On my way out, I stopped at the restroom. There are two of them, two little rooms side by side, decorated with photographs in frames and chandeliers with dangling lusters overhead. As I washed my hands, I looked at the photo on the wall: Oscar Wilde’s tomb in Paris, covered with lipstick traces. People leave their kisses on it from all over the world. You can die alone and wretched and despised, and then by some twist be kissed—well, not you, but the stone over your decomposing remains—for decades if not centuries after you’re dead.
It’s one of the observations that make me feel ancient and cynical, like one of those leather-jacketed vampires surveying the world from the cold height of five hundred years of hunger.
Yes, our hero(ine) lives in a strange world, in which the vamps resemble “leather daddies with a bad attitude,” to quote my Brain Sister and Writing Buddy.