Damned if You Do, Damned
if You Don’t: Vampires and
the Hedonistic Paradox
How long have I shunned the caress of soft light upon my cheek,
how long have I longed to feel the gentle wind in my hair, love in
my heart, and hate? Yet, my soul is dead; I cannot feel, cannot see
the light of day. Still, my curse is the greatest of gifts. The taste of
blood is sweet as the sweetest honey to me. I embrace each passing
night of my unlife, and the call of blood is my blessing.
This anonymous quotation from the Internet captures the plight of the vampire. Imagine having the capacity to live for several lifetimes driven by a thirst for blood, while not really being able to feel or experience what you are going through in those lifetimes. At best, there is some sort of relief when you have had your fill of blood. The hollowed-out life of a junkie might be the closest thing to a vampire’s life we could imagine, with the desire for the next “fix” consuming all of one’s existence.
Think of Jason Patric’s vampire character, Michael, in Joel Schumacher’s 1987 film The Lost Boys, or Brad Pitt’s vampire character, Louis, in Neil Jordan’s 1994 Interview with the Vampire. When they try to resist their urges for blood, they become wild-eyed, frantic, and driven to “feed their need.” Add to this picture the fact that the vampire is aware of the inability to feel, then one can see how the vampire’s situation kind of sucks (pun intended)! Again, talk to ex-junkies, and they will tell you that they knew their lives were hollowed-out, devoid of anything other than the desire for the next fix.