Alternate title: The Real Arkham Asylum
Many of the idealized visions I had of the Gotham Halo were so very flawed and inaccurate, but I was so very desperate to believe. I had been groomed to accept myths and half-truths even when, in my heart, I knew that the reality was not so glamorous. Everyone has their own story to tell, their own version of events, and one begins to notice that as a person gives their side, they do their damnedest not to look bad.
At first, it was one man who founded the Vampyre Connection, then it was two. Then it was three. Then it was one man and one woman. And the truth? Who cares? It isn’t so important now, more than twenty years down the line, isn’t it? Everyone will do and say what they can to stay relevant, to leave some form of Legacy behind, no matter who they have to step on or write out. No matter what they have to hide. And everyone has so much to hide—even me. Stories that can never be repeated. Tales that can never be trusted to paper. Secrets that will be taken to the grave.
Sometimes, I wonder if the founding Fathers even imagined all this would come of their fateful meeting. For many years, it seemed as though things were going as best they could. At least, that’s what I believe. That’s what I want to believe.
Now look at this pathetic excuse for a “community,” this contemptible “scene.” Look at the mongrels and ingrates that make up today’s so-called “vampire community.”
New York used to have Vampyres at one point. At least, I want to believe that. I’m sure I also wanted to believe in Santa Claus once, just the same. I wanted to believe my birth parents weren’t batshit insane sociopaths and I wouldn’t spend almost four years on the streets, a runaway. If we allowed ourselves to be entertained by such fantasies, we’d be way worse off.
Real, true to life, blood-drinking Vampyres. A family of ritualistic, spiritual children of the Blood. That’s what I thought the Sanguinarium was. That’s what I thought I’d find here, in Gotham. And just like those fiction books the gaja love so much, I once believed I might have been the only one of my kind left. Yes, I knew of the droll, listless hipsters that “The Father” patronizes, who go a-cosplaying with their hundred-dollar fangs in and believe that they are “vampires” simply because that’s what they were told.
At the same time, I don’t hate the man as others do, but I do not “worship” him as many have taken to claim. I respect him, even with the constant grief I take for it, because without him, there would be no “vampire community” or “vampire subculture.”
The man has even helped me once when I was in a tight spot—kicked out of an East Harlem squat I shared with some certain junkies whose habits I personally supported. He dipped into his personal funds to put me up in a hotel for a few nights. I do hope I’m not getting him into trouble by stating so, but that’s what he did. Where was “Gotham” when I was homeless, struggling and strung out? Crickets.
What reason have I to hate this man? He’s done nothing wrong by me.
I think it’s quite cute, all the ridiculous in-fighting within this bullshit “vampire community.” All the little gaja and asarai are like fighting cocks or zoo animals in cages—they provide the true Vampyres with passing entertainment.
In the back of my mind, conflicting thoughts torment me, and I am left wondering what the priesthood of Strigoi Vii would have become had not the plague of idorsia infected so many promising minds. But it’s too late, far too late to worry about such things. That was not my time, and fretting over years past serves no future benefit. At this point, we can only look towards the future.
How far we’ve come from an eccentric party promoter and his top men to a washed-up porn star and a cosplay cult of fanatic fetishists. Indeed, how far we’ve fallen.
When did the Sanguinarium turn into a goddamned sanitarium?
Image credit: ©2018 Seth Wenig/AP