Others like him.

I think vampires are the ultimate capitalists.

It’s all comes down to that teenage girl obsession with forever —

Forever provides meaning for nows that are not enough,

and that is all about the division of labor.

Vampires are forever, and teenage girls love that shit.

Since we can’t be vampires, we have marriage.

in a city that was sticky-sweet hot, and she asked

about my boy.

Do you want to marry him?

N-O. I say. No, no, no, no, no. I just love him.

Then what’s the point, if you won’t get married;

How can you be with somebody if it’s not forever?

Marriage is not forever, it’s just a very, very, very long time

so forever, for us, is a meaningless term:

all we have are a series of nows, all strung in a row.

Forever is meaningless, but it provides meaning for nows that are not enough.

Forever is the only excuse for sacrifice.

It is considered embarrassingly naive to make decisions about your life for people who are not

Young, naive, and not vampires, we are told by the capitalist world to seize every opportunity that will benefit us,

to escape places full of people we have known and loved, to improve ourselves in far-away metropolises

To find other people to know and love, and then to leave again; to know and love, to leave, to know, and love, to leave, to know, and love, to leave again.

“Your mother will miss you” is not a widely accepted excuse for turning down ambition in a capitalist world.

Your high school sweetheart is not a reason to skip out on university.

A boy is not a place to move for, or to move away to. There are many boys, and at each city

you land in you find them, and wait until the next opportunity flies you away —

Unless it is forever.

Marriage is the only excuse for sacrifice.

But what if we were vampires?

Would we watch Netflix until dawn, and work at jobs we hated,

work so we could be lonely, surrounded by people, in cities full of strangers

work so our loved ones could be lonely in cities full of strangers, so they could work

for loved ones to live, in cities full of strangers, to work.

Perhaps unhappiness is really about the limitations of our architecture

where my parents live within walking distance — but not too close — and

independent units knit together are full of friends that I have accumulated throughout time and space,

close enough that we raise our children through womanly glances that say silently to one another “Jeff does not know how to hold the baby so it doesn’t die.”

Jeff, and others like him, is only ever really an afterthought when we had these kinds of daydreams. An archetype.

But how much love could forever really give you, when love was a dining room and a kitchen filled with people laughing

and cooking and loving each other, needling and criticizing and complaining, and laughing and joking, irrespective of age

and time and place, it was the togetherness that was engulfing, together was enough when we were all there together.

Sure. Jeff was there. And maybe he was more yours than mine, but it was together that made it love

not forever, not ownership, not vampires — together.

Capitalism is a nefarious beast. She tricks ya.

We are told to make decisions selfishly, move constantly, and never sacrifice anything for anyone who is not willing to give us forever,

and once we have that forever we spend the nows that make it up working,

working so that one day we can be together, but that day will never come because

we are not vampires.

PhD’ing in Politics and International Studies at Cambridge via Queen's University Belfast via Stanford. www.alinautrata.com

PhD’ing in Politics and International Studies at Cambridge via Queen's University Belfast via Stanford. www.alinautrata.com