vampire for a day

I tend to joke about my ghostly complexion, comparing myself to a vampire, but I'm not really a vampire. I don't sleep in a coffin, drink blood, or burn when exposed to the sun. I mean...wait...I do burn when exposed to the sun. In fact, I burn a  lot when exposed to the sun...even when slathered in my SPF 100, vampire protection level sunscreen.

Yesterday, I was tasked to take my daughter to downtown Atlanta, ironically enough, to be an extra on the Vampire Diaries, TV show. So, after I dropped her off at one in the afternoon, I decided to go visit with some old friends/family while I was in town.

But this is me we're talking about. Things can never be that easy. Just about everyone was either working, sick, or on the other side of town. So after a quick lunch and a shopping trip with my niece--including a heart racing scavenger hunt to find my purse after I left it somewhere in the store--I fled the sunshine for a darkened movie theater.

My daughter expected to finish shooting around nine that night, so as soon as the movie let out, I made my way back through the nighttime traffic into the belly of Atlanta.

There's something totally different about driving in a big city at night than driving in the day. I got lost. Waayyy lost. Several wrong turns, multiple detours, and too many panic attacks later, I found myself in the scariest neighborhood I've ever been in. At. Night.  

Thanks to a GPS app that was obviously designed by the writers of The Hangover, I'd wandered into an alternate reality...a gritty crime drama movie where the stereotypes were running rampant all around me. But trust me when I say, I wasn't laughing. I was too busy controlling my breathing and making up new swear words. I locked my doors, and ran every stop sign...terrified I was going to get carjacked if I as much as slowed down...all the while, cursing the voice on my GPS for guiding me to this part of town.

I couldn't read the screen without my glasses, but I can't drive with them on, so I was doomed to listen to the disembodied voice and her wild goose chase. I was suddenly surrounded by what looked like extras in an episode of The Walking Dead.   

The GPS continued shouting out directions, constantly redirecting me when I refused to drive down dark, secluded street after street, until finally, I'd reached my destination.  I'd never been more delighted to see scary men in Kevlar vests in my whole life. The security team for the Vampire Diaries shoot kept me company in the dark parking lot for the next two hours while I waited for my daughter to finish filming.

By two am, just as my bladder reached critical mass and I was trying to figure out how I was going to maneuver the empty McDonald's cup into position so I could pee into it, I got the phone call telling me she was done. Hurray! Now we just had to escape the city and tackle the two hour drive home. With one last detour--a clean bathroom.

But hey, it's all in a day's work, right? 

Until the next time...I'll be catching up on my sleep.

Copyright © 2000-2018, Erica Lucke Dean. All rights reserved. Any retranscription or reproduction is prohibited and illegal.