Vampires · 28 March 2020

I never really believed in vampires. Until I was quarantined for weeks with two of my three sons.

Vampires are an interesting lot. They abhor the sunlight. They do not like garlic. They shrink from the cross. They are pale and have fangs. My kids are like that. Well sorta. They like garlic. Okay. They are not really vampires, but I do find myself thinking that there is something to the whole vampire thing. That maybe there is a logical explanation to why Bram Stoker and those before him invented vampires. In fact, that explanation is simple. They simply observed teenagers in their natural habitat.

(I must note that my use of “teenager” is really a misnomer. I think of teenagers as anywhere between 13 and 25. Or probably more correctly, I think of adolescents as pseudo-people between ages 13 and 25. They are pretty close to becoming real people, but are still kids. They want to be real people, but somehow, they just cannot make it quite yet. I know. Some of those pseudo-people become real people (Do you hear Pinocchio or is that just me?) earlier than others. Maybe even in their teen years. But they seem to be few and far between. So please indulge me in my calling kids between 13 and 25 teenagers. And indulge me in calling them pseudo-people too. (I heard Pinocchio again.))

I can imagine scientific researchers sitting in a blind outside a teenager’s house, with cameras rolling and notebook in hand. They would be eager to see what the creature would be doing at all hours of the day and night. But alas, they would be disappointed in the day. And indeed, I see them sleeping at their posts in the night while the elusive creatures gallivant all night long. (Yes, I know. Researchers way back then would not have cameras at the ready.) Those gung-ho researchers would be ready the next night though. They would realize that the elusive pseudo-humans prefer the dark of night to come out to play.

Unfortunately, those researchers would be disappointed at night too. After all, even “come out to play” is not what the teenagers have in mind. They do not want to come out at all. They just want to be inside where the environment is controlled. They want comfy chairs and large monitors for their computers. (Did I mention that computers were not around back then either?) And they like the lights dim. In fact, when you observe them, you can see them only by the glow of their monitors as they stare into what looks to the casual observer like a mesmerized state. But do not be fooled. These nocturnal creatures are all abuzz with thoughts. They read and read and read all about the world around them. They experience social interaction through their screens, be they big or small, tethered or untethered. They are creatures of the night and of the world. And even of other worlds. But to observe them in their natural habitat is to see them sit for hours on end seemingly doing nothing but keeping their eyes glued to various screens. Their only breaks are to eat and poop.

It would not take long for any researcher watching teenagers in their natural habitat to realize that their pasty complexion comes from the fact that they do not wake until the sun is about to set and do not sleep until the sun is about to rise. They would miss the sun entirely if they were to have their wont. Which is how you (or Bram Stoker) get vampires. Just add the other idiosyncrasies.

I know. Teenagers are not quite like my description. They are not really vampires, but they often seem like it. Undead, averse to light (especially, the sun), nocturnal to the max, given to what seems like antisocial behavior, but in reality is just part of their metamorphosis into real people. (Did you hear Pinocchio that time?) Many of the attributes of vampires. Like I said, just add water. Or a little imagination and voilà. Teenagers become Bram Stoker’s claim to fame.

It is funny. I never really believed in vampires. At least not until I started living with and observing teenagers in their natural habitat.

© 2020 Michael T. Miyoshi

Share on facebook


Commenting is closed for this article.