OK, here goes…
Vampires seem to be the envy of many humans. They get to be immortal, have superpowers, be beautiful and sexy, and have access to endless wealth and glamour. Being a vampire sounds fun, although it some cases you miss out on the sunlight.
But what if being a vampire is not what it is cracked up to be?
A couple of years ago, I came across an article on how death makes life more meaningful. Without it, life is pointless. In other words, immortality brings on aimlessness, boredom and humility. After all, if you were to live forever, what would you live for? Most people hope to achieve certain things before they die, and spend their lives working on their legacy. If you were always going to be around, then what’s the point of leaving behind a legacy? Instead of being concerning about how you’d be remembered, probably all that will concern you would be your reputation. And that will depend on the politics and social norms of the vampire world.
I found this PDF from the Journal of Philosophy of Life, which most likely discusses the article I found two years ago. In it, the belief that death gives meaning to life are discussed. Although it is pointed out that many people spend their lives running away from death and live like they’ll always be around, the idea that death haunts us into making our lives purposeful is seriously pondered. Such suggestions as death being a motivator for us to do something with our lives, or to do good towards others, or to be less bored with living in itself, are talked about here. Give it a read, I highly recommend it.
Anyway, finding and reading that article two years ago motivated me to work on the sequel to The Dark Proposal. Because it got me thinking on what would it be like if you were immortal. I had always thought if I were to be immortal, I would have endless fun and live a hedonistic, laidback life. I would have nothing to fear because death will never come to me.
Now, I portray my vampires living that way. They’re very hedonistic and don’t have much goals except for defending their kind, becoming as rich as possible, drinking blood every night, having sex in so many styles, and so on. Yes, some have jobs or live artsy lives, but that is seemingly to pass the time, to blend in with humans, and to make money legitimately. But they have no goals to work their way up the workplace ladder or anything. If any of my vampires had such goals, it would be to work their way up the hierarchy to become Defenders of the Blood (more about that another time).
But that’s about it, though. When it comes to love and relationships, there is no “till death do us part” because death just isn’t thought of for vampires, even though it is a possibility. Therefore, there probably wouldn’t be a lot of relationship goals, so to speak, since these beings have eternity. There is also no children to bear and raise, so nix that idea. And since there’s no pregnancy or threats of STIs, then there’s hedonistic sex galore in this world!
With that in mind, it sounds like a vampire would be coasting along in life, doing a few things here and there just to pass the time and to secure the existence of vampires. Their world is completely separate from humans, and they don’t think much of the humans they are feeding on. Humans are the source of consumption; no need to get involved in their world unless it benefits the vampire’s.
So, with all this mind, what would be the meaning of life for a vampire? What would be the point? Endless fun may get boring after a while, especially with nothing being taboo. Defending the existence of vampires may prove worthy, but then comes the question of what is the point of being a vampire? The way I wrote my vampires, it is to escape death and be godlike. Basically, vampires live in fear of death and being weak. That is what motivated the Five Brothers to bring forth vampirism, though they didn’t realize what they were getting themselves into; they just thought they were going to be blessed by their ancient tribal gods to be just like them. Instead, they were cursed with not being in the daylight for many centuries, and to spend eternity warding, and fighting, off humans. All for what?
Furthermore, it also must be lonely to be a vampire. Being surrounded by the same group of people for centuries must get irritating, though I could also imagine, it would be heartwarming since you’d have a long history with all these beings. As Daniel told Claire, they are a tribe.
So, living in harmony, side by side, for centuries, living in complete hedonism and on guard to defend their kind. And once it is safe to venture into the sunlight more and more, a vampire would discover humans are evolving in a way to fight them off more and more. Technology and knowledge keeps developing, and soon, a vampire finds they are unable to fight off humans, and the true death awaits.
That’s basically the crux of my vampire trilogy. I cannot imagine life being a charm for a vampire. It could be on the surface, and on a shallow scale. But deep down, at its core, a vampire’s life has little meaning.
In that way, the vampire is cursed. Cursed to live a life without life.