I Walk The Shadows Picture

I have long had a growing fascination and fixation toward death and all things otherworldly. I have found after many painful years, that I just simply never seem to fit any anywhere or amongst any group. Even amidst the company of the few friends I do have in this world, I still feel very much like an alien amongst them; a dark visitor from a land and shore foreign to all aspects of this earthly plane. Is it any wonder then why I liken myself to mythological and literary figures of death like Hades and Dracula?

Dracula and Hades are two figures in particular that I sympathize greatly with (understand that the Dracula I refer to is the literary character, not the historical prince from Romania). Despite being often characterized as soulless villains both Hades and Dracula were lonely, tormented outcasts with passionate hearts left to walk the shadows between and beyond the veil of death. Though Western society and those who follow Christianity's erroneous depiction of other faiths look upon the Greek god, Hades, as being synonymous with the devil, that description is far from the picture Greek mythology paints of the Lord of the Dead. To the ancient Greeks, Hades was the elusive recluse ruler of the dead who was described as being fairly altruistic; becoming wrathful only when provoked and unlike his brothers, Zeus and Poseidon, he was never spoken of as being pity or irrational, but rather fair and accommodating (this could have been because he was the oldest of the three brothers and quite possibly the more mature). The Greek myth I love most featuring Hades is the one where he meets his wife, Persephone, daughter of Demeter. This myth might very well be one of the oldest versions of the "tale as old as time". The story has elements which would later appear in stories like "Romeo & Juliet" and "Beauty and the Beast". Newer verisons of the myth (re-tellings most likely western in origin), imply that Hades kidnapped Persephone and forced her to marry him, but the older tellings suggest that Persephone went willingly with Hades and enjoyed living in the Underworld with him. She returned only to soothe her mother's anguish and fury, but because she had willingly eaten fruit from the Underworld she had to return to the Underworld for six months of each year; six months on Earth, six months in the Underworld; six months with her mother, six months with her husband. The union of Hades and Persephone is a symbolic union between life and death; a picturesque harmony between darkness and light; which is partly why the story appeals to me so.

Bram Stoker's character, Dracula (who is loosely based on the Romanian Prince, Vlad Tepes II), has had many adaptations derived from him. While Dracula is largely a villain in Bram Stoker's original novel who's sole intent seems to be to spread his curse throughout the world, I'm more taken in by certain later adaptations such as the 1992 film and the Broadway musical which premeried in 2001 where Dracula's character is rewritten to have legitimate feelings for Mina; ultimately releasing her from his hold and succumbing to death to spare her the bane his existence brings; apart from making for a far more compelling story these adaptations hold special favor with me as they quite resemble what my own love life has the dark potential to be. My life at its best is mystery; at its worst its madness. I am what religious zealots warn people against. I am a robber and perverter of innocence. I am a herald of lunacy; a living doorway to worlds beyond this. Those who draw too close and remain for too long in my presence will slowly be stripped of their human senses, and shall be made dead to this world's perception of normality forevermore. The reason I see myself akin to the mythological and literary figures of Dracula and Hades and the specific love stories connected to them is because they are symbolic of the two paths my own love life would take in this world. Those who would seek to give their heart to me would lose themselves to me and be lost to this world and what normal chance of life they could have possessed otherwise...hence the reason why I have a love/hate relationship with love and will often drive away those who show interest.

Why the very specific fixation with death and the afterlife? The answer simple. This world has never held any true pleasure or appeal for me. No matter where I go or what common activities I engage in I find nothing but mundanity. Little is never able to hold my interest or incite lasting happiness in me, and most people I meet are as strange to me as if they never even existed. My mind and soul are beyond this world, and so I long to return to the realms beyond this world; which has been called so many names by many cultures of man: the afterlife, the astral realm, the hereafter, Heaven, Hell, the Netherworld, the Underworld...but to me it is merely home. The vastness of time and space is where I belong. Death is not but a door, and so around that door I wait anxious for the time when it will open for me and allow me to return to the alien lands which my spirit longs to roam once again.
Continue Reading: The Myths