"Is Mr. Beethoven home?" asks the reporter.
"That's me," you casually respond.
"Uh...I'm sorry, there must be a misunderstanding. I'm from [insert your local newspaper here] and I'm here to do a piece on Mr. Beethoven, who turned 100 years old today."
"Oh, you mean my father...he's...out right now..."
"Still getting' around, eh? Where'd he run off too?" The report asks and laughs nervously.
"He went to get a beer. It'll be a while. You might want to come back this afternoon."
That kind of thinking on your feet isn't too difficult, but that is the moment when you realize, they will be back. They being anyone and everyone. The calls from the insurance agents trying to sell rip-off life insurance to the over-60 set and the free, unrequested subscription to the AARP magazine were annoying, but this was serious.
No one considers that death, and its inevitable truth in (almost) all of humanity's existence, is by its nature worked into the fabric of our existences like a horizontal stripe on a sweater--pull that colored thread out and you ain't got no sweater anymore.
My name is Kipper Vam Beethoven, and I am a vampire. I've had two prior names--the one I was born with and my last one, which I had to give up to early retirement, for various reasons. Kipper was my birth name--I decided I wanted it back. "Vam Beethoven" is a campy ode to my nocturnal reality, and, before you ask: yes, it was somewhat inspired by the band and yes, I do like their music but no, I'm not a fanatic.
I thought I was going to leave the name Kipper behind for good--it caused me plenty of torment as a child and I loathed it for most of my first life (referring to "lives" gives me some kind of sanity and sense of time, although my use of it varies, so I apologize ahead of time for any confusion). Being a Jew name Kipper, well it's akin to being a Pol named Pollack. My antagonistically-bestowed prefix was Yom, which rhymed with yawn, don (as in Don Yom Kippur), ding-dong, short-dong, etc, etc.
This, added to the fact that I'm the most fucking Arian-looking Jew you ever saw in your life, made things difficult on either side of the fence for me (although I could always get a laugh from my friends when I had to come to school with my Yamika on and would give a dramatic Sig Heil, cracking the heels of my tennis shoes together as best I could), and caused me to loathe my name, my appearance, and my culture. To loathe myself. To loathe my life.