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Reflections on Vampires, Laughter and Loss (by Laurel Anne Hill)

Saturday my relatives scattered the ashes of a family member who shouldn't have died.  Twenty-seven was far too young.  But then, Death respects neither youth nor age.

I awakened Sunday morning, needing to laugh, to feel alive.  Our daughter headed back to Los Angeles before noon.  I was glad my husband and I had tickets to the Lamplighters' annual gala and fundraiser in San Francisco.   The Lamplighters, established in 1952, had titled their special musical comedy: "You can't bite city hall, or, some of my best friends are vampires."

"You can't bite city hall," was a spoof on "Twilight," "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," San Francisco city politics and urban fantasy in general.  Characters included:

Buffy, the Vampire Lawyer
Heidi, the Valley Ghoul
Mary Anne Rice
Mayor Navin Gruesome
A Zombie Rapper
and many more

Two mummies joined the "LGBZ" Chorus (lycanthropes, ghouls, bloodsuckers and zombies), to sing hilarious new lyrics to familiar tunes--music taken from "Ruddygore," "The Mikado," "The Pirates of Penzance," and other Gilbert and Sullivan light operas.

I laughed hard.  It felt so good.  Dealing with the undead was far easier than dealing with the real dead.

After the performance, I stepped from the theater into the damp San Francisco air.  The streets were dark and still wet from the early afternoon rain.  David and I made our way to the BART station to catch our train home.

Inside the BART station, a guitar accompanied a beautiful voice.  A thin young man, around six feet tall, played and sang a plaintive song.  Our gazes met.  We smiled.  I passed by, then returned and dropped some money into his guitar case.

The Lamplighters had lightened my heart.  This young man reminded me of why my heart had felt so heavy in the first place.

I prayed the young man's relatives would enjoy his company for the next sixty years--or more.

Warm wishes to you and those you love,

Laurel Anne Hill
Author of "Heroes Arise"