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September 25, 2017

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A real vampire's life? It's really draining

The vampire drank cola at the movie because the vampire does not drink blood. She remarked that the giggling teenagers buying popcorn in their capes were "really, really great," but the vampire herself wore jeans and a T-shirt, as she breaks out vamparaphernalia only for special occasions. And after the 9:15 showing of the new hit film "Twilight," the vampire went straight home with her teenage son, because the vampire is a doting mom.

The vampire is Linda Rabinowitz, also known as Selket. She's in her thirties, lives in central Virginia and radiates warm approachability. If you needed a quarter to get on the bus, she is the stranger you would ask.

If you maintained eye contact for too long, though, she might be tempted to quietly sip away at your energy, or prana, leaving you a little fatigued, because that is what empathic and psychic vampires feed on, and that is what Rabinowitz says she is. But she would never actually do that, because "good" vampires — both psychic and blood-consuming sanguinarians — operate under the Black Veil, an ethics code that stipulates feeding only off willing donors.

What did you expect, some kind of monster?

Every time Hollywood comes out with an undead movie, everyone wants to talk to real vampires. "Twilight" — which made US$70.6 million over the weekend and recounts the love story of human teen Bella and vampire teen Edward — is no exception.

And frankly, the vampire community is sooo over the negative exposure. Over teaching that vampires are born and not made, over answering such questions as: Do you really sleep in coffins and never die? Please, people.

Vampires, depressingly, are Just Like Us.

"I really look at my condition as more of an energy deficiency," says one 27-year-old Washingtonian who goes by Scarlet in the vampire community. She, like many vampires, does not allow her real name to be printed because she has not come out of the coffin in real life. "I don't always produce enough energy to sustain myself," Scarlet says.

So she occasionally needs a little energy from her boyfriend. Just a teaspoon of blood, once every week or 10 days, and always collected with disposable single-use lancet. Safety first, safety first. Feeding is "not as parasitic as people think," she says. "It's more of a reciprocal thing."

Rabinowitz is just as discriminating. "I stay away from people with medical issues," she says. "There's just too much complex emotion there." Also, no drunks, no druggies, no head cases. Although she most often feeds from one willing donor, she can take in ambient energy from crowds. Places such as Hard Times Cafe and Applebee's can be good spots, she says, because of the generally positive energy.

Think of this next time you're noshing on Nachos Nuevos.

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