This story is about the time I inadvertently dated a Vampire.
After spending seven or eight years in the TV business, I was starting to get burned out with the constant work. This is the point at which I started to slow down and realize that living was not just about the career. This new attitude gave my brain a little thinkin’ room to work on other things that I had neglected since graduating from college, such as family marriage, etc. I hadn’t been on a date in a while, so, I decided that I was going to work less and date more. I had just signed up for Facebook and decided to do a search and see who I knew. I ran across a girl from my hometown that I had known in high school and remembered as being an extremely nice and all around attractive girl. Her profile said that she had gone to graduate school and now worked in Dallas. I messaged her to say hi and she quickly messaged me back, happy to hear from me and verified that yes, she was single. We started up a long distance friendship which turned from chatting online to talking on the phone. I was ecstatic because I had always liked this girl and we could talk for hours on end without any awkward pauses. After a few weeks, we talked about getting together. I was living in Austin but there was a mutual attraction and we were both looking seriously so neither of us thought distance was a problem.
One day, I made up a lie about having to go to Dallas for business and she said that we should hang out. I made the trip and pulled up to her apartment which was in a nice part of town…not fancy but a fairly new subdivision. When she came to the door, we were both excited to see each other and I was not surprised to find that she still had her Texas hospitality, native accent and good looks. So that night we went out and had a good time at dinner where we talked about many things, art history among them. She was a hobbyist with a paint brush and enjoyed photography, evidenced by the picture that she pulled out to show off. Imagine a dark haired girl around 28 or 30 years old with jet black hair sitting at a formal dining table in a strapless jet black dress with a subdued smile on her face. In the middle of the shot is a vase with a single vibrant red rose with the pretty girl peeking out at the camera from behind it. She was a little embarrassed of her smile in the picture saying that she didn’t like her cuspids, but was proud of the artistic composition of the photo. I didn’t know exactly which teeth the cuspids were but she had been a science major and occasionally used big sciency words that I would pretend to know so as not to look stupid or make her sound like a nerd. So, I told her I thought it was a really nice picture and her smile was perfect. I was also excited by this turn in the conversation because we now had something in common that we could discuss. From my own art history experience in college, I followed up with a comment about symbolism and how meaning changes from one culture to another. She sounded interested so I elaborated. It had been a few years since I had studied, so I was winging it (bad idea). The example that I used was how the color black in western culture means death but in other cultures it symbolizes life. Of course, just my luck, she took it the wrong way because within the context of the picture, she thought I was calling her goth. (I hadn’t even thought of that as a possible meaning) so I back peddled some to try and avoid further offense. Fortunately we had a good rapport so this one faux pas wasn’t a deal killer. We went back to her place to continue our conversation. By now we were well acquainted and started to talk about family history, even some of the personal stuff that you don’t tell just anyone. After a little while she said something that I interpreted as a sign of our friendship moving onto a new level. I had been explaining that my family had suffered some obstacles that go back several generations and she sympathized with me saying, “Well, you’re in MY family now”. I gave a big smiled and thought, “Wow. This is going really well”! So, we said our goodbyes, parted ways early that evening and I drove back to Austin since the business meeting excuse was a fabrication. As the end of the year approached, I was planning to invite her to Austin for new years eve and started planning in advance. During our next phone call, she beat me to the punch and invited me first. I thought…”Man, we’re on the same wavelength”.
So, she made the dinner plans on new years eve while I was on the road and I arrived in time to hang out for a hour or so before dinner. We went to a semi-nice restaurant that was about $75.00 per plate. We had good conversation and a couple of drinks each. We left in good spirits and she invited me back to her place for a night cap, an invitation that I gladly accepted. Back at her apartment, she put on some music, we had a couple more drinks, and we danced a little. Soon we started to kiss. After a month of talking, this is the moment I had been waiting eagerly (and patiently) for. I was stunned however because, strangely, there were no sparks, no chemistry. My mouth continued to kiss but my brain was busy figuring out why no magic and what to do next. Then it happened……She BIT me!
Talk about stunned. I kind of let out a muffled “Ow”! It wasn’t a little playful nibble like regular people would do. She bit me hard. At that point I was kind of just standing there not doing anything and my brain was like “What the hell is going on around here”? Then she whispered, “Bite Me”. So….at this point my mind is racing because I only have a few seconds to act and I’m really conflicted. I mean, I really like this girl but I’m not into biting people. Standing there with four drinks in me, a bloody lip and a strong affinity for this woman who had just become a take charge kind of gal, I start to wonder whether my reticence means I like her more (out of respect) or less because I’m not willing to do something weird. As my brain searches for answers, I run through about a half hour of thoughts in a matter of seconds and start to recall details that had previously escaped my attention. It’s funny how something can be right in front of your face but if your mind isn’t given the proper context, you’ll miss it. For example; in the few seconds that followed the bite, I remember the comment about being in “HER family”. In my mind I see that she was sitting with her wrists crossed in her lap and that her body shifted a little when she make the remark. I can’t be sure but I think maybe she raised a hand as she shifted which would technically be a wave in my direction. Then I remember the photo with her decked out in jet black with the bright red rose in the foreground. As my mind pushes into to a close-up of her self conscious smile, I hear the comment about her large cuspids and then it hits me….the chick has fangs! Now, I really don’t want to bite her because I don’t know all the Texas vampire rules, like if I bite her back does that make me her minion? I don’t want to be a minion! But on the flip side, since this all sounds crazy, I don’t want to not bite her because it might send the message that I think she’s weird and that would blow the whole relationship. I have no idea what to do. So in the heat of the moment, I compromise with myself and…..I kind of bite her…just a little. Not hard! Just a little nibble. Pretty soon after that we stop and she says that she’s exhausted and it’s after her bed time. So, we say our good nights and I leave for the hotel.
The next day, we meet up for a late breakfast during which I’ve become concerned because my vampire friend appears despondent. I make several efforts to strike up conversation with no luck at all. This bothers me because it feels like the relationship is going downhill and I kind of panic. I’m not sure If she’s just hung over or if its the whole bitey thing that caused the change of spirit between us, so I decide to bring it up. I say, “I think you drew blood last night”, which causes her to recoil in embarrassment. I notice the wince and panic a little by saying, “No, no its fine…uh…I…uh…I liked it”. I was lying for her benefit but apparently she wasn’t as concerned for my comfort as I was for hers because at that remark she cringed even harder. Now I’m bug eyed thinking, “Oh crap! Now she thinks I’M the weirdo”. I try to recover but after things have gone this far, there’s nothing one could say that will make anyone involved look like less of a weirdo. So, I just stutter a little and ramble stuff like, “I mean…No, I….that’s not what I….Uhh…I mean…Uhh”. We finish breakfast in relative silence, she’s cordial as we say our goodbyes and I head back to Austin.
A few days go by and I call her. She does not return my call. I few more days go by and I call her again. Still no response. I now have a strong premonition that the relationship was torpedoed on the last date and so I write her a letter. She calls me back in order find out what possessed me to write a letter and then says that she has to go wash her hair. I was pretty devastated. Fortunately, after a few weeks, I was able to think about the situation from a new perspective, that my perception of the girl was way off base because she wasn’t as nice as I had thought. Plus, she dabbles in vampirism. That’s not good.