“Maybe he does love us. Maybe it’s a kind of love that’s about ownership.
You know, you own what you can destroy. Maybe the base idea,
underlying truth, is about securing what you love with total control,
power over, complete dependency. I guess it may be that he gets a thrill
from an intimacy of pain, giving what is his to give, taking satisfaction
from that intensity of power.”
Autumn speaks of her father, the monster who in a sense devoured
her life. He is part of her creation, an overarching part. He is the
beast who devoured, destroyed her mother’s beauty and innocence,
and will to live, belief in anything like love or security or pleasure.
The need to escape his violence sent them on the run, landed them
in this dismal place. Yet Autumn loves her father, in a simple, complex
wishful desire for belonging, for family myths of entangled love.
Perhaps her primal, formative experience in monster love allows her
to feel safe with me. I am certainly dangerous to those strangers I
prey upon who seem quite at home in monstrous desire.
Perhaps I could subsist without draining, killing, could take just
enough to weaken unconscious drunks or junkies, derelicts who
would never be believed if they did remember me. Would that make
me less a monster? What if I fed on lesser animals, rats, coyotes,
feral dogs? Would that look like penance for my crimes against nature,
my unnatural afterlife?
I do as I do, among all that I can do, what feels natural to me.
Monster nature, without assured end, its own retribution, punishment,
enduring burn of caustic guilt.
No, the shame did not lessen on my experimental diets of nonhuman
vermin or hits of drug infused blood. I have walked undead long
enough to try it all, discover my vampire nature, with all of eternity
yet before me.
It’s not the loneliness, though I have often told myself, private pity
party cried that lie.
I do enjoy this amazing interval of fantasy, hours with Autumn away
from relentless confrontation with my truth. There is no real escape,
relief from the story I inhabit. I have no hope of welcoming home.
I died so very long ago. The monster who makes appointed rounds,
hides from day, becomes shadow through the night, knows this is
no way to live. There is no better future in my neverending sentence
without possibility of meaningful change, meaningful connection
with any kind of interactive social world. I fill my days with fantasy,
nights with necessity. Long since dead, mine is a parody life,
perhaps a homage to the archetypal monster vying for control.