Dear Human Entrées and Blood Popsicles,

I’d like to set a few things straight concerning vampires. There’s a lot you should understand, so let me give you all the gory and tedious details.

One of the things most vampires never point out when they’re trying to sell you on the idea of becoming one, is that there are only about eight hours of darkness a day, only eight hours of freedom to roam the Earth, feed and take care of errands and things. It’s very restrictive.

Add that to the fact that lots of businesses are closed at night and you can hardly ever get anything done at all. For example, there are no dry cleaners open all night in my area, and so I have hundreds of bloody, or just plain smelly, shirts I don't know what to do with. There’s a whole pile of them stinking up my den, but I hate to throw anything out.

Yes, that’s right: I’m a real-life vampire. For all you non-believers, we do exist! And if you’ve never heard it firsthand before, let me just tell you: being a vampire isn't as great as you might think. Eight hours of darkness means, if you do the math, sixteen hours of light. That’s sixteen hours spent shut indoors going stir crazy. And if you have Seasonal Affective Disorder like I do, things can get pretty grim. The number of vampires that lose it and stake themselves in the heart is staggering. If they weren’t literally blood-thirsty, serial murderers, you’d be appalled.

Another big downside to being the hellish abominations created by Satan that we vampires are, is the diet. Vampires need to drink blood every day without fail, and though some vampires say they like it, blood does not taste good. The iron in the hemoglobin gives it a sort of rusty, metallic taste that really gets old.

And it’s always the same—blood is blood. You can drink it warm or you can drink it cold, but you have to drink it, day after day, for centuries or possibly millennia. You can never eat a salad and feel light and healthy. You can never go on a binge and eat a whole box of donuts, slipping into a pleasant sugar coma. Blood is the only thing on the menu. My taste buds are bored to tears, or else they shriveled up and died years ago. This is another one of the chief reasons for the high suicide rates among our kind. Imagine eating only cabbage every day for a hundred years and you might get the idea.

And another thing I’ll say about this cursed life is that it’s hard not to feel at least a little guilty. I’ve been alive for three hundred years. I’ve killed thousands of people, and I’m beginning to feel somewhat bad about it.

At first my conscience didn’t bother me. I was thrilled with the idea of immortality. I slept soundly in my coffin each day. But over the decades, as the death toll rose, bit by bit, I grew more sensitive. I still don't feel so much for the people I feed on, but I’ve begun to feel bad for their families. My victims’ struggles are over, they suffer no more, but the families have to go on with a terrible sense of loss for the rest of their lives, with me as the cause. That’s hard to shake off. That’s hard to justify over and over. I may be a vampire, but I’m not a monster! These days I try to fast and kill only when absolutely necessary to my survival. But no one enjoys a fast and I have a lot of cheat days.

A common misconception about vampires is that they stay forever young. Unfortunately, this isn't the case. I don’t look at all like Brad Pitt or Robert Pattinson when they played vampires in the movies. I look more like Paul McCartney. My flesh is drooping and you’d never see the resemblance to what I looked like when I was truly alive in 1720. Sometimes, on a long fast, appendages fall off and I have to put them back on with Gorilla Glue. The fact is, I’m deteriorating and will eventually look like a mummified Egyptian king from four thousand years ago.

If you read all this and still want to become a vampire, I’ll oblige… for a price.

Oh, that’s another thing people don’t seem to realize. I’ve got bills just like everybody else. Yes, like you, my Hulu account, internet, AT&T bill, and rent need to be paid on a monthly basis. Otherwise, the power goes out and I’m on the street. I’d have to go back to living in the forest, subsisting on the random hikers that venture in. Doesn’t sound like fun, does it?

Well, I hope I’ve cleared some things up for all you foul-tasting, unwilling blood donors out there. You’ve been warned.

But if you’d like me to turn you, Venmo $400 to the email below, and I’ll be in touch.

Paul the Vampire
[email protected]