So this post is going to be more poetry, more abstract divulging of my feelings, than actual critique or study.
We see this chapter in the novel “Prince Lestat” – The People of the Moon and the Stars – and automatically, we reach for the obvious answer. Vampires, strictly speaking unless you take such classics as “Twilight” and “The Vampire Diaries,” are creatures of darkness. They are only alive and rampant at night. That makes them evil, dark, violent, untouchable. It engenders feelings of fear, mistrust, and even a little bit of lust, doesn’t it? That has been the curse of the Vampire since its most iconic classic inception into literature with “Dracula,” and, in a lot of cases, continues to be the vampire’s failing in being a true hero (albeit, the anti-hero). Because the readers, us, we cannot always allow ourselves to relish in our adoration of the dark, the mysterious, and most abundantly, the evil.
I, for one, have failed to ever be victim to this concept. That vampires are evil. That they stand for the dark and all the devils that the dark perpetuates in our frightened prey-animal brains. The concept of vampirism is really this terrifying yet thrilling homage to a feeling of loneliness, of endless suffering. Of not being a part of the world that spawned us. Vampires are not just an escape. Vampires are the very essence of the darkness inside of us that we keep locked away. They are what we draw our strength from when times are hard. They are what we curl ourselves around for comfort in our minds like purring cats when we need a cold, soft hand laid on our back to promise us it will all be okay. Essentially, vampires are the commanders of our lives that we wish we had. We all (well, maybe not all, but I certainly do) have had moments when we wished for the falsity of them to be the real myth. That vampires were real, and that, secretly, they loved us, just us, unconditionally, not in spite of our flaws, but because of them.
I remember when I was younger, I would talk to myself, imagine I was speaking with my own vampire, my Seth, who I carried with me, who would laugh with me when I was hurt by a cruel thing a classmate would say as I tried to feign indifference. I imagined that he’d listen to me sing in the school choir and be proud. I imagined that he’d be right there with me when I stood up to debate for my school, holding my hand. And I imagined that, when my father passed, Seth was there outside the hospital door to hold and comfort me. I couldn’t see him, but I knew that he was there.
Slowly, around fourteen, Seth morphed into Lestat, Armand, Marius, Daniel, Louis, Pandora… The list is endless. But these vampires shaped an already vampire-shaped hole in my chest by chiseling themselves in there.
And the title of this chapter ought to give away the secret behind all of this all on its own. “The Children of the Moon and the Stars” is about the light that the night offers. It shines with less harsh heat and bright glaring revelry as the sun, but its soft glow illuminates things gently, to soften the imperfections, and to highlight things that sunlight, fluorescent light, all harsh shining can make grotesque.
I am rambling, but, the essence of what I wanted to say with this instalment was this: Love for the Vampire is not something to be ashamed of. If you are reading this and you are anything like I was growing up, you received unending ridicule for what you read, and for how those books made you feel. But you are probably stronger now for it. For embracing the darkness inside of you as equally as you revel in the light and knowing that they each share a part of who you are.
Vampires may be children of the night. But the Night is such a beautiful place.