Monday, October 27, 2008

The Cold Ground

Poor Bill and Sookie,

Sookie is discovering the hardest part of dating a Vampire. It's that whole night time, no sunlight, no curling up together on a cold night and being warm through the night and through a lazy morning with nothing better to do than to lie together, make love as if there was nothing better to do.

And Bill is trying to hard and often a day late and dollar short. He brought her flowers when he was taking her to forceably work for Eric, he is too honest when he doesn't have to be, and not honest enough when he should be.

And Bill is scared to death that Sookie will get killed because she doesn't know the Vampire rules and system and how she works or doesn't in his world.

I like to worry for all young lovers, even if one of them is 170 years old and Vampire

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Stolen words

I dreamt we slept in a moss in Donegal
On turf banks under blankets, with our faces
Exposed all night in a wetting drizzle,
Pallid as the dripping sapling birches.
Lorenzo and Jessica in a cold climate.
Diarmuid and Grainne waiting to be found.
Darkly asperged and censed, we were laid out
Like breathing effigies on a raised ground.
And in that dream I dreamt—how like you this?—
Our first night years ago in that hotel
When you came with your deliberate kiss
To raise us towards the lovely and painful
Covenants of flesh; our separateness;
The respite in our dewy dreaming faces.

Seamus Heaney

I used the phrase covenants of flesh in one of my essays and I couldn't remember where I had heard them, for I knew they were not mine. They come from this lovely poem by Seamus Heaney.

I sleep more now. My mom puts in my tape of True Blood when I settle in bed and I watch it from the beginning til I fall alseep. I sleep all day and most of the night, most of it. Then I wake and I admit, I pray sometimes for the profound peace of the grave (my words this time). Ten more pounds I have lost and the fevers and weakness are worse. How nice it would be to have some cool skinned thing, some dark angel to take me in his arms and gasp at my heat, but embrace me anyway and give me relief. My hair is thinning. I cried a little over that.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Pot and Kettle

Okay, let's get down to it. I really liked the character of Lafayette until last night. I sat in the chemo room and thought about it for a long while. This is what I came up with.

Sookie made love to Bill and he bit her. Fine, sounds like tit for tat, fair exchange. Sex is always better for Vampires when they have a bit of blood. And if you are falling for a Vampire, it sounds reasonable that you want them to have as much fun as you are.

Now Lafayette is a slut, with a capital SLUT, and he uses V, which is Vampire Blood. But he had the gall to call Sookie a skank when she told him about Bill. How does that sort of prejudice work? You'll have sex with a Vampire, you'll drink their blood, but you won't let them drink from you? And Jason Stackhouse is just as bad, he hates and despises Sookie for having sex with Bill but he uses V so much he's strung out on it. It's a case of the pot calling the kettle black.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Don't Believe what You See

Oh man, I'm telling you, I am determined to live long enough to see what is next for old Bill and his woman Sookie. I loved the extended love scene, where Bill deflowers her. I remember my first time, and it was no where near as erotic as the scene I just saw. I wished my husband had been as aware and awake to my virginity as Bill was to Sookie.

And I loved the revenge scene with Bill feeding on Uncle Bartlett, at first I thought it was disgusting, but then I remembered what Bill said, that he had been a good man in his human life and he fed primarily on evil people. I would be eternally indebted to a man who revenged me. Especially for a crime against my innocence. Too bad about Malcom and Diane and Liam (not) they got what they deserved. But fear not for our Bill, he is safe and sound.

Chemo session number five tomorrow, at least I have something to think about.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Little Death

I read in a psychology book that spoke of the petite mort the little death of orgasm. I never knew what that was until I was with a man the first time. I was in the arms of the man who would be my husband and I could feel him inside me and I had an orgasm, so clear and strong that I lost my breath and felt faint beneath him. If I could have died at that moment, I surely would have, because that first time, there is just nothing like it.

Some of you may think this topic is inappropriate to speak of, but I can tell you that the sick have blushingly real dreams of fevered sex and long for that moment when you hover between the worlds of concious and unconcious when you have a climax. Afterwards there is an emptiness that only women can feel, male orgasm being so much more a physical release. I sit in a reclining chair covered with a hospital issue sheet under me and I watch that damned drip doing its alchemy and I dream such dreams from my fevered brain that would make even a seasoned pro blush. I go into the treatment room pale as any Vamp and I come out indecently rosy. And at night I dream of my lovers, relentless, passionate, cruelly so and I awake in the fevered sweat of chemotheraphy and pure desire.

In the 1800's TB was considered the wasting disease and even thought of the Vampire's disease, when the dying were rose pink and full of the lust of nature, the animal drive to reproduce before you disappear all together. But not long after my treatment, I am sick and I vomit and gag and the last thing I want to do is have sex. But in those moments, I hunger, I desire and I burn with more than chemically induced fever.

I have lost twenty pounds already. My doctor wants to put in a NG tube to feed me, but I refuse. Everything on my stomach comes up anyway and it interfers with the speed of the central line delivery of my pain drugs. I will take the sleeping cure and sleep in the day and rise and walk, or at least sit with my lap top on my lap, at night.

Come to me lover, I am hungry

Friday, October 17, 2008

Sacraments of Flesh and Blood

Sacraments...when you are a Roman Catholic you hear a lot about those. Baptism, Extreme Unction, Holy Communion. I think the notion of sacraments were the things that attracted me the most about the Church. Prods make such a big deal about Communion being a symbol, but it isn't just a symbol. It's real.

I became more intimate with the notion of communion when I read Memnoch the Devil, by Anne Rice. Now, I only liked two of her books, this one and Interview. In Memnoch, Vampire Lestat is taken on a sort of Divine Comedy and Paradise Lost sort of voyage where he sees heaven and hell and the death of Christ. Lestat, being Vampire, is transfixed by the divine sacrifice of Christ's crucifixion very much for the same reason that we should be. It's the blood. The promise of everlasting life and salvation from death. The juxtaposition of life in the midst of death and for Lestat, death before the Ultimate Life is fascinating. The Vampire's promise, if there is such a thing, is everlasting life, as a walking undead. Christ's promise is the everlasting salvation of the soul though the body dies and fades away. It will be resurrected, of course, but til the judgement trump our human presence is erased.

In Dracula, the Vampire promises eternal life and everlasting love, to walk in the shadows and to control the beasts and the winds. Mina joins in this other communion with the Count, as Sookie did with Bill, as all female Victims do in the arms of their Vampire. Love and sex and religion and sacrament become entangled as their bed sheets as they embrace the ultimate "human" love. Are the Vampires, when they share their own sweet stuff, imitating the (not blaspheming) the act of Christ on his Cross? To have a love who will not die, immune to all disease except those particular to the Vampire? To embrace the sacred love of believer and God, the ecstacy that St. Therese felt in the presence of the angel.

So, is this the root of the tale of Vampire, denied the sacraments of Church, so they go to those who can fulfill the promise in covenants of flesh and blood? And is not their dark kiss the gift of salvation from earthly death. I don't know, perhaps I seek a cure from all my pain, a body that will never sicken, never die and a lover who will always walk with me through the centuries. But what of the soul?


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The White Chalice Dress

All the folks at were snarking on Sookie's beautiful white chalice dress. Well, here is my observation.

See I read the book, and the love scene and what she wore to bed briefly that night are completely different from the show, and to be honest, the book version of the love scene is far more complete. In the book, Bill doesn't really understand the extent of Sookie's experience or lack there of with men. When he begins to make love to her, in her grandmother's bedroom, he discovers her virginity and he is very considerate (compaired to the raw, rough sex of Liam, on of the evil Vampires) of the fact that she will feel discomfort when he finally has her. He listens to her and gages his own reactions based on her pleasure or pain. I wished there had been more to it on the show, not neccessarily more explicit, just more interaction.

Now, the show was very good. It begins with the white chalice dress, and there is a reason that she wears this dress. In the book, during the moonlight walk, he comments on her dress, that it matches the color of her eyes (in the book, Sookie's eyes are blue, Bill's are black) and that there isn't a lot of it. He continues to tell her that he finds her pretty but he still liked the long skirts that women wore in his early life, especially, the petticoats and lacy underthings. I think the show was trying to pay tribute to Bill's old fashioned taste for long dresses and skirts and what may be under them. So take that all you snarkers.

Suicide Solution

Don't get excited constant reader, I am not contemplating a final solution for my situation. I feel terrible, my throat hurts and I have blisters on the inside of my mouth. Yeah, I feel real attractive.....

No, I wanted to write something about someone I met a long time ago. This was before the time of my using a computer, and I met this person through U2's Propaganda magazine. I was just wanting to meet someone else out there wh liked the band as much as I did and it turned into a fairly intense letter writing compaign between us. His name I will not disclose for obvious reasons. It was short lived. A few months, but suddenly he stopped writing. I never really knew why. He was a writer and he'd self published, but what I didn't have an inkling of until the very end was that he was a troubled soul.

Years later, I googled him and discovered he'd committed suicide. He jumped out of a window in front of his friends. And I still don't know how to feel about that, you know? He did it a couple of years after we stopped writing, so I don't really feel like it was anything I was responsible for. It just gives me an oogie sort of feeling, you know?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Can the Dead Love?

In True Blood, Tara asks Lafayette a question: Do you think they are capable of loving a person? Lafayette says "Who knows what they are capable of doing." So I ask the question, do the dead love?

I don't know and I suspect this is what Bill is trying to discover himself. If he can love Sookie, he might be able to salvage his bit of humanity and his soul. But what about in real life? Is that what melancholia is, when the living feel the yearning love of the dead?

Gaelyn came to see me today. I didn't know he was coming in, though I suspect mom and dad knew. He was lovely as ever but I couldn't stand to feel his pity and love. I turned my back on him and refused to speak to him. I breathed a sigh of relief when he left my room. Mom came up and railed on me until I began to cough and puke.

I love Gaelyn, but I can't stand to feel his pity. I hate him for it. Is that what Bill feels in the book when he knows that Sookie is pitying him? I don't think the dead love like the living. I'm tired.

A Cool Dark Place

I was sick all last night. Vomiting (though there isn't much there), fever, headaches. The light hurt my eyes and sound drove me insane. I lay there in my bed, waiting for the morphine to kick in before I vomited the tablets up. The doctor said that I might have to use my central line catheter to begin pushing the morphine, God, please don't have him suggest the morphine cocktail, the Deadman's cocktail. I would rather have the pain than have to drink it. Everyone I have ever known has had to drink it just before they died.

But dawn came and I felt better. I always feel good in the morning (comparatively) and I laid there in my bed, sweaty and smelly because the chemo runs out of my pores and turns my sweat sour. I lie there in the dark and begin to day dream and let my spirit relax. To die, to sleep, perchance to dream. What dreams may come.

Did you ever see that movie? It's about a man whose wife dies in a car accident and he commits suicide and he travels to the underworld and sees certain truths about life and death. I hate that movie, not because it was a bad movie or because it isn't well made, but because it tells a simple and unforgivable lie. That we can redeem the dead and find happiness there. To live among the dead and recreate the life that they never had in their living days. You can't do it.

I lived for a long time with the shades of my past, the relentless and painful act of love and hate and mourning. The fact that though I love Jimmy, I hate him too because he died and no longer walks the earthly plane, the fact that I love Amber and hate her too, because she made my failure complete. All the people I loved are dead and I couldn't save them and now they haunt me, filling up my fevered brain with their phantasms.

Go away, all I want is a cool dark place.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Love and Trust

Well, Sookie and Bill made love, I think it was the most anticipated love scene between a mortal and Vampire ever. But let's back up for just a moment.

Sookie's gran was murdered and Bill comes to her like an answer to prayer. He holds her and senses the approach of another human and turns with his fangs out, but it is only Sam, whom Bill grabs by the throat and puts against the wall. But Sookie and Bill's reunion is truncated as dawn is coming and Bill must leave for his resting place. (In the book it is the earth of his own grave, in the show, it is under the floor boards of his house)

Then there is the obligatory wake. Sookie is in deep shock and mourning and cannot shield herself from the uncharitable thoughts of the people moving around in her house, eating the equally obligatory grief buffet. She screams at a woman to leave her gran's peacan pie alone.

After she loses it, Tara and Lafayette takes her upstairs and gives her much needed consolation. When the two girls are alone with Layattes gift of a valium (V to me), Jason comes up and slaps Sookie and blames her for the death of her gran becuase she's screwing Vampires. Of course he is strung out on another V, talk about your pot calling the kettle black. Tara gets between them. And Sookie finally takes Lafayette's valium.

As she rests, someone comes into the room and begins to strangle her. She calls out a choked "Bill!". Of course it is a dream, being had by our resident Vampire, trapped in his resting place until he can leave it when the sun goes down. His fear and anguish and frustration is palitable as he turns on the light he rigged for himself and looks at his watch.

Tara sends everyone out of Sookie's house and they leave. She and Lafayette clean up the house and the left over food from the grief buffet. When darkness falls, they hear the door being slammed open and see a shadow running up the stairs. It's Bill. He runs to Sookie's bedroom and shakes her calling her name over and over again til she rouses herself. She wakes to the anxious face of her Vampire and asks him what is wrong. He tells her he had a bad dream and was worried about her. He tells her to go back to sleep and she does, curling around his arm. Bill kneels at her bedside and looks at her in an attitude of prayer.

Later Tara is looking out at the darkened yard at Bill who stands sentry under Sookie's window, drinking a bottle of TruBlood. The collie dog (Sam)
joins him. Tara asks Lafayette "Do you think they can really love a person?" Lafayette answers "Who knows what they can do,"

The day of funeral is traumatic because of the voices of the townsfolk around her, her brother withdrawing from V beside her and the appearance of her Uncle Bartlett. She tries to give the eulogy but is stopped by the voices in her head. She curses the crowd and runs off to the older part of the cemetery and there finds the memorial grave the family erected for Bill.

She returns to the grave side after everyone is gone and Sam walks her to her door. She sends him on his way and goes in and eats the rest of her grandmother's pecan pie. She then goes up and changes her clothes into a lovely white chalice dress and waits for sundown. As soon as the shadows of night fall bleed away the day, she runs out, across the property between her and Bill's house. Bill comes out, flinging open the double doors, a Vampire with a purpose. Remember, Bill told her that after she drank his blood he'd always be able to feel her. He closes his eyes and senses her and comes off the porch at the first sight of her. They embrace and kiss and he picks her up and carries her in the house, like a bride to the bridal chamber and there they make love in front of the fire in his parlor. As the scene developes, so do Bill's fangs. He fears that this will frighten her but instead she pulls him to her and as they begin to reach fulfillment he looks at her, he's so hungry for her and Sookie says "Do it, I want you to," and he penetrates her in a more Vampiric way.

Well, it gave me something to think about while I had my chemo, anyway.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Dawn changes everything

The house is quiet and the cat is sleeping in the floor near my bed, his piggy little snores come to me and I am awake. I have never really been a morning person but here I am, at 5:30 in the morning typing away.

I light the first cigarette of the day and watch the smoke rise from the tip. A dirty habit, I know, but I feel relaxed, more so than when I have that evil drip in me and I tense up anticipating the effects of my alchemy experiment. I know that I will begin to have more side effects. I have only been nauseous so far.

Drugs are bizarre aren't they? I mean really. They heal, they kill, they reduce pain and they cause it. I never was one for drugs except a little pot in my youth. Now there are drugs that they give people that can cause them to have a psychotic break, even antismoking drugs can give you suicidal thoughts. Hell, give me the smokes any day.

And we routinely drug people, especially young people all of the time. They drift around through their day, only to be hyper and obnoxious at the end of it, unable to cope with the short circuits in their head. There is no talking cure anymore and insurance companies are more likely to pay doctors more to prescribe meds than to actually talk through their troubles and learn to stabilize themselves.

I understand there are some mental illnesses that are organic and have to be treated with meds, but we over look the blessings of simply talking to someone, anyone. I think this is why online communities are so plural. We long to connect with people who think and feel as we feel, to feel not so alone in the world. We make the world a lonely place by ignoring others in real life and connect only in the virtual lives we create for ourselves online.

We cannot embrace what we do not understand if we don't make eye contact and feel the energies we pass forom one person to another when we speak to one another directly. Our eyes are closing to one another and we could be lying beside a lover and feel disconnected them, swimming in an alien sea of numbness caused by inability to connect on a one on one level. I think that is why we go from bed to bed, partner to partner, trying to make that connection but we don't know how. And whatever feelings, fears and doubts we have, we medicate until we are like the Pink Floyd song "Comfortably Numb"

So in the silent morning of my house, I feel that sense of dawn breaking, changing everything from dark to light but I know that mankind lives in his own twightlight world where we are mute and blind and deaf to one another. We grope in the darkness of our insularity trying to make connections, to feel something for a change, but how much can we feel if the new day does not bring new dreams for us to experience and people to share it with?

Saturday, October 11, 2008


So now I speak of Bill

I wrote in to the True Blood site that the character of Bill is haunted by his war experience. Of course I understand that conundrum. I had a husband who felt the weight of his war time experiences that effected him all his life. I wish I could of reached out to him and comforted him, as I do wish that Sookie could comfort Bill.

Bill is a complicated character who lives in the shadows of his human life. He is a Vampire who lives in a haunted house of his past life. He sees the shadows of his former human self, a human self he thinks is the far past. The truth is trauma lives through him, as much as he would like to forget it. It is like he is suffering from PTSD. Imagine a Vampire suffering at all. I think he hates it that he remembers the bad times of his life as a human, and if he would only embrace these bad times, he would recapture that human part of himself he desperately wishes he could remember for the sake of his love for Sookie.

Sookie recognizes this suffering though she doesn't fully understand how they came to be. Isn't that like the real the real world. We desperately want to understand another person's suffering but we don't know how.

Interesting, isn't it?

Late Night Truth Telling: Out of the Broom Closet

I come form a long line of people who were witches, whether they actually said the word or not. Among these talented people is my mother. Untrained and natural, my mother has been practicing witchcraft for years though she would never say that she was a witch, primarily because of all the bad press the word has gotten over the centuries.

I was lying in my bed and reading Dead Until Dark for the umpteenth time when my mother ventured up the stairs of my attic bedroom to check on me. She sat in the battered old recliner in my room, near my bed and put my book down and sipped at the single glass of wine I am afforded every evening.

We began talking of all sorts of things, including the paranormal. She spoke of her family and her intentions when she made things. She gave me a precious medicine bag and I slipped it over my head. After flitting around the topic for sometime, I finally came out with it. Just as it was put to me over ten years ago. I said, "Mom, you are a witch, deal with it," I said. She looked at me and asked me how I knew and that is when I came out of the broom closet. "I know this, because I am a practicing witch myself," I looked at her evenly, without wavering.

The revelation of both her and my being a witch was startling for the both of us. She looked at me and said, "I never thought about that because of the injunction in the Bible, suffer not a witch to live," I told her that God's command about witches were about being a witch that dishonors the God she believes in.

It was amazing, suddenly there was ease in the room. We didn't speak anymore on the subject but she was calmer and more relaxed and it seemed that the wall between us that had existed ever since I was made a witch over ten years ago stopped.

I don't know what will happen now, perhaps nothing, perhaps everything, but it is out in the air, and so close to Samhain.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Pity for the Vampire

I was sitting in the doctor's office today after my treatment (happy happy joy joy) and some sweet old soul was talking to me like you do when you are in strange social settings. She asked me if I was a patient or was I waiting for someone. I showed her the hospital bracelet I always have to wear. There was that look of pity. I hate it when they do that.

So, it dawned on me as I read my book, that that is the reason Bill always warns Sookie off from pitying him and all he lost when he became a Vampire. When it is done to you, you feel this wave of "poor thing" wash over you emanating from the person you speak to. Being a aurist and sensitive to people's vibes and auras, my illness makes it worse. And with the sickness, I am more aware of their rainbow like colors in that sunburst halo. I suppose I have something in common with Sookie, in that I have scruples that tell me that I am unethical to just go about looking at people's auras. Thing is, I can't see my own and tell if I am getting better or not. But maybe it is better if I not know. But let's get back to Vampires, shall we.

Bill has lost a lot in his time for being a vampire. He lost his mother and father, his beloved sister, his wife and children, all because his being a Vampire made it impossible to go home, because now he is the stuff of myth and legend, a souless monster wandering the night looking for humans to feed on. He would place his family in jeopardy if he tried to allow his family to harbor him, even if they could accept that he is a Vampire.

And he walked through nearly two centuries, either alone or in the company of others like him, who I think that despite his declaration that he craves the company of other Vampires, he actually despises them, and himself a little. Maybe that is what is wrong in Bill and Sookie's affaire d'amour. He can't let go of that whole Vampiric arrogance because he sees himself as nonhuman, but he doesn't really like what has happened to him. Unlike Louis in Interview with a Vampire, Bill was forced to be a Vampire by the woman who made him and then forced again to leave his loved ones by this same female Vampire.

But Sookie is human, warm and alive, and she loves Bill and it hurts her to think of all he lost because she knows how she would feel if something bad happened to him. She understands loss, with the brutal murder of her grandmother and the deaths of her father and mother. She wants to show him compassion, and maybe that is what Bill is really afraid of, the compassion. Passion is different, it is hot and liquid and fun to play with and in. Compassion is a complicated, complex thing. It makes you vulnerable, even more so than passion. Once you lose your ability to be compassionate, you lose your soul to indifference. And on many levels, for a sensitive man like Bill Compton, compassion was something he could not really afford. Compassion, after all, requires that you feel things that are painful.

So does Bill or any other Vampire for that matter, have a soul? We play with the notion of a Vampire with a soul in popular culture, Louie, Angel, now Bill Compton. Even on the series Charmed Cole, the demon Balthasar, was half human and possessed a soul. Why do we want in this day and age to endow the Vampire with a soul? Is it so we will like them better? Is it that we hope that characters like Bill Compton can fall in love with their Sookie and live happily ever after? Is it so that we can believe in a redemption for them, that God might pity them? That's ironic.

Francis Ford Coppola's take on Bram Stoker's Dracula played on that notion, that Mina's love for the Count, albiet a bit glamoured, would free him from the curse that condemned him to his state as Vampire and give him peace, in otherwords, salvation.

Will embracing compassion and empathy make Bill feel and be more human? Will it help him with his angers and rages and hungers? If he does that, is he like the Children of Lir who were turned into a swans and when they were freed after a thousand years, they became old people and died? Will compassion and empathy kill our beloved Bill Compton and cause him to lose what he craves the most, almost more than blood and that is a normal life? We shall have to see.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Midnight is where the day begins

It isn't quite midnight but is close enough. The house is quiet and Bono is sighing and fluttering through Your Blue Room. Ishee is asleep at my feet. It's strange how animals know when there is something wrong with you. Ishee isn't the nicest cat, more apt to bite than to purr. But he has been an angel since I got sick.

Have you ever listened to the silence of your house, late at night, just turn off your TV and mp3 player and listen to the silence coming from the house. Small creaks of the frame of the house settling, the sound of snoring in the other room, the ticking of the carriage clock on the mantel, and in my case the clack of the keys of my keyboard as I write this.

The house is so loud and busy otherwise. The TV's are playing and the phone rings or someone knocks on the door. The cat is complaining about the hair laid across his bunghole and you can hear the cigarette burn when you put it to your lips to take a draw.

I remember in college, I took this class about disablilities and one of our assignments was to cripple ourselves for three days. I went blind. I have these dark Bono sunglasses and I took water soluable glue and stuck cotton balls on the inside to keep my eyelids down. I normally wear corrective lenses, legally blind without them, but I wanted to see what it is like to be blind.

It's wierd. The outside is scary, because it feels like you are walking on the edge of the earth and you are about to fall. I went to the grocery store and I seemed loud and smelly, fruit and vegetables smelled gone over. Flowers feel like strange alien insects. I tried to sit in the kitchen while mom was cooking and it was too loud. So I got up and went into the living room for TV. The only shows I could watch with real meaning was Roseanne and MASH because the characters are as familiar to me as the people I live with. Other programs were like reading a book with pages missing.

The only time I would take the glasses off was to bathe. I turned out the bathroom light and lit a candle and bathed that way. It was very abstract, but as I lay in the water, I felt like the way the blind fetus must feel floating in it's amniotic seas. I have several books on tape and I listened to one of those. I recorded my journal every night before I went to bed.

Blind sex is bizarre. I was dating a boy and he took me to his house and we made love and it was strange because I had no reference point. Sex is so much about seeing and being unable to watch him moving against me and look into his eyes was distracting and I had a difficult time reaching orgasm. TMI? Tough, don't read this if you don't want to. One thing that was fun was exploring him with my hands, his face, his hair, his chest and legs, his penis, smelling every part of him, feeling his body hair. But when he did the same to me, it was as if my body was not my own anymore.

Food was fun though. My mom would fix my plate and then we said the plate was the face of a clock and the potatoes were at twelve, the corn at three, the meat at six and my bread at nine. Food tasted richer though. So there I was, in the dark, realizing that midnight is where the day begins.

The Vampire or the Victim

I made it. Just some nausea but I made it. Tired, but restless.

Back to the Southern Vampires.

We were talking about humanity. Bill's, Sookies, Jason's, the Vamp's in Monroe, the ones at Fangtasia, all the people in this insular little microcosm of life encapsulated in Bon Temps.

There is a real representation in this tale, white and black, rich and poor, old and young, gay and straight, living and undead. I know Charlaine Harris explores the Vampire culture in other parts of America in her other books, but since I haven't read them yet, I will stick to this little middle of the road place where extraordinary people meet under extraordinary circumstances.

As I sat there in the treatment room watching the drip and listening to You Know Who, I began to think of what the world would be like if some humanlike alien were to land smack in the middle of ordinary human life. I know it has been treated before in shows like Alien Nation, but what if we had to relearn everything we had been taught for centuries about a certain tribe or race of people.

It has happened among our own human race with the various groups that flowed into the larger world, especially in America. Where there were once the Native peoples of the Americas, free to roam and live and fight and celebrate and die on this continent, now there is a melting pot. We have people here for reasons of slavery, war, some just looking for something else, maybe a little better than they had at home, some looking for freedom, for identity, for a life different from their own.

I think it is fascinationg that Harris makes her Vampire Bill a Civil War Veteran when now, he wants to have civil rights that were denied the slaves that lived in his father's house. Now Bill is the one looked at with contempt and suspicion. That her story is set in the Deep South, the unfortunate hot bed of so much bigotry is not lost on me and now Bill suffers because of the fears and prejudices that exist there. He is white, supposedly of the privileged class, but as one of Arlene's children observed, "Mamma, he's so white," Arlene responds, "No baby, we're white, he's dead," And when you are the object of prejudice, aren't you dead to the world of justice and equality?

Bill and the other Vampires do not see themselves as human. Why? Is it more than just Vampire arrogance for their race? Or is it that after being characterized as monsters and beasts they have voluntarily given up on their humanity, considered it not important enough to fight for because no one will change?

And doesn't that happen when you give up on yourself? Nothing left to fight for so you look at other people as smaller than you, less substantial. Don't we feed on each other's fears, like a Vampire feeds on his human victim? We twist truths and generalizations and we promote the notion that the people we hate are less human, less capable of values and virtues, mindless and destructive?

Today, we paint pictures of people we hate. Take Muslims for example. Don't we bestialize the Muslim people, characterize all Muslims as mad, vicious animals, blood thirsty beasts, demons who turn away from the True Faith? I admit to that, hell, confession is good for the soul. But when we turn to face that local enemy, the quiet Muslim man who loves America and is as insulted as I about September 11, don't we in turn become the slavering beast of horror? Don't we become the beastial creature who desires the life blood. Aren't we as the Vampires of old and new?

Let's hope Bill and Sookie and all the others discover this truth.

The Rain

I woke up this morning to the rain. It was still dark outside and the rain was coming down in steady little patter. I lie in the dark and listen to it and think of how cooling it is. The nights and days have been cooler and i have had the opportunity to live without the air conditioner. The air conditioner runs all through the summer and becomes a sort of irritating white noise after a while, tricking my ears into thinking they can't hear things. But now, like Sookie in her cone of silence with her beloved Bill, I can listen to the night sounds, the crickets, the night birds, the wind.

I slept well last night. I didn't dream at all. I feel better, stronger, even. But today I have to go to the hospital for my first treatment. I'll take my mp3 player and my copy of Dead Until Dark and read it while I take the cure.

It's raining again. Here comes the rain again, falling on my head like a melody, falling on my head like a new emotion.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008


So, what shall we talk about? Chemo? Radiation? Southern Vampires? The night is closing in. Tomorrow I go for my first chemo. Such fun. Some of my friends complain that I have stopped writing about magik. But I haven't. I'm about to become a gigantic alchemy experiment. Arsenic, quicksilver, lead. Maybe I will be turned into gold. Makes me wish there were true Vampires who would bite me and make me immortal. I'm a night person anyway. Living the life of a Vampire would be an easy transition for me. Just wait until I lose another thirty pounds. I don't want go through eternity a fat girl.

I sound bitter. Maybe I am. Slept for a couple of hours and dreamed that this was all a terrible joke. What is it? The joke stops being funny when the joke starts being you.

I painted my fingernails black. I never thought I would want to that. I was never into the goth scene, not even as fashion. But there was something almost perversely satisfying about spreading three coats of black polish over my nails.

Mom is harping at me for smoking. She says I smoke too much. I think I should smoke two at a time. What do you think?

I'm still looking forward to Samhain. Giving out candy, watching horror movies. Gaelyn called and asked me if he could come and spend Samhain with me. I haven't said yet. Maybe I will.

Maybe I won't.

My priest came by to speak to me. He's a wonderful man, full blooded Italian, Virgo, 73 years old. He worries about my faith during this time. I have the faith of angels. He needn't worry.

I listened to U2 today and tried to talk to mom about what they really mean to me. I told her that no matter how many times I hear Bono growl and moan, Edge hit that E cord, Larry pound the bass drum like a heart beat, Adam give the music some sex, I still thrill to them. I sat there in the gazebo and felt absolutely stoned. Like that Nine Inch Nails song "Perfect Drug", U2 takes me higher than any dope I ever did. I will make sure I take my mp3 player to the doctors with me so I can let them hypnotize me while I go through this. Bono's voice is like the hand of a lover on my mind and soul. He makes love to me, and me alone when I listen to him sing. But Ali mustn't worry, it's only music love, not anything franker. I couldn't make mom understand it. When I say that I love U2, I mean I love U2.

Went to a friend's house today to help him with his computer. He's 62, a friend of the family. He'd like to be sexy but I think he's reaching. He wants to be intellectual, but he doesn't have the nerve. He's afraid of what he might discover about himself if he would let go. "Afraid of what you'd find if you took a look inside" See I knew it, U2 is the I Ching.

We all hide, don't we? I know who I am. Aslinn, the Christian Witch, Crone, unemployed teacher with cancer. Two of my most favorite students do not even write me. Well, they are young, they don't know how to deal with the situation my situation is in. I miss them.

I'll quit

Another Thread

So, let's talk some more about these Southern Vampires. Let's talk about what the metaphor means when we see this strange coming together of species and what it is supposed to teach us.

I am fascinated by the fans of this show. Granted they are probably younger than I am, but I think I get it more than the average fan. Maybe not, but anything to take my mind off what is happening to me.

Allow me to speak of the book, Dead Until Dark, the 1st book of the series and the one the show is taken from. We are dealing with a lot of stereo types here. Racial stereotypes, gender stereotypes and regional stereotypes. For example, Mack and Denise Rattray are the quintiscential red neck white trash that makes Southern people want to cringe. Vulgar, rude, self serving, they deserved to be drained by Bill. Wonder what Bill thought he was going to do with them when he went out with the Rattrays anyway. I have the distinct impression that they didn't have enough brains to be glamoured by Bill anyway.

Then you have LaFayette. I like his character, though the book doesn't play him up as much as the show. He's a loud mouth, brassy queen who works as a short order cook at Merlotte's. He is wild and vulgar but in an amusing way we all enjoy when we see stereotypes of gay men. Along with that, you have Tara, his cousin, though she isn't in the first book. She is militant, pissed off because she is a smart black woman in this "podunc" town. I liked it when she said "College is for white people who want to read to each other, I thought I'd just save my money and read to myself," I really knew what she meant by that. I like it that she is pissed off for being named after a plantation. I hate to see people put Bill against the wall, but I kind of liked the scene when Bill was talking to Miss Stackhouse and she asked him if he ever owned slaves. Of course Bill is cool as a cucumber and admits that his father did. Tara isn't buying it.

In the show, there are examples of interracial trysts that simply don't exist in the book which would have put Sookie and Bills relationship in context. Tara has always been in love with Jason Stackhouse, and Tara sleeps with Sam Merlotte. LaFayette is a sort of hustler who has an overnight guest in his house in the form of a middle aged white man he claims is a state senator.

In matters of gender, Bill and Sookie's conversation during the moonlight walk is interesting. In the book, Bill notices that her dress is the same shade as her eyes, but then he remarks: "Not much of it, though," Bill shows his more conservative nature. Also, when he takes Sookie to Fangtasia he tells her she looks like Vampire bait. He thinks she is pretty but his masculine ego wants to cover her up, keep her to himself. He may be undead but he is still male, even if he doesn't consider himself human.

And then there are all those myths about Vampires, that they are evil animalistic creatures without a soul. Liam, Malcolm and Diane relish the notion of the old stereo types, they are quite arrogant about them. Even Bill is not above it. They play the part of Vampire that humans believe they are. When Sookie and Bill walk into Fangtasia in the show, Sookie remarks "It looks like a Vampire Bar if Disney made it an attraction," Bill says, "Don't feel to confident, it tends to become more authentic as the night goes on," When a man is rebuffed by Eric, the owner and oldest thing in the bar, the Vampires react very strongly. With a smug look on his face, Bill asks Sookie, "Still think you are in Disneyland?"

And if there is something I find absolutely distasteful about Bill is his attitude about Sookie's ignornace about Vampire culture, but he only teaches her after a crisis. I guess it is his own brand of arrogance, perhaps even distrust. Sookie doesn't really get him a lot of the time, he is 170 years old and he has a world of experiences, but he overlooks the fact that Sookie is a young woman in a Southern backwater and she is only 25 years old. Patience is not one of Bill's stronger points. But I suppose I have that same problem too, very little patience in matters of ignorance.

And of course, the story centers on those murders. It is based on prejudice as well, as it is apparently about someone who hates women who have sex with Vampires. It happened when white people and black people began to date each other, so it figures in the South there would be a built in dislike for Vampire/human relationships.

Then there is the notion of virus. In the book, the Vampires are believed to be victims of a virus that makes them allergic to silver, garlic and sunlight and crave blood. But on the show, Bill lays his cards down on the table. After the scene with Liam, Diane and Malcolm, Sookie goes home and Bill appears on her porch. She tries to read his thoughs though she knows it is an exercise in futility. "Why can't I read your thoughts?" she asked. Bill shrugs "Maybe its because I don't have brain waves," he answers. "Why don't you?" she asks. "Because I'm dead," he answers. Sookie tries to dance around that notion, arguing with him. "What animates you no longer animates me," says Bill. Bill may have a Longfellow's veiw of his own existance, but he should understand that Sookie just doesn't have the reference point to understand him.

I'll quit.

Monday, October 06, 2008

I would not stop for death

I went to see my reiki healer today. I lie there as he directs me through the meditation process to put me in deep visualization and I can see the thing that would like to kill me. Like some evil alien child deep inside me, like Sigourney Weaver.

I have dreams during reiki, I shouldn't but I do. They give me a fever that the tylenol my mother gives as I lie in bed does not touch. I dream of my husband. He is dead, long dead, almost 13 years now. I would not stop for death, so death kindly stopped for me. I will fight it.

My mom and dad want to talk about it all the time. I can hear them whisper around the house and it makes me nervous. I want tell them to shut up about it, but I know it will upset them.

I broke up with the old goat, my Gaelyn. I can't have him nurse maiding me. He needs a whole person to live his very busy lifestyle with him. I am relieved on a lot of levels, but I do miss him. I'm selfish, I know, but I want to be alone through this, like an animal who is sick and wants nothing more than to crawl under the porch and sleep and maybe get well. Death, be not proud.

I have no doubt that I will live through this. I have willed it to be so, but I must fight the battle. My dad has scored me a half dozen joints and is keeping them for me for when I start chemo and radiation. The oncologist, using the vaguest terms suggested it since it is illegal. Funny thing is, he tells me I should give up cigarettes. Hell, doc, it can't hurt me now and might be the lone thing that will keep me from putting my hands around your neck and strangling you.

At night I lie in my bed in the dark. When was the last time I slept in the absolute dark? When I was married? Yes, I think so. Now I crave the dark, like those southern vampires I wrote about earlier today. It's like my coffin and I am for the time being one of the undead.

I got up last night and slipped out of the house and into the yard and walked barefoot in the drought dry grass and looked up to the cloudless night sky, but I have too many lights in my neighborhood and I can't see many stars. I lit a cigarette and smoked it to the filter and wished there was something I could do other than be poisoned nearly to death by chemo and radiation. I asked about surgery but they want to shrink it first and put another one of those damned nuclear discs in me. I had radiation burns on my suture site. My neighbor's daughter couldn't come see me because she was pregnant. I couldn't even go to Walmart.

I listen to U2's song Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own. Bono wrote it about his dad's last dying days and his efforts to be with him til the end. I love him. Bono. He is a loud mouth and he reminds me of a mix of St Peter and St John the Baptist. I listened to his voice all day and fell asleep and dreamed of angels and they were singing with him. I wish he were here so he could sing to me personally, or stand guard or something. I just personally believe that the angels fight on his side.

I feel like that guy in the Godfather, the old consiglieri, who is dying and he asked Don Corleone to stand guard so that if the Angel of Death sees the Don there he might pass him by. Bono's no Don, but I know he has the most wonderful blue eyes. I would love to just look into those eyes just once.

Darvocettes are kicking in and I am rambling. That's okay. I don't have a lot of pain so I get a little dopey when I med myself. The doctors say that will change after a couple of doses of chemo. Oh joy.

I wonder if I will lose my hair. I didn't the last time. I mean, it's sort of bummer because I used to shave my head and now I finally have my hair growing into something verging on a hairstyle and now I might be baldy. When it rains.....

Southern Vampires

Okay, I admit it, I am hooked on True Blood, the new show on HBO. I have been sick for the last few weeks but I have decided to focus less on my illness and more on this amazing new show that has me entirely intrigued.

The show comes from Charlaine Harris' Southern Vampire novels. It centers on a fictional town in Louisiana called Bon Temps and it is set in a post Katrina South where Vampires are the new racial flavor among the citizens of the USA. We meet Sookie Stackhouse, a bar maid with telepathic powers and the mysterious Bill Compton, the local Vampire, claiming his family's ancestoral home and trying his best to mainstream, a Vampire among humans after centuries of solitude beyond the company of Vampires who he says are more apt to be cruel and have less humanity in them.

I am fascinated by the growing relationship between these two as they struggle with their otherness and their inability to be completely comfortable among so called normal people. I think I identify with them because being a witch is a sort of otherness. I confess to a sort of soap opera mentality to a certain extent, but I am also very aware of the differences I have with other people of mainstream religion and the Wiccan/Pagan world of witchcraft. I love the notion that these two people, these two characters, will somehow create a safe haven for each other.

One of the things that Sookie appreciates about Bill is that she can't read his mind, his thoughts do not intrude on her and she loves the silence he emits. Bill appreciates Sookie because she is at ease with him, unafraid of his being a Vampire and accepting of him when others distrust him and fear him. Both feed on each other for this emotional comfort. You have to ask the question, who is the Vampire and who is the victim.

In the middle of this unconventional love affair is a mystery waiting to be solved and this creates tension for the two, making their fledgeling relationship even more difficult. There have been two murders (so far) of women who have sexual relationships with Vampires and there are two suspects, Sookie's brother Jason and Sookie's Vampire, Bill.

Bill and Jason are extreme opposites in many instances. Jason is a womanizer to the "nth" degree, self absorbed and self indulgent. Bill is a Southern Gentleman, having lost his human life during the Civil War period of American history. He is courtly and gentle and polite and very charming. Jason is impulsive and inconsiderate and ignorant whereas Bill is careful and calculating, as a Vampire would be with an expanded history of experience as he walked through the decades to peer into human life. But there are similarities between the two men in her life, though the goals and aims are quite different. Jason seeks to control women for sex and pleasure and his own selfish needs. Bill seeks to control people for his one need, the desire to drink real human blood as opposed to the artificial blood developed by the Japanese (TruBlood) that may solve his nutritional needs but do nothing to kill his insticts. The Vampire himself must do that.

And not all Vampires want to mainstream. Take for instance Malcom, Liam and Diane. They are the stereotype Vampire, the sort of Vampires who don't want to follow the new directives from "Vamp Central". They create tension for Sookie and Bill beyond what tension there may already be. As Malcolm said to Bill during a confrontation: "Honey, what good is being a Vampire if you can't kill people?" They frighten Sookie, and they should because they are evil. But they do something insidious, they make her afraid of all other Vampires, and question her relationship with Bill who, when you get past the personalities are just as they, a hunter who loves the chase and the capture. Their behaviour taints her image of Bill as a potential suitor.

So how does she reconcile these things in her heart so she can fall in love and make love to this devistatingly handsome man whose thoughts she can't read? How does she loose herself and claim her own sense of her sexual self? Can Bill free her and love her without hurting her with his Vampire ways?

Who knows, but the tension is delicious.