If you know me then perhaps the following is not a considerable confession: I’ve always had an interest in the macabre. I loved the Beetlejuice cartoon (and eventually the movie, as the sand worm scared the crap out of me when I was five), ghosts, The Crow, the “Night on Bald Mountain” piece in Disney’s Fantasia, bats, Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven” (which, due to The Simpson’s first “Treehouse of Horror” episode, has been my favourite poem since I was five), “Danse Macabre” by Camille Saint-Saëns, The Salem Witch Trials, The Craft, and vampires.
I think the first time I read Bram Stoker’s Dracula when I was eleven or twelve, having seen the movie a year or two before (and getting terribly frightened – it was the last movie that really scared me). The summer I was twelve I read the five or so Vampire Chronicles books that were written at the time, and also watched Interview with a Vampire. As the years went on, I’ve read or watched (or both) Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Underworld, The Vampire Chronicles, Twilight, Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter, Let the Right One In, Blade, The Southern Vampire Mysteries, Bloodsucking Fiends, and Nosferatu.
For a supernatural entity that lives forever, I’ve always found it perplexing that a vampire could be so easily thwarted by a doorway.
In speaking about depression, Dean Roth says “I am a depression vampire; to talk about myself I have to be invited in.”
The more I think about it, the more true Roth’s words are, at least in terms of my chronic pain. I don’t feel like I can talk about it unless I have been explicitly invited to do so.
It’s scary, being in a vulnerable place, not knowing how to talk about your pain and illness with others. Like a vampire you are isolated from the society in which you live, but at the same time I find I am also isolated from my “own kind”. So far, I haven’t met anyone with the same symptoms and problems as me, and that’s what makes things even more difficult.
Chronic pain is a hellmouth, but I don’t want to be a the vampire anymore.