Both Sam and I have been kicked around a little by some sort of virus the past week or so. The arrival of The Sick coincided with the day I sent out my queries- surely coincidental. As a result, Sam and I have grown closer. He seems to fall firmly in the camp that I Can & Should be in charge of All Things. If All Things means playing with him throughout the day. I’ve become the shoulder he taps in the night for water or a trip to the john, the lap he falls asleep in, and his cuddle buddy under the blanket watching cartoons.
Amidst all this I had a terribly vivid dream of my 3 year old son shuffling through the aftermath of an epic battle at Pappy & Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace (i.e.: a roadhouse), frowning & mumbling under his breath while observing the severed heads of vampires laying opposite their staked bodies. Sam was wearing, since it is a dream why not, a floor-length black kimono with red & white flowers on it. His tiny hands hidden inside the huge sleeves.
“What is he upset about?” asked Munly, slated to perform on stage later, after the bodies were dragged out and burned. Munly looks like a corpse and probably is a conjurer, or at least a thrash doctor.
“Sometimes they talk to him, even after they are dead. It pisses him off.” I said.
I was nervous in my dream, worried that one of the staked and beheaded vampires would nonetheless endanger my kid. Annika was at the bar, ordering us a round of drinks and talking to Miss Twist, who lives nearish to Pioneertown.
Then my son stopped next to a severed head, and dismissively gestured towards it, angrily saying: “Go away!” Maybe I saw it’s head move a little, the mouth open a tiny bit, a spark of evil light in it’s eyes. Maybe I just imagined it.
A circular saw blade flew out of his sleeve, neatly bisecting the head down the center. It fell open, bloodless, the pronounced canines visible in the two halves of the mouth. Then Sam jerked his arm back and the saw blade vanished back into his sleeve.
“Yeah. I guess that’d piss me off too.” said Munly.
The vampire head didn’t move again. Sam shuffled past the carnage and towards the door leading to the beer garden, where he likes to run. Right as he reached the door it opened, and I felt a surge of panic- it was dark out there.
But it was just Perfect Tommy, stepping inside with two members of Munly’s band. Tommy is Miss Twist’s husband, and was carrying an M1 Garand and a flashlight. He locked the door and Sam nodded at him.
“It’s clear out there,” Tommy announced to us all. “I found your banjo player and drummer hiding in the van,” he adds to Munly.
“Oh good,” says Munly. “I can’t really perform without my banjo player. Or my drummer.”
Despite Tommy’s assurance of safety, Sam was shaking his head and muttering angrily to himself. He walked over towards the two musicians. He raised his hand and one of them angrily opened its mouth, revealing fangs. Sam shook his arm, the saw blade neatly severed the head of the vampire, leaving a small groove in the wooden post behind it.
“Shit,” says Munly. “I guess we’ll have to cancel.”
“It’s okay,” I say. “I can play banjo.”
Then the dream went into one of those: “Oh shit, No I CANNOT play the banjo! I don’t even know any of these songs! These are all new!” dreams. But it was ok. We were at Pappy & Harriet’s.
You know, before we modernized vampires and made them creepy hundred-year-old perverts who lust for teenaged girls, they were beings of spirit that ushered illness.