The Sandbox Writing Challenge #63 — Live long and prosper?

On Nov 8th (Yes! I am almost caught up!), Calen asked a great question, one that has always intrigued me.

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Would you like to be immortal?

Yes, yes, yes! Ever since I was a child, I’ve been fascinated with an immortal race of beings – Vampires! I have no disillusions. I know they can be killed. However, I also know that if they can avoid an eternal death, they can be undead for an eternity, and that makes them immortal.

I am not exactly sure when my fascination began. Was it from sneaking down late on Friday and Saturday nights to watch old vampire movies? Perhaps. Or was it from reading Bram Stoker’s Dracula at 12? More than likely. Instead of being repulsed by bloodsuckers, I was fascinated. I wanted so badly to become one. As far back as I can remember, I’ve always been fascinated with the night, darkness, and nocturnal creatures.

In my early 20s, I joined a group of LARPers (Live Action Role Players) and played a vampiress. We roamed the streets of Roanoke VA at night pretending to be all manners of creatures. It was loads of fun. In my late 20s, I role-played a Vampiress in an online game for years. At times, I became my character. She became a part of who I was and still am.

I would gladly give up sunrises to become a vampire – the pale skin, fangs, ruby-red lips, alluring eyes, long black hair – yes, I want that.

My Love-Hate Relationship with Darkness

After reading Keith Garrett’s poem, Darkness and leaving a comment, I began to ponder about this love-hate relationship that I have with it.

I’ve always been a night creature. I would stay up past bedtime as a child and read under my covers or sneak downstairs after everyone had gone to bed to watch a scary movie on television. I loved everything Gothic – the literature, architecture, and the fashion, even that of the modern Goths which was just coming into scene in the early 80s. I often mused that I had my own dark soul (and still do) and this was why I was so attracted to the night, to darkness. As an adult, I surrounded myself with anything and everything darkness – clothes, make-up, boyfriends. I began studying witchcraft as a way to capture the essence of the night and all that it embodied. My poetry was dark and foreboding. I played an RPG game about vampires and created my own persona as that of a dark, brooding vampiress bent on revenge and surrounded by ravens. I lived and breathed the dark world I had created for myself.

And then madness set in. I’d always suffered mild bouts of depression, but managed to bounce back from each one. Some time around my fortieth birthday, I became not only severely depressed, but psychotic as well. I heard demonic voices telling me to harm or kill myself. My muses were gone and these voices replaced them more intensely than anything I’d ever experienced before. I become lost and hopeless. I spent my days and nights enmeshed in darkness. I rarely ventured from my home. I saw no one but my husband when he returned from his trips. I refused to go anywhere with him, even to shop for groceries. The result was endless arguments and physical fights. And suicidal attempts. I was hospitalized numerous times and drugged so badly that most of the time I didn’t even know my own name.

My ray of sunshine came in the form of a therapist who taught me Mindfulness and encouraged me to live in the light. I am well now. I no longer hear voices and I am not medicated. My muses have returned in full force. And yet, I still love the darkness, though it nearly caused my demise. Love. Hate. And love again. I just hope this isn’t a vicious cycle and I am just awaiting the madness to set in again.