New Jen's Horde

Monday, February 13, 2006

Monday Memories: Vegetarian Vampires

Monday Memories: Did I ever tell you about the time
I lived in a co-operative, vegetarian household with six other adults and two kids?
And we were all vampires?

Yeah, this was shortly after Davin and I were married, and none of the kids were ours, although we were trying. :-)

The folks running the household needed to fill a room, and they found us listed in the directory we'd signed up to be in at a previous Rainbow Gathering, which is a story for another day. They were the first people to contact us who weren't A. writing from prison, or B. asking us to put up posters for their band, so we were actually pretty excited to meet them.

Some things about living there were really cool, like the fact that everyone cooked dinner (and did dishes) once a week. That was it! The rest of the time, it was someone else's turn, and you just showed up at the table when it was ready. To make it even better, since we only had kitchen duty once a week, it was a lot more fun to cook, and we all made exciting new dishes all the time.

Also, since we were all piled up in a house made for a lot fewer people, we had to walk a fine line between being really aware of what everyone else was doing and thinking, while being able to ignore it and shake it off if you didn't absolutely need to get involved. We developed some great interpersonal skills there that I don't know would have come so easily if we were able to sequester ourselves during the first years of our marriage.

Most of the time, these small personality issues really amounted to nothing. But, occasionally there was an intersection of a strong personality clash, money issues, and too many "substances" floating around.

For instance, one roommate, E., was consistently late with his share of the rent. Plus, while he was a nice enough guy, he just really didn't fit in. He was kind of a jock, and he'd moved in to escape a bad situation, but it was obvious that he thought the rest of us were a little too freaky to take seriously (I think we all had these feelings sometimes, depending on who was Freak of the Week, as it were.)

One of the other adults, J., really had issues with E., and it just kept eating at him that E. was not paying the rent on time and wouldn't let his freak flag fly. Neither of these guys had a steady partner, so they were kind of like those adolescent gorillas you see in the nature shows, posturing aggressively, and jockeying for position within the troop. J. also drank to excess, and was a really small guy, so he tended to get himself into trouble.

Case in point, I remember the night when J. was completely plastered, and leaned forehead to forehead with me in the living room, and began telling me how he'd decided the time had come, he'd had it and he was going to kick E. out. J. obviously thought he was being sneaky about this, but was too drunk to notice that E. was in the same room, only about a yard away from this mini household summit. E. left the room while I tried to talk J. down and tell him that maybe today wasn't the best day for this, but J. was adamant. He took off to find E. and give him the boot.

I followed, because while E. had never been violent before, I didn't know how he would handle this latest vexation. I went into my room and pulled the door most of the way closed, and quickly filled Davin in on the situation. We stood, ear to the door, and listened to see if we would need to swoop in and break up a fight.

Almost immediately, the situation turned around, and I started to worry on E.'s behalf. I don't know what J. was thinking, and he didn't remember any of it the next day so I couldn't get an inside scoop, but it seems he thought up a lie, and thought it up quick...

Instead of just telling E. that he didn't like him, didn't think he fit in, and was sick of him paying the rent late, he started to tell him a long and complicated tale of how the rest of the household members were actually vampires, and that he was in danger and needed to move out NOW! When E. expressed disbelief, J. assured him that we killed people all the time, and buried them in our communal herb garden (I'm not sure how common vegetarian vampires are, but apparently corpses make great fertilizer) and that L. (one of the women) was the Queen and when she ordered us to kill him we'd have no choice but to do it. J. told him a few more gruesome tidbits, warned him again to get out, then staggered off and passed out.

You know, E. did pay his rent right away, and moved out shortly thereafter. So, really, I think more bill collectors should take this approach. Wouldn't you be more serious about paying your student loans if you thought a band of bloodsuckers would come and kill you if you didn't? Honestly, Blockbuster should get in on this action, because that "no late fee" stuff just doesn't motivate me to get my movies in on time, but a threat or two of a visit from the immortal undead would take care of that nicely.

Anyway, we also moved out not long after that, not out of a fear of vampires, but because (duh) it was getting a little too crazy around there. I don't regret living in that situation, it was great while it lasted, but I can't see doing it again any time soon.

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Jen, this guy was really pretty quick on his feet considering how drunk he was. Vampires. And for vegetarians too. A great story and definitely one for the books--or the log.

My MM is up.
You've had such an interesting life Jen... I didn't know you were a "Rainbow" person. The rainbow people always bring back fond memories to me of my own "hippie" days. Unfortunately, I was a little young for the best of the "make love not war" era... and have never understood why my older sister didn't head to San Fran in 1967. Had I been a few years older, I'd have gone!!

(My grown kids still make fun of my "hippie" ways... sigh, they just don't get it)
I was wondering how the vampire theme was going to be worked in. I think your story is a hoot.
I'm not even sure HOW to comment on that one but it was a good read!
Hmm, I'm not at all shure how vegetarian vampires can be! LOL!
Jen, the more I read about your life, the more I wonder if we aren't in some parallel universe.
After I left Tour I hung around the Rainbow Family circuit for a while until I "settled" in Seattle. I lived in so many weird hippie frats that I can't even remember all of the details.
I love the vampire angle. Is it scary that I probably would have been the one trying to convince this guy of some cockamamie notion to try to get rid of him. Or more likely, it'd be my friend, R, who drove off tons of roommates because she thought that they were reading her mind -- and judging her harshly for her thoughts.
The best thing to come from all of that was a bay who could sleep through any amount of noise. You try having band practice in the room directly beneath you every night, while sharing your room with an infant.

My memory this week was not nearly as much fun as yours, but I posted it anyway.
Vegetarian's all very interesting. Aren't bill collectors really bloodsuckers? They suck everything else outta me :p
My 3rd memory is up!
I've gotta go remember something...
First, I hope your voice is coming back, so you can join in on all the family jabbering.
I am now able to talk above a whisper, meaning I have a tad bit of actual tone now. I still have no volume to speak of, but that will come in time.
What a tale he came up with! You don't happen to have any fangs do you?
This is how you can tell Renee knows me in real life, this story didn't even phase her, it just reminded her that it's Memory Monday! I guess I'm just like this all the time...

Nope, no fangs, JD. Glad you have some voice now, YAY!
Huh, I'll have to look more into this Monday Memories thing! I love yours!!!
Well, it makes sense to me. How else would vegetarians get bodies for compost?
ROTFLOLPIMP! You're right Jen, I so totally wasn't phased by your story. hee hee

I have my own MM up.

I hope you're feeling better and the VD party is fun...maybe that'll start something.
Wow! That sounds pretty interesting.
The dinner part sounds great. Everything else, not so much. But it makes a great story!
Hooo doggies! I don't think I have any memories like that!
Hilarious! Like MTV's Real World or something. Ha! Are you still a vegetarian?
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