The last thing 40ish Rhoda Ginsberg expected when she signed up for Jdate was to fall for a Jewish vampire. But when she meets gorgeous but undead Sheldon, a former Hasidic rabbi, she rationalizes that he may be not be alive, but at least he’s Jewish. In a wild romp that ranges from New York City to Century Village, Florida, they conspire to turn a bunch of little old Jewish ladies into vampires, who then “go rogue” and prey on the young.
No, I wasn’t interested in the story of his life. I was interested in getting to know him in a more biblical sense. I figured he was just another narcissistic celebrity wannabe. As a writer I was constantly getting hit on--not by attractive men--but by people who thought their lives were so fascinating they would make surefire bestseller material. All they thought they needed was a writer to tell their story which, of course, I would be thrilled to do on spec because they didn’t have any money. None of them realized that writers are not charitable institutions.
“You will want to write my story,” he said urgently, “You’ve never heard anything like it before. It will make you rich and famous.”
“Sure, sure. So what’s so special about your story?” I asked wearily, disappointed that he was only interested in my writing skills, not my body.
“I’m a vampire,” he said matter-of-factly.
“Sure, and I’m the Queen of the Damned.”
“What will convince you?” he asked.
“Hmm. Hold on a minute,” I said, playing along. I dragged a cross out of my purse, which I happened to have because I’d visited St. Patrick’s Cathedral with my niece earlier that day and got one for free. I held it up in front of him.
“I’m a Jewish vampire. Doesn’t do a thing for me.”
“How about a Jewish star?”
“Don’t be silly, only Christians are afraid of the devil.”
I dragged out a mirror and held it in front of his face. No reflection. He said Ah and the mirror didn’t fog up. When he opened his mouth I saw that his long incisors were, in fact, fangs. I shrank back, not thrilled about the notion of becoming dinner.
Erica Manfred is a freelance journalist, humorous essayist, and author. Her most recent book is the novel, Interview with a Jewish Vampire. She’s also authored two non-fiction self-help books, including most recently He’s History You’re Not; Surviving Divorce After Forty. Her articles and essays have appeared in Cosmopolitan, The New York Times Magazine, Ms., New Age Journal, Village Voice, Woman’s Day, SELF, Ladies Home Journal, and many other publications. Erica lives in Woodstock, New York with her Chihuahua, Shadow, and her daughter, Freda. Brought up by Jewish parents who spoke Yiddish but avoided religion, she got her Jewish education at the Woodstock Jewish Congregation which welcomes Jews from all backgrounds, from atheist to Orthodox, to vampire. Her website is www.ericamanfred.com, or visit www.jewishvampire.com