My Life

Interview with the Baby Vampire

Baby Vampire

Anne, the Transcendental Therapist at St. John’s Progressive Learning Center for Possibly-Gifted Wee Ones: “Brian, do you understand why you’ve been sent to my office for counseling?”

Brian: “I’m assuming that someone was dissatisfied with her own personal life, so she chose to take it out on me.”

Anne: “Well, that’s an interesting interpretation, but according to my report, there was a bit more to it than that.”

Brian: “Does your report indicate that my theoretical instructor is an idiot with focus issues?”

Anne: “Now, you know the report is not going to say such a thing. We try to focus on the positive aspects of life in all of our recyclable documentation.”

Brian: “Then that report is useless. Throw it in the trash and let’s find something interesting to watch on PBS.”

Anne: “Perhaps we can get to that a bit later. First, we need to explore your aggressive tendencies and… the incident… that took place this morning. How would you describe your home environment?”

Brian: “I fail to see how the questionable skillsets of my parents pertains to this conversation. They were young, they were unprepared, and some mistakes were made. These things happen all the time. It doesn’t mean that the little urchins involved will end up in junior juvy.”

Anne: “Well, studies have shown that an unstable or at least haphazard upbringing can result in a child exhibiting certain anti-social behavior outside the home. For instance, your little outfit appears to be soiled. Does your mother not properly bathe you and wash your clothes?”

Brian: “Of course she does. She’s require to do so, according to the contract I made her sign in the delivery room, notarized by one of the attending nurses. I don’t mess around when it comes to personal comfort.”

Anne: “Then what is that all over you?”

Brian: “It’s cocaine. I’m a drug mule, and there was an incident at the border.”

Anne, scribbling excitedly on the recyclable paper: “Really? Tell me more. I might be able to publish your story in Fabricated Psychology Today.”

Brian, sighing: “Put the pen down, Nellie Bly. I was just being snarky and creative, something I already realize that most of the people in my life will never appreciate. It’s not cocaine. I’m eight months old. I probably threw up on myself two seconds after Mom trussed me up in this velvet outrage. And then I probably mashed the regurgitation in my hair, because I’m eight months old, and that’s what we do.”

Anne, throwing the pen aside along with her hopes of being professionally published: “Oh. So that’s why your hair looks like you’re trying to jumpstart the hipster phase that won’t actually happen for another thirty years.”

Brian: “While I do admit to being a visionary, despite the damage my reputation has suffered by being born in Oklahoma, coiffure trends are not on my bucket list. My hair looks like this because I haven’t fully developed any hand-eye coordination yet. I’m not going to be red-carpet worthy for a few more years, despite being forced to wear a red carpet to this heinous interview. You should know that people my age have annoying physical limitations, being a child psychologist and all.”

Anne: “Well, I’m not actually a psychologist.”

Brian: “Are you certified in any way?”

Anne: “Um…”

Brian: “This is outrageous. No wonder so many people in the Seventies will turn to drugs that make them believe that plaid polyester suits are attractive in any way.”

Anne: “Hold up. It’s not fair to blame the actions of an entire generation on whether or not I have a piece of paper from a university that I was able to attend before higher education became so expensive that most people can’t afford it without incurring life-killing debt. The Republicans want to keep the populace stupid, and I just can’t passively let that happen.”

Brian: “Are you making a political statement on my time? In a story about me?”

Anne: “Yes. I firmly believe that you should seize any opportunity to make your voice heard. The biggest problem with this country is not delusional ultra-conservatives or the NRA or billionaires buying elections. It’s the complacency of the common man. Most people want decency, but they let the indecency happen because they are too lazy or too distracted or too jaded to stand up. So, yes, I will happily hijack any narrative that presents an opportunity for me to be Norma Rae and shut down the factory.”

Brian: “Actually, I’m with you on this.”

Anne: “Good. Now, let’s talk about why you felt impelled to bite Little Billy Peckerwood on the head.”

Brian: “I’m not with you on that.”

Anne: “Perhaps I should explain that we are just a court order away from your family facing litigation for your errant chomping.”

Brian: “I didn’t bite him on purpose, although the act does sound appealing in a certain way. It was all happenstance, just like that moment in the next century when the Kardashians somehow become culturally relevant.”

Anne: “I won’t be around when that happens, having moved on to whatever afterlife there might be, where the only hashtags I care about are the labels on the offerings at the celestial lunch buffet. Anyway, back to biting Billy. Your side of the story?”

Brian: “Well, I was just trying out that ‘walking’ thing that some of the uppity toddlers are always babbling about. I thought I might be ready, but I only made it two steps before gravity rose up and wreaked havoc. Before I could help myself, I was headed toward a face plant. But then the dumbass Peckerwood chose that same exact moment to flop on his back and throw his legs in the air. I opened my mouth to holler “this is not the time to embrace your rainbow pride”, but before I could get the words out I slammed into his noggin. Blood ensued.”

Anne: “So you’re trying to blame Billy for this?”

Brian: “I’m not blaming anybody. But I do have to mention that Billy is two months older than me. He’s got more coordination. If he had just gotten his ass out of the way we wouldn’t be having this delightful conversation in an office that reeks of desperation and regret and patchouli.”

Anne: “You know, Brian, it seems that you have a lot of pent-up anger in you that needs to be released.”

Brian: “What was your first clue? My birth?”

Anne: “Let’s not point fingers. Instead, let’s think about resolutions. Now, you may not have much confidence in spiritualists who channel the future-”

Brian: “None whatsoever.”

Anne: “-but one of the ladies at my Tupperware meetings has prophesied that there will come a day when people who wouldn’t otherwise be published will have an opportunity to share their musings with the entire world, through new contraptions known as ‘the Internet’ and ‘blogs’  and something called ‘social media’ or some such.”

Brian, heart racing: “Go on.”

Anne:  “So, if I were to look the other way concerning the Peckerwood Paradox, can you promise me to hold in all your angst and dissatisfaction and try to live a respectable life until that moment when anyone with a keyboard suddenly has a voice in the digital ether?”

Brian: “I solemnly swear. But I can’t promise what will happen after that point.”

Anne: “I won’t care. I’ll be gone by then, eating at the Hashtag Café and knowing the all the answers and finally relaxing after a lifetime of wondering why people can’t just do the right thing. Maybe I’ll leave a comment at Bonnywood Manor.”

Brian: “Bonnywood Manor? What the hell?”

Anne: “It’s not just the Tupperware ladies who can see the future. Now, go get somebody to clean that goo off your jumper.”



P.S. Yes, that’s really me in the pic, circa 1965.


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