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Nine Considerations for a Fledgling Vampire

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By Ascian

Whatever you are, and whatever choices you make, I fully support your right to make them, to express yourself, to join the "community", to call yourself whatever you will (as if my, or anyone else's, support matters in the least). From here forward, though, I will be talking to you as if you are indeed what you think you are -- a vampire: a human who must live as a parasite, taking energy (in one way or another) from other humans. As a fledgling vampire, there are a few things you will need to take into consideration.

1. When you spend a great deal of time alone (seclude yourself for a weekend), you will notice that you are weak, headachy, tired, depressed, even sick. Longer periods of isolation cause an intensification of the symptoms until you can easily convince yourself that you are in need of immediate medical attention. The solution is really simple -- no matter how annoying people are, getting out and surrounding yourself with them will boost your energy levels. Touch is better. Intimate touch is best. Exchanging fluids (a scary proposition nowadays) is the ultimate way to get the energy you need, but if you can find another way, that would be infinitely safer.

2. Food considerations you will have to make: take vitamin supplements and stock up on antacids, because you will become a very picky eater. No matter what you like, your digestive system just won't be able to handle it. You will eventually have to go high-protein and low almost everything else. A modified Atkins or SouthBeach diet plan works well, and those protein shakes -- as awful as they taste -- are sometimes the best thing.

3. Since you are still in school (I assume), sleep is something you can simply kiss goodbye for a while. Night is our time, and insomnia is the king. Rather than lying in bed tossing and turning for the best part of the night, get up and accomplish something. Do your homework, read a book, crawl out on the roof and look at the stars. Accept that your body wants to be awake at night, and use that time. You'll tire out eventually and usually get at least three hours of rest before you have to get up and start your day. Invest in alarm clocks -- lots of them. Then see if you can't arrange your class schedule to let you out early, or give you a long break midday or some other way to get some rest during the light of day. If nothing else, come straight home and take a nap, knowing that you are going to be up most of the night. You can't go forever on small amounts of sleep, so nap as much as you can on the weekends.

4. Buy a pair of lightly tinted sunglasses to wear inside (brown or gray -- no weird colors). Explain to your teacher, boss, mom, or whomever asks, that you've been having headaches and bright light makes it worse. If you're not trying to get away with wearing shades darker than absolutely necessary or some weird color that they will interpret as you just wanting to look different, the authority figures in your life will allow you to wear your sunglasses inside. Then buy the darkest tint you can find to wear outside, even on cloudy days, and you need no one's permission to do that. And for goodness sake, slather every bit of exposed skin in SPF-40 sunblock or higher! Walking to and from the car, in and out of buildings, all day every day... it adds up to enough to keep you constantly mildly sunburned.

5. EXCEL in everything you do -- school, work, cleaning house, etc. Again, I am thinking of school, and your teachers are much more likely to be sympathetic to the smart girl who needs to drink a protein shake in class to settle her stomach than to the obnoxious girl who doesn't do her work but who wants to drink a protein shake in class. You surely already know this, but exceptional people who are pleasant to be around DO get special treatment, and you're going to need it, at least occasionally.

6. Be mannerly, be polite, be interesting to talk to, give sincere compliments... the more you make the people around you happy, they more you can get away with doing whatever you want. Don't turn yourself into a goth chick. When you are on your own and need to attract the "right sort of people" that's perfectly fine, but for now, your life will go much more smoothly, and people who do have power over you will be much more accommodating if the outside world perceives you to be "normal".

7. Learn an art or craft: painting, knitting, sculpting, flower arranging, photography, playing an instrument or singing, writing -- something. In the coming years, you will need some way to express and release emotions (both your own and other people's that you pick up).

8. I'm sorry to say this, but you can never trust anyone completely. Not your family, not your friends, and certainly not people online. You can trust only yourself, and there are secrets you alone will have to keep. If you ever need to vent, write out whatever is on your heart then burn it. I really am sorry, but the few of us who would ever believe and accept you completely are exactly the same -- untrusting, solitary and secretive.

9. One last thing, again from personal experience: you can never know anything for sure. Just when you think you have life, the universe and everything figured out, all the rules change. You will continue to grow, learn, adapt and evolve, as will your hungers and passions.

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