Vampires are an allegory for the human teenager. Heightened senses, mood swings, hunger, lust/drive, strength/growth and this trans-formative phase are synonymous, except that the fictitious variant involves blood sucking and death. Substitute those with drugs and alcohol and you’ve completely your recipe for the average American high schooler.

I finished my last day of high school today and graduate in a week. But this transition to adult is incomplete. I’m going to be one soon and it feels all too strange. A mere three years ago at 15 I was chasing my friend’s leftovers simply because she was drop-dead gorgeous. That ended horribly and I’ve overcome this desire to be in a relationship. But have I, really?

Today has been an emotional fast lane. I became enraged over a small affair after Friday prayer. Then, as I tried to nap in the late afternoon a girl entered my mind and hasn’t left since. When I did finally end up napping, I had a trippy dream about driving on streams and Medina being the qibla rather than Mecca, and cursing out an Indian scam artist.

I sit here now at my dining room table, the one with the kinks where the chairs meet the hardwood slab. Listening to emotional music with this same girl on my mind. Oh the irony: we both like a vampire show and are both behind on it.

That’s how our friendship began: Netflix. We liked the same shows that the other watched. Prior to that, I had bad blood with her friend and her other friend was dating my friend (see above). So we’ve had our share of downs in this relation of circumstance. Lately the graph has been moving at an upward angle. We actually converse and she actually replies to my texts. Sometimes anyway.

I’d do anything to have her on my arm but there’s nothing to be done. We’re Muslim. But unlike many Muslims we don’t date (or do the drugs/alcohol associated with being a teen). I’m fine with that, for the most part. Since the sour ending to my last attempt to get a girlfriend I’ve never really been in the “game.” Like, it’s forbidden in the religion and if there’s anything worth living for then it’s my religion. Too much drama and stress, too.

Herein comes my vampirism: if I know there is no chance in the near future and don’t have feelings for her, why do I want her like Damian wants a fresh artery to tap? Or, if I’m feeling salty, why do I hate that she doesn’t talk to me, the way the Salvatore brothers hate the Doppelganger? It’s stupidity on my end; self-harm really. But it’s the high that vampires exude: high on emotion.

Like the vamps of The Originals and The Vampire Diaries, my mind, when not deluded by hormones and emotions and girls and life, does become a macabre place, devoid of any of this pure humanity known as love. Realistically speaking, where I want to be in this world puts me at an extreme disadvantage to find love and live lovingly. Being at the forefront of battle, redefining the front line, and solidifying Uncle Sam’s friends and foes in global war against humanity’s cancer of terrorism breeds into men the ability to kill with impunity, to kill indiscriminately, to kill, period. If love has an opposite it is death, for everything that’s good and pure is alive and loves, while death is the end of all of this goodness.

I mean, I can’t run a mile in the time most Green Berets run two, but I’ve got time before I end up even eligible to try out for SFAS and then Q Course if I make the cut. I’ll probably end up being an uptight JAG officer and not meet any of my military goals. But enough about that.

You know who you are: I don’t want this to be happening to me but it is and my walls are slowly crumbling. I said I wouldn’t catch feels and am actively trying not to but I’m losing this battle miserably. Hah, what a pitiful warfighter I’d make, if at all–the real question, then, is: is it easier to fight a tangible and life threatening foe or one’s own self, a foe disguised under the premise of happiness and dopamine–death or love?

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