Category Archives: How To Survive Your Death

Love Sucks

“You didn’t,” he whispered standing over me. I couldn’t look at him. He looked delicious, absolutely the most delicious man I’d ever seen. I couldn’t look at him, I couldn’t look at him, I couldn’t look, I couldn’t look. He didn’t make it any easier for me, climbing into bed with me, wrapping his bloody arms around me, I could smell his blood, I could taste it rushing in his veins just beneath the skin. “Can you maybe just take a sip of me? Like just take enough so I don’t die. Like don’t take so much to turn me vampire.”

I didn’t want to hear what I’d just heard.

“No,” I said. I didn’t turn, I couldn’t turn. I couldn’t look at him. I didn’t want to feel him, I wanted to eat him.

“Won’t you feel better? I’ll be ok, I can take it, but look at you, Sarah, you’re not well. I’m worried about the baby. We need the two of you well, and that means eating, and sweetheart, tonight, I’m what’s for supper,” he laughed, though I knew he wasn’t joking. I didn’t laugh.

“No.”

“Please just take a couple pints, I can replace it. It’ll be like I’m neck feeding you. We already have a very special relationship between us, this will be like taking it to the next level. Come sweetheart, dig in.” He lowered his neck to my mouth.

“No,” I said, but less convincingly. His offer sounded scrumptious.

“Sweetheart, you have to. You have yourself a little suck of blood, then you save the rest for me. Then we’ll both rest all the way to Russia.”

“No.”

He got on his knees and held my shoulders. “Sarah, you have to suck my blood, because our child is dying and you’re not doing so well either and I can spare the blood, so here is my neck, unless you know a better way.” He closed his eyes, lowered his neck and held it right in front of my mouth. It was the first time anyone had ever offered me their neck. It’s the closest thing to impotence I have ever felt, having all the components in front of me, but, not being able to put any to work. I couldn’t I just couldn’t, though I was starving and he was right. Still, I couldn’t. He opened his eyes.

“Sweetheart, I can’t suck your blood.”

“You gotta eat, and we gotta get this over with, cause this is kinda freaking me out.”

“Well, if you’re not comfortable with it.”

“Of course I’m not comfortable with it, who’d be comfortable with someone sucking blood from their neck? But, it’s gotta be done, so, let’s get sucking, but stop before making me vampire.” He closed his eyes, tense.

I wanted to kiss him, hug him and eat him up. I love this man, I thought. I put thoughts into actions, whispering in his ear, “I love you,” before nestling my fangs softly in his neck.

It’s strange sucking the neck of someone you love. First, you’ve always got to keep that in mind, that this is someone you love, and you have to stop sucking before they stop breathing. I was so hungry, it was hard to know how much blood I was taking into me. I kept sucking, I couldn’t imagine ever being full.

I stopped sucking long before I had my fill, pulling my fangs lovingly from his lips, careful not to tear any more of his skin.

“Ravi! Ravi!” He didn’t wake up. “Ravi! Ravi! Come on, Ravi! Wake up!” I tried tickling and shouting. He opened an eye. I kept tickling. I clapped right close to his nose, getting his other eye to open.

“I’m thirsty,” he moaned.

“Thirsty for what?” I held my breath. I exhaled when he said:

“Water.”

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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.

How to Survive Your Death (page 5)

Dear Em,

I’m not sure how much detail you want. I think I’ll spare you the full on description of how I kill and how I get rid of the body. It’s true, if you leave somebody who’s been bitten, give them twenty-four to forty-eight hours they’ll come back like me, undead. Though, I really hate the term, ‘undead’. I hate being ‘un’ anything. I like, ‘living impaired’, or even, ‘blood junkie’, better. I’ve been called, ‘reflection challenged’, which is another myth. You see I have a perfectly gorgeous reflection, looks just like me.

That was an odd stereotype to spread, vampires cast no reflection. We do, of course we do, we’re made of flesh aren’t we? If you prick us, do we not bleed? Actually, no, probably not. We have no blood in our veins cause it dries to dust almost as soon as we get it down our throats.

But, the body and the head. I wrapped them up in plastic, and shoved them under my waterbed, covered by my down duvet. It was pink, you know I’m a sucker for pink. Your old mother can be such a girl.

I finished my night, applied my Nivea, brushed my fangs, checked the thick woolen curtains I use to keep out the bane of my existence, set my alarm for eight p.m. and drifted off into a dreamless sleep. One of the worst things about being a vampire, after the sun part, is the death of your dreams. I haven’t dreamed since I said good night to the sun. Dreams allow you a free movie ticket through the night, an escape and you can become someone else in your dream, some one better. Me? I wake up feeling exactly the same as when I closed my eyes.

Like the feeling of changing paragraphs. Feel any different going paragraph to paragraph like that? Imagine waking up every night that exact same way. I know moving so much has been hard on you, making you turn inward, developing emotional callouses. Stoic. I try talking to you and you answer in monosyllables, rarely smiling.

I love you, Em and I want to help, but, you never tell me what’s wrong. I know a lot of it is how you feel about what I do, and that you feel you can never talk about it with anyone, but, you can with me, sweetheart. I am your mother and I will love you no matter what you say to me.

I think it would be helpful for you to one night just open your mouth and scream at me everything that’s on your mind and tell me how much you hate that I eat people and you just want to scream at me to stop, but, you know I can’t stop or I really will die and you don’t want that because I’m your mother and you love me. Am I anywhere close here, Em? If this does any good, I want it to get us talking, even if that talking is you screaming at me. I think that would be great for you to really let loose and get out everything that’s been choking you up for so long, all your life, really, but, you’ve really grown into it the last year or so, though, I don’t remember the exact day you grew into the bright, fiercely guarded young Stoic I now have as my daughter. Your love is my only lifeline to life itself. I need you to give it to me, or, I will really be dead.

How To Survive Your Death (page 4)

Dear Em,

Who is your father? I feel like I’ve got to write in euphemism now to soften this for you, but, that’s not fair to you or this life-affirming story of death. If your second question is something you seriously want to do, become vampire, you should know truly just what it is you’re asking. I know you and respect you as someone who respects truth.

There are a lot of misconceptions about vampires out there and I’ve done my best to raise you as someone who respects life in all its forms, even death. You know vampires don’t sleep in coffins, cause you’ve seen me sleep on my king size waterbed. I find less people think to stick a stake through your heart when you’re sleeping on a waterbed, you know what I mean?

Still, I think this image of your mother sleeping on her great big waterbed may have given you the wrong impression that vampires rest easy. I sleep in fear of the sun and cremation. Cremation has really killed off vampires. Why do you think the Hindus started burning? Even 5000 years ago there must have already been so many of us that they knew there wasn’t room for everyone who died to come back vampire, so, it’s down to the river bank, for a good old fashioned cremation.

India’s the world’s second largest population, because there are very few vampires. India could use a few more vampires. The few vampires I ever bumped into there were tourists like myself. It’s hard becoming a vampire in India, cause, the Hindus are quick to burn their dead, so if you go a whole night without breathing, you’ll be down at the Ganges, burnt to a crisp before you’d ever get a chance to wake up to tell them they’re making a horrible mistake.

Night feedings were fish in a barrel from Calcutta sidewalks all the way to Bombay slums, people sleeping head to toe. Walking down sidewalks in India at night is like going from aisle to aisle in your favorite grocery store. I’m probably the only tourist you’ll hear who got fat in India, it was just too delicious. I love Indian curry. It’s so strong I can taste it in their blood, Indian blood is that spicy. My tongue is dulled by death, but, I can still taste the difference between a Canadian and an Indian, unless of course, he’s an Indian-Canadian, like this little writer, your father, I was one bad book away from eating.

That book literally saved his life, and in a way, gave you yours. It was very funny, and for a few minutes I forgot about my hunger. I read three paragraphs before I decided not to eat him.

I couldn’t help but like the guy, he was adorable. I stood.

“Where you going?” He was up in a shot.

“I have to go.”

“No, why?”

“Thank you for letting me read your book, it made me laugh.”

“So why are you leaving?” He looked genuinely hurt, the bastard. He really was a bastard, I’m sorry to use such language for your father, sweetheart, but, your father could be the most beautiful bastard who ever lived and I’m not just using the word pejoratively, his parents were never married. This is rare for Hindus, and from the way he told it, his parents were different castes, never married, and were basically shunned out of Calcutta by both families, then out of Varanasi, New Delhi, then out of India by the time Ravi was twelve.

I had gone out to pick up food that night. If I wanted to eat before sun up, I thought I’d better try another room full of tall, dark, and delicious looking men. I don’t remember planning on seeing Ravi again, leaving his place that first night. I remember just wanting to go eat, so I went to another bar, saddled myself on a stool, bought the jerk beside me a drink, took him back to my lair and ate him. I could taste the vodka the guy had obviously soaked his life in.

That guy that night, like all guys every night, wanted to know why there was plastic over the sheets. It’s usually the last question they ever ask. It never tips them off. They’re usually too drunk and I get to the bloodsucking pretty quick. As soon as my fangs puncture their carotid arteries there’s no chance for either of us to scream.

It’s not hard getting at his neck when the guy thinks you’re giving him hickeys. Uglier male vampires must have a harder time with it. They probably resort to mind control, or attack the sleeping. I rarely do that. It seems somehow unsporting to me, like fishing using sonar and dynamite. I like to give my dinner at least a fighting chance. In fact, I use my hypnosis so seldom that I forget I have it half the time and it’s not that strong on the best of nights. I’ve never been able to get you to clean up your room, or, put on a different outfit, or, do anything you don’t want to do and I’ve tried, believe me.

How To Survive Your Death (page 3)

Dear Em,

I’m too practical to be much of dreamer or poet. You know I greatly respect poets and poetry, so it is with a heavy heart that I bow my head to you, a budding poet yourself and confess I am no poet. I should probably refrain from selling my writing so short so soon into this confessional, I might scare you away. Trust me, my sweetheart, when I tell you, there are many things far darker, far more frightening than a lack of poetry. Wrestling with myself over killing my lover, I think, that’s as dark as it got. Let’s explore that, shall we? First, we met.

I noticed him alone at the bar. It was a Tuesday, the place was practically empty. It was only ten o’clock, lots of time to kill. I sat down at the bar stool next to him. I remember I was really hungry that night and he looked absolutely delicious. Dark, East Indian, handsome. I’m not usually so superficial to let appearance wet my appetite, though, I am into Indian food.

I ordered my bloody mary. All drinks taste the same, I figured it at least sounded tasty. I sat waiting for my drink and my conversation to arrive. I turned to the brown man in blue jeans, a red golf shirt, top buttons undone showing off a gold medallion of the Om, buried in a thatch of jet-black chest hair. Men can be so blind, and deaf and dumb as well, there I was sitting beside him, a guy obviously dressed to kill, me too, in my black mini, and he didn’t take it as a hint to strike up conversation. Halfway through my drink, I say,

“So, what do you do?” I like to be direct. I find I get where I want to go faster when I’m direct. I know some people, vampires even, play little games, like asking for a light, or the time, in order to get into a conversation, as though the conversation had not been the spark to ask for the fire in the first place. I direct the question to let them open with their favorite subject, themselves. I’m looking to see if the guy’s a jerk and it’s easier to find out asking him what he thinks of himself, than what he thinks of the weather. A true jerk will give himself away talking about rain in Paraguay, though.

“I’m a writer,” he said.

“A writer? Really? What do you write?” I thought he was making up his profession to impress me. I thought I was on to a jerk, meaning, I had found my homme de nuit.

“Everything. Plays, songs, grocery lists, right now I’m working on a book.” He put a slight tongue tap on his everything to tell me he’d grown up on the subcontinent.

“Oh really?” I wondered if there was more beneath the surface; I kept scratching, “What’s your book about?”

“Sunshine, coral reefs, thoughts of suicide, you know, with just a hint of self-indulgence,” he finished, sipping his gin and tonic.

I have met many writers before, I’ve even eaten some of them, but never if I liked their work. I always give them a fighting chance to save themselves by letting me read something they’ve written. “I have a lot of respect for writers,” I told him. Maybe it was his drink that made me think he could be a writer, or his eyes. His deep dark Indian eyes. They blazed, black pearls of fire. “I’d like to read something of yours.”

“Really?” He was obviously flattered. “What’s your name?”

“Sarah.”

“Sarah. Ravi,” he kissed my hand. “Your hand’s cold.”

“Yes, yours is warm,” I guessed, leaving his hand for my drink. I wasn’t thirsty, but I was hungry. Starving. I was impatient with hunger. I wanted to get through this conversation, get back to this guy’s house, read his terrible writing and eat him up. It was that simple. “Where do you live?”

The writer laughed cause he thought he knew where this was going. “Right around the corner. Why?” asked ironically.

“I told you, I respect writers. I love reading, so, I’d be very curious to see what you’ve done.”

“I’d be happy to show you my work.” His smug grin told he felt in control of the night. It’s always better, I find, to let them think they’re leading. They never see you coming that way. “So, we could finish our drinks and I could show you.”

I shot back the rest of my bloody mary. “Ready,” said I.

Ravi smiled, impressed, and tossed the last three fingers of gin and tonic down his throat.

“Let’s go.”

We chatted easily the short walk to his house. He did live right around the corner, in the right side of a semi-detached home. I was trying to deny the strong feelings I was getting from him. I am woman and vampire, I am the most acutely sensitive creature on the planet when it comes to signals people put out. I sensed he was good. At least as a person, and I was thinking he was probably a good writer as well. He spoke passionately, with devotion to words. He said he lived right around the corner, he did. He said he was a writer, I was betting he was.

I was actually annoyed at him for making me like him. My hunger was overriding all other thoughts. I knew liking him meant going longer without eating, maybe all night if I didn’t get a move on. My hunger was rooting against his writing, you understand?

How To Survive Your Death (page 2)

Dear Em,

Now, for you to understand your mother’s answer in its entire complexity, you must first understand your mother in hers. Think badly of me, lock yourself in your room all night listening to your headphones, never coming out. I know you’re mad at me. I can understand there are a few aspects of my existence you can’t forgive, how I’ve never been able to sit and have lunch with you, or how I kill people for dinner. Food is just one thing we’ll have to accept will always be separate for us.

I’ve tried to give you what I think a normal American girl, (though we’re Canadian now, remember we’re Canadians,) would have growing up in Moscow, London, Paris and Toronto. I’ve tried giving you Thanksgiving turkey in November, Christmas turkey, and Easter Ham, but, now that you’re vegetarian, you don’t want any of it. Now you cook your own food and if I try and sit beside you while you eat, you just sit there, grinding your teeth, glaring at me, hating me for not joining you. You once told me my presence at the table makes your food taste sour. So, that’s why we’re not having Thanksgiving, or, Christmas dinner this year. I’d love it if you wanted me to teach you how to cook the turkey, or, maybe you could show me how to cook your favorite bulgherloaf. Or, I could show you how to make my pancakes you still love. They’re the only things you still let me cook for you.

Part of me doesn’t want to show you, cause, I’m afraid that when you learn to make pancakes like me, you’ll stop wanting me to make them for you. I see you’ve mastered mash potatoes, and you’re a gourmet with the ketchup, so, I don’t think it matters what you eat anyway. I’m not condemning your taste, Em; I know I’m hardly in the position to pass judgement on what you eat. Still, I know you went vegetarian to spite me.

Finally, your two favorite questions: Who is your father? Would I ever make you a vampire?

Your father’s name is Ravi Tendulkar. Before your father, all relationships I had with mortal men were with men I looked at as not just the meal ticket, but as the actual meal itself. If you were a vampire reading this, you’d be licking your fangs. Instead, I know it’s grossing you out. It should, means you’re healthy, Emily.

I’m heartbroken about what happened that I’ve never been able to tell you anything more about your dad, except that he’s dead. That’s true, I haven’t been lying about that. I don’t know how much you want to know about your mother, but, I need you to see me for who I am, as much for my sake as yours, to see if you truly want to be a vampire. You’ve never seen your mother out picking up dinner for herself. I’ve always kept that side from you. Remember how you reacted when you found out mommy being a vampire meant mommy ate people? You stayed up in your room for a whole week, an eternity for a four year old. Still, I never kept that from you, I told you whatever you wanted to know, which, hasn’t been very much. This, more than your vegetarian side, tells me you don’t really want to be vampire, you just want to get my goat again. Careful what you wish for, sweetheart, cause my answer might surprise you.

I met your father the same way I’ve been meeting men for centuries, sitting at a bar, one summer night in Toronto. I always get into a conversation with my meal before devouring them. You’ll be happy to know that I can be very particular about whom I eat. I like to eat jerks, guys you wouldn’t miss, because I respect life, I just don’t respect the life of jerks. So, I’ll talk to the guy for a little bit, check out what kind of jerk he is, before I slip him the mickey, or just ask him to take me home, whatever it takes. It doesn’t take too much, usually, I rarely need the mickey, because, mercifully, I was born in a body men seem to want to take home, and since your mother was bitten at thirty-one, you see she is eternally ravishing. If it turns out I like the guy, I leave the guy alone. But, I couldn’t leave your father alone and he couldn’t leave me alone and there I am accepting his phone number written on the back of a cocktail napkin.

“I’ll call you,” I said, surprising myself by meaning it. The entire idea of going on a date was as foreign to me as the twenty-first century. It seems like just yesterday I was getting used to the nineteenth century. The Industrial Revolution is still fresh in my mind.

Your father once asked me what was the hardest thing to get used to over time. It was a very clever question, your father asked very clever questions. The answer is everything, but, everything does not make a very clever answer. I told your father everything he asked, I never lied to him, like I never lie to you, and you’ll see I came out to him quickly, yet, there are times when you say less than you’re thinking. This letter is not one of those times, sweetheart.

Before your father, I hadn’t trusted myself with a human since becoming a vampire. Sometimes I like to play the James Bond villain, telling the men my entire life and death story and plans for devouring them before biting them. I’m usually bored when I get like that, putting on the character, I even do a voice, dropping my tone, mimicking an Eastern European accent. I’ve actually said the words: ‘I vant to suck your blood!’ in my best Bela Legosi impersonation, corny, but, anything to break up the monotony. Maybe this is too much information for you, but, you also have to see how ridiculous it all is at times, how there’s humor in everything if you’re looking. And the joke is the guys I do it to always laugh their heads off, at least, until I bite them off. They stop laughing when I start eating, they stop making sound altogether. It’s easier to eat people when they’re quiet.

How To Survive Your Death

Dear Em,

You asked me two questions tonight that it’s time I answered. Here goes. This is going to take a few pages, I’m afraid, cause, questions like these can’t be put into haiku. I’ve got time. If there’s one thing I’ve got, it’s time. Doomed to immortality can be hard to swallow for anybody, not just the being immortal part, but, worse, knowing you’re immortal. No one ever talks about that, the knowing part, when they talk about your mother’s deathstyle. I think that next to the Jews, Vampires have been the most persecuted minority in history. Must suck being a Jewish Vampire.

I understand many people take the sucking of human blood personally, but, what can I do? You know all those stories that show vampires living off the blood of sheep or cows were written by people who have never actually been vampires. As my daughter, you know how close I come to passing as human. I don’t look like a cow, do I? (Be nice). Could a blood transfusion from a cow save the life of a human? So, why should you ever imagine the blood a vampire needs can be anything other than human and anything other than living? I need living human blood to survive, this is about the worst thing you can say about me.

I’ve been a good mother to you, haven’t I? You think this deathstyle has been easy on me? I mean, I have a serious handicap, daylight. I don’t think you’ve ever truly appreciated the struggle it is to have such an allergic reaction to something so commonplace as daylight while raising a teenaged daughter. And this allergy will last forever because there will never be an antihistamine short of an eclipse for me.

You are my sunshine, Emily. Before you, I didn’t live. I was truly dead inside until you gave me birth. The Spanish say, dar a luz, to give light. You give me light. Though, technically I’m your mother, you gave birth to me, May 2nd, fifteen years ago. I was thirty-one when I was bitten and the year was 1772, so, that makes me… too old. Most vampires my age don’t have teenage daughters. Soon we’re going to have to call each other sisters and there will come a night when someone will mistake you for my mother, get ready for it.

But your questions. It’s been hard keeping all this from you. It was harder going through it. I’ve kept it from you as much to spare you as to spare me. Now, I feel the need to tell you this, as much as you need to feel this. Ready?

You’re getting old enough to see what men like and are like. I hope for both our sakes that you’re still too young to have shared that with one of them. You’re an old-soul fifteen, Emily, but, you’re still fifteen. I’ve liked some men, I’ve even loved one of them. Before love, the love that gave light to you, I would never intentionally meet a man for anything other than dinner. Now there are your teachers, your coaches, lately the boyfriends you’ve been bringing home, sneaking home, mostly. Do you think I don’t know about the boys you take upstairs after school? The ones who always slip right back out just before dark?

I trust you, Emily, though, I feel that I barely know you anymore. You’ve been so quiet. I trust you, but, I don’t trust these boys you bring home. I know it’s been hard on you having a part-time mother, so I haven’t said anything, but, now I’m saying something. I know this will make me even more unpopular with you, but, I’ve got to tell you not to bring home any more people in the daytime. Your friends are more than welcome to come over any night, they’re welcome to stay the night, and depending on their sex, they’re welcome to share your bedroom. It’s been so long since you had a girlfriend sleep over. I know you don’t have people stay over because of me. You’re afraid I’ll embarrass you, or worse.

You think I don’t feel worse knowing I have never made a single school event, only parent-teacher nights? No picnics, graduations, careers days. Could you imagine me at careers day? What do you do? I feast on the living, you? Ridiculous. If it wasn’t for the time schedule of careers day, I think I could pull off a pretty good careers night. I could talk about my antique collection, and how antiques are sold online, and online advertising. I could easily do a good hour’s worth, I think.

You don’t see me as a successful business woman, do you? You see me only as mom, and vampire. That’s the look I get when I sit across from you watching you eat dinner. I know that look, your father had that same look, that look, like, ‘and where’s your food?’ I sit with you because I love seeing you, and I cooked your dinners because I love you, and I love watching you eat, I love watching you anything. I’m sorry that anything can never include breakfast and lunch.

But getting back to visitors, as long as we’re living together, you must respect that your mother doesn’t feel comfortable with people in the house in the daytime. You know I don’t have the energy to come upstairs and meet any of them, and so I don’t know who you’re bringing home, Emily, he could be a hunter for all I know, and I’m talking about a hunter for both of us. I’m vulnerable in the daytime, sweetheart. I know you’re no pushover, anytime, but, you haven’t been around as long as I have. You sneak in all your boyfriends in the daytime knowing I’m not coming up to meet them, and that means I’ll never eat somebody you love, or just think is cute. Sweetheart, you know I would never eat anyone you bring home, unless of course, you wanted me to. But, I really don’t want you mixed up in any of that and you know I’d never ask, or expect you to pick me up takeout.