Vampires. A potent search word if you’re looking to direct traffic to your site.

Coffee. An eternal friend, a hug for the soul.

Do these elixirs of modern being have a link? Hell if I know, I’m just jooped up on caffeine and decided to see if I could write an article with them side-by-side.

I’ll start with vampires. I don’t know heck about them, except for the fact that they (used to) live in castles, sleep in coffins, drink peoples’ blood, and usually had pasty complexions (oh, and there’s that thing about garlic too, right?) If that remains the status quo I don’t know, and I have neither the time nor inclination to catch up on vampire lore via any of the billions of books for sale about them on Amazon.

Why are they so popular? Could it be that they lurk as guardians to the subconscious, the keepers of night you’d never be surprised to meet in a dark forest, alleyway, or nightmare? Do they represent the fringe of reality, a place where the lines blur and the humdrum of economic reality melts away into a sensual mix of instinct and psychological complexity – a wet dream painted hemoglobin? Some might even call them incarnations of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s mysterious green light found in The Great Gatsby, that elusive beacon of understanding the main protagonist so desperately seeks yet never finds. I’ve also heard them referred to as the personification of the Question Mark, this logically predicating the frenzy that occurs whenever a new movie or killer-novel about them hits the best-seller charts.

As for coffee, well that’s closer to my heart. I wasn’t much of a java-fiend in my youth, and only started chugging them down when I became a teacher. I found it sharpened me in a consistently dependable way, and when expending the kind of energy I did back then, I needed an elixir to stay at the top of my game. While I don’t teach with the same vivacity now, the coffee hangover has remained, and I go Hair-of-the-Dog multiple times daily.

Beyond this, I’m a writer, and one that enjoys weighty, epic themes. The fiction that I write explores themes key to my heart, charting waves of birth, death, reincarnation and absolution with a vigor that seeks to inform as well as inspire. But never, ever in the course of my writing have I contemplated using a vampire (or set of them) as central to a story. Thinking about it, could it be such a bad thing to use one (addicted to coffee, of course), and let said character detail the crux of thirsting for blood while terrified of Vitamin D? Hell, am I selling myself on vampires all of a sudden!?  Yup, strong coffee does that to you…

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