More Feigelman
Andrew Ramer

Seventy-seven years, five months, four days, since I became a vampire. So different from the others, prowling the streets at night, exalting in their freedom, while I sit huddled over a candle, knowing that even an instant of darkness will snuff me out. A fine musician might be able to vary his notes, his cords, his melodies. But I'm not an artist, a creative artist. I'm only a poor gem cutter. Nothing fancy, garnets my specialty. Tap tap, tap tap. My days never vary. I never vary. Up all the time. Jewish vampires never sleep. What a terrible waste. Another Jew, a brilliant man, would revel in this chance to study forever. To me it's all unfathomable. Why me? Why this strange existence?" I wander, I work. Sometimes I tutor little boys. Have no fear. Those other vampires relish blood, flesh. But not Feigelman. My only pleasure is to read. All children are safe with me. Unless they bang a shin, scrape a knuckle. Unlike those happy others, blood makes me cringe. I am alone, rootless, year after year. My only tie to home is a piece of soft sandstone I carry in my pocket. We Jews, when we visit a cemetery, leave a pebble on the grave as a marker. This stone in my pocket marks my final unresting place, a husk in constant motion, an animated corpse, a walking grave. Myself. My unselfed self.

First published: August 2005
comments to the writer: Knob'