December 15th, 2003


the frozen vampire

I've been browsing back through my old LJ fiction pieces--I think I managed to get just about everything in memories by this point. (Everything vaguely fictional anyway--midway through the project I made new categories for episode chat and for dreams, and now I need to work my way back through the year again.) I've thought about formatting my LJ scribbles for my web page and probably should, in case the LJ servers fail someday and wipe out old content. I don't take the ephemera I write for LJ very seriously though. Mostly it's like, "Here's stuff I would write if I had clones and infinity but because I don't have those I'll just rough out a few kinky images, make a few of you salivate for a real story, and then slowly destroy your hopes with the barren passage of time."

I had a mellow weekend that passed too quickly. Bad neck crick kept me out of play for a day, but it was mostly a what-the-hell attitude that had me draped uselessly across my sofa like a cat on a window sill watching the birds with slitted eyes. I didn't even care about not writing. Usually the guilt bites my ankles with its sharp little teeth.

I've been having these prison whore fantasies again, and as a consequence of that--a progression of thought that will make no obvious sense--got to wondering about vampire regeneration and the concept of immutability. Like, okay: someone is turned; immediately, the progress of any disease is arrested; presumably also the vampire is not a carrier; if he gets hurt, he has the potential to heal with unnatural speed. It's iffy whether a vampire with regenerate a full limb or, say, a missing eye. Brain damage is another grey area. And of course the vampire also stops aging--you could say that senescence is treated like a disease. But when I start thinking about the vampire as a static creature, it makes me wonder about memory and learning. The formation of memories should create new pathways in the brain, as should learning new information and ways of thinking. As a kind of augmentation, I suppose it works like muscle mass--we know that vampires can bulk up, so it's not as if their bodies are completely frozen and unchangeable. But it's interesting to speculate on differences between individual vampires; maybe the reason so many of them seem fairly dumb and short-sighted is that neural pathways don't hold so well--new memories may be weak and may wash away like writing in wet sand as waves pass across it.

Likewise with learning; maybe it's hard for vampires to pick up new conceptual ways of thinking that they didn't already have when they died. Which would make Spike all the more remarkable to my mind, though I do wonder if any of us real humans ever really get "smarter" or if we just amass more info. (I know IQ can change quite a bit over time, but I don't think it's an especially relevant measurement for this question.)

Just afternoon musing, stolen thoughts between meetings.