The Children of the Night

The Children of the Night

“and then I asked him
with my eyes to ask
again yes and then…”
—Molly Bloom’s soliloquy
in James Joyce’s Ulysses

A shot of chicory blend expresso—injected into my femoral artery. Early in the evening—in a little coffee shop down on Bourbon Street. It was exquisite—it really got me buzzed. I was really wired—ready to see and feel the swamp after midnight.

We hired this kid from Gretna with a boat—to take us out there. Airboats weren’t allowed—you needed a private tour in a small boat to even visit. Oh yeah, people actually lived back there in that spooky swamp.

There’s miles and miles and miles of complex channels and waterways out there—that only a limited few know about. There’s still native Orleans citizens—who live in harmony out there in the swamp with all its spectral secrets.

It was so hot and humid even at night—after awhile our young guide took off his clothes. Armand and I did the same thing—soon we were gliding through the swamp evening naked as blue-jays. Armand was sitting up front, I was in the middle, Andre paddled and poled our sleek, narrow boat from the back.

Andre smiled—handing us some mosquito lotion. The tiny little bloodsuckers were more after him though—than us. The famished mosquitoes didn’t seem to go for Armand or me—they didn’t like our overly-rich, decadent, vampire blood. Too undead and nasty-tasting probably—they knew “real” bloodsuckers when they saw them!!!

Oh yeah and the swamp—the swamp night with crimson streaks like fire—oozing inside a lavender gorgeous fishbowl sunset—and gnarled, old cypress trees hanging down over us—as we gliding slowly through the towering Spanish Moss gardens—yes and all the queer little bayou birds and snakes and insects and alligator creatures—slithering and singing in the night just for us—up and down all the little midnight inlets and delicate endless divagations—the pink and blue and pale yellow orchids—their fleshy blooms exuding ancient odors of an unbelievably ancient prehistoric decadence—much older than even Armand’s 600 year-old memories of gone Constantinople and jaded rotting Rome—as I placed a lavender orchid in his hair and he kissed me in the midnight moonlight—like he did leaning against one of the decaying crypts last night in the empty, haunting Lafayette cemetery—and I thought well, well as well him as another—and then I asked him with my eyes to kiss me again—yes he said with his eyes and then he French kissed me all the way down my throat to the tip of my toes—and I said yes kiss me again like you mean it—and he laughed and kissed me all the way down and inside out—surely this is what love’s all about I said to myself—as we made love in the bottom of the boat—as the young naked tour guide slowly paddled us deeper into the gloom and doom—further and further deeper and deeper into swamp orchid darkness—and I put my arms around Armand—and drew him down to me—so I could feel his wide straining back and the back of his arching neck—with his auburn long hair falling down over me—so I could feel his heart going like mad—and yes I said to myself—Yes I said a million times over and over again—Let the primeval night envelope us all the way—and slowly but surely—the three of us truly became who we really were—the lonely vampire Children of the Night…

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