So I found myself walking atop Big Blue trying to talk a vampire down from the ledge. Of course, I knew him, after all, we go way back. Not as far back as we could go, as I’m obviously not a vampire, mind you. He wasn’t even old in vampire years yet, but old enough not to be atop a blue skyscraper acting like a fool. Below us, the town stilled in the night. Big Blue, as it is fondly called, was home to the World Wrestling Federation. No muscles around when you needed them and the club crowds already gone, stumbling out in drunken enchantment, entranced with their evening escapades.
“I can’t go on,” he said.
“You’ve only gone for 50 years now, you have to at least make 500,” I replied with a smirk.
“There’s no help, no help…”
“Social Services, let’s try them again.”
“I hate living in that damn dorm,” he moaned.
“It’s the Mission, Steven. A temporary place for uh, people, down on their luck. Oh, but I know, it is too far from the food bank, I mean, the blood bank.”
“I don’t care for either the food or the blood bank. The girls there are fat.”
“Seriously, why am I here Steven? Why do you have to always call me?”
“Because Marla, you will come. And you loved me once. I need someone to talk to. I always liked talking to you. You…”
“First of all that was high school, a loooooong time ago. I’m not going to be your long lost love, that’s just creepy. Secondly, you are immortal. When you jump, you are only going to turn into a damn bat and fly away! I’m up here risking my life to talk you out of one of your “moods.”
“Well, you might be risking your life in those shoes, step away from the edge. Why do reporters stay up all night anyway?
“So we can hunt vampires. Look at me Steven, do I look like I want to be up all night?”
I sighed and looked around the roof. What was I going to do with him? He had not taken his transformation to vampire-hood very well ever since the accident, but you know, when life gives you lemons, you make Bloody Marys.
“One more time, how did you spend all your money, Steven?”
“Just being me,” he replied a bit sheepishly.
“But your mother left you a mansion. How does one just swish through mansion money?”
“Cars, suits, dates, veneers, coffins….”
I turned to see him hanging upside down off the air conditioning apparatus. “Stop playing games with me, my time is valuable. I write articles to get paid. I don’t have a mansion to sell,” I snapped.
“Plus you shop at Ross,” he smiled.
“Hmph! At least I don’t have to step over drunks every day to make it to my cubicle at the Mission.”
“Well, you should be drunk wearing that blouse. Taste is everything, maybe take your store selection up at least a notch.”
“Steven!” I said irritably. “Let’s get a plan together and get out of here.” It seemed like we had been arguing atop of the WWF for hours now. I could picture night fading into the morning, Steven morphing into flames as the sun came up just the theater office people filed into work staring into the sky and wondering why I was up here lighting firecrackers in heels.
“I would really like to be out of here before the theater staff starts coming to work,” I said aloud.
“Hey, you know they are going to be doing the Wizard of Oz?”
“Really?” I rolled my eyes.
“You talk about tough, just wait until they try to get all those flying monkeys inside there, ha ha. And the soldiers, they’ve got to style them correctly. You know, they should look like Nikki Sixx. That’s it, Motley Crue soldiers!”
“Ok, so you go from extreme depression to producing the Wizard of Oz. I don’t really care, maybe you should ask them if you could. Maybe they would pay you!”
“Hmm, we might be on to something.”
“Maybe you could talk them into a Van Helsing play, why not? You’re creative, you’re gregarious. You can fly for cheap, ha ha,” I laughed.
It seemed to be working. The melancholy seemed to be peeling from Steven’s pale skin. I thought I could see the glimmer coming back into his eyes. I was doing a pretty good job here in the sky as the Curator of Sadness.
“I’ve never really thought about employment before. It sounds like it might be fun. You know some of those girls they had for Cats were pretty hot without their whiskers on, I mean….”
“That’s right, Steven.” I said as I bent to take off my shoes. I decided to descend those stairs without them, less risky. It had been a long day especially this encounter with testosterone and teeth.
“Let’s go, I’m done hanging out with you,” I observed him still upside down on the air conditioning.
“You know, I bet I could give those wrestling guys quite a fright!” he laughed.
“I wouldn’t. Their manager was the former Talia Tygress, you know?”
“Really? Ah, no, I didn’t know. And what does she look like?”
“Bye Steven. Call me, or actually, don’t. Take your potions. Talk to the theater people. Go to the Blood Bank. Don’t kill anyone.” I called over my shoulder as I walked to the stairs. The sticky humidity draped me like an oily cloth. I would need some extra caffeine for tomorrow. Maybe some better deodorant. Tasks spread out before me like unfinished novels. I wouldn’t have been able to sleep anyway. Deadlines, disasters, the society beat, wayward vampires….
“Say Blondie,” he calls after me. “I really like what you are doing with your hair these days…”