a matter of time. Any calender concept of time seems like such a waste of paper for a vampire, cause it doesn’t matter what year it is, I’m not getting any closer to anything.

What does one year mean to a vampire? A century for that matter? Until you, my heart, I would only think to keep up with time so I didn’t sound like a lunatic calling Lincoln’s assassination, “Shocking news,” and pretending to care.

A vampire is filled with so many nights of experience, they’re near impossible to sort out chronologically. And we’re cursed to remember everything, just not in the order it happened. Except for the significance of time passing since the memory, a 200 year old memory feels no more distant than a two second memory. This means, when the heart breaks, it never heals.

Most memories mix together, so, if I’m not careful, I’m telling you how I escaped Mao’s army, to be rescued by Washington’s. Then later, running from the British, (I’d eaten one of their generals,) to be the lone vampire on the boat that took Chiang Kai-shek’s family to Taiwan. You need to perceive this loss of a depth perception in memories with 20/20 vision to truly see just what it is you would be signing up for, should you become vampire.

You should have at least an idea about it already, from all the times you’ve scoffed at me that I don’t remember anything. How I’ve always asked you how you like your eggs, because they kept changing, I couldn’t keep up. But, I remember everything. I remember you liked your eggs scrambled, over-easy, sunny-side up, without the yoke, without the whites, hard-boiled, soft-boiled, soft-boiled-then-mashed, runny, less runny, blackened yoke, all smothered in ketchup, I remember all of it, sweetheart, I just don’t remember precisely when.

There is only tonight in the focus of a vampire. There is a tomorrow, but staring at the future takes on a greyish blur that the living only see at their most depressed. May you never experience time through such sad eyes, that Monday morning depression that makes a man consider brushing his teeth with his razor. I just quoted your father, from his unpublished book.

For a funny guy, your father could get so depressed. I’ve heard that often goes with artists, high highs and the low lows. I found it so attractive. Really, the more depressed he got, the more I wanted him, which meant he got out of that depression pretty quick. We were good for each other. I loved making him feel better. It made me powerful, soothing him, stroking his hair, stroking behind his ear, telling him everything was alright. I used to relax you the same way.

When I woke up the night after meeting your father, I took two hours turning the body into a manageable goo that I dumped into Lake Ontario. I know that bothers you on an ecological level as well, but, that body of water was dead long before I moved in next door.

After I picked up the phone then put it right down. ‘What am I doing?’ I demanded of myself. ‘I’m going to call him? For what, a movie?’ But a movie didn’t sound that bad. Actually, a movie sounded pretty good. I dialed five numbers before hanging up, then six, same thing. My fingers were restless, my toes were restless. I had to get out of my apartment-cum-slaughterhouse, going back to the same bar, finding Ravi on the same stool I’d found him the night before.

“Hi!” he said, sitting up, happy to see me. “How are you?”

I hate this question, I really do. I was disappointed he opened with such an unoriginal, knee-jerk kind of question. It showed a lack of imagination. If there was to be any chance for us, he had to have a huge imagination.


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