What do I know about pigs? You might ask, said Vampire. Well, I am not always in immediate need of blood—or chasing humans. My first acquaintance with pigs was on a family farm in Illinois, where the pigs kept chasing m,e wanting to sniff and playfully nip at my leather shoes.
Perhaps they picked up on some wonderful smell left over from the curing of the leather, which neither humans or vampires are able to pick up. Pigs’ noses are much longer and thicker, like dogs, and no doubt much superior at detecting odors. I had to laugh at the situation, a pack of pigs after a vampire just beginning to experience the rumblings of hunger in the belly.
Farms are generally far from the law and from prying eyes—good places for vampires to operate. Well, I didn’t get any supper that night, but I did begin my long love affair with those smart and social animals we have misnamed pigs.
I knew a pig once that lived on a lovely beach in Mexico. I have a photograph of him singing to the full moon, which he did often. Pigs are stuffed in small pens and left to defecate on themselves. A pig’s skin is highly sensitive and often lacks shade. They are forced to cover themselves in mud to protect their pink skin from horrible sunburn.
Whenever I’m working a farm, after I’ve supped, I will always set pigs free from their pens. I can see in their eyes a gratefulness, and love to watch them move into the fields under the wide stars, noses to the ground, searching out squash, cucumbers, green beans—whatever crops they can find.
The Dreams Do Come
A beast holds Poet upside down with a hand so large the creature can wrap his fingers around Poet’s two ankles. The beast is eyeballing Poet, and with a heavy machine manipulated carefully, removing, with tiny tweezers, all Poet’s eyelashes.
When the beast is done he’ll return Poet to his metal cage at Plato 666, the metal barn of steel cages where poets are stacked one on top of another. The poets can get their heads through their cages’ bars, and eat from a conveyor belt carrying scraps of meat and vegetables sweeping slowly before them.
The beasts do the eyelash plucking every six months, when the poets’ lashes have grown fully back. Still, Poet is as scared, as a child petrified by an imaginary monster under the bed. Poet doesn’t know for sure what his eyelashes get used for, but he suspects they get crushed into a light oil that’s needed for the miniature gears in Nano robots. Lashes are too small for stuffing—the elder down that’s plucked from living geese to put inside pillows. The beasts are convinced that the eyelashes of poets make the finest oil, as a result of the poet’s sensitivity.
The poet’s worried because he does not know how long, with all the plucking, his lids will hold together to create more lashes. If they fail the poet could get chopped up and cooked up like chicken friend steak--or killed and tossed into the trash, to be buried underground to ferment into agricultural fertilizer.
On the other hand, the poet has never felt so important.