Choosing vampires

Grace Jones, stoner radio, and COVID dreams

Nikki Barr
3 min readJul 17, 2022
Grace Jones, Vamp, from

I’ve always thought Grace Jones was a real vampire. This is probably due to my first exposure to her being in the 1986 movie Vamp. I was 11 or 12 at the time and believed vampires were real. I still might.

I don’t think about this often, but the stoners who run the local public radio station I listen to in the morning have these ideas that are sometimes great and sometimes… painful. Like the new recurring which of these four albums would you pick to be the only one you could listen to if you were stranded on a deserted island. Assuming of course there is electricity and some device by which to play the select media format.

When I say stoners, I mean it quite lovingly and also that you might need to be under some substance influence to think a day of waltz music is a great idea. But that’s just one woman’s opinion.

Photo by Miriana Dorobanțu on Unsplash

The theme was concept albums. And of the four available for choosing on my island included one from Vampress Jones. As “Slave to the Rythym” churned out of Alexa, I stared into the abyss of my coffee mug wondering why I subject myself to this morning ritual.

My alarm goes off every morning at 6 a.m. It’s a brutal time; unnatural really. But, it is the schedule I’ve been used to for the last 20-plus years. Not that I couldn’t change it, but I simply don’t want to re-calibrate my day. I start work between 7 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. most days, and it takes me that long to wake up.

It doesn’t matter what time I rise, I need at least an hour to process. My partner does not.

Many times he can just come bounding down the stairs reciting the current headlines to me. I’m not even sure of his name at this point. Thankfully, he sleeps later than I do most days. Still, early on in our relationship, I had to implement a no Trump before breakfast rule because I don’t have that kind of bail money.

Photo by Clément Falize on Unsplash

But I like nighttime. Even at the expense of sleep. I fight it — especially in the last few years. When COVID started closing things down and changing life as we knew it, I started having lucid anxiety-ridden dreams. There would be nights I didn’t want to go to sleep because of the dreams. Even now, the dreams persist.

A few weeks ago, there were vampires in one of my dreams. It wasn’t scary, they were just there, getting in the way — serving no purpose other than to upset people and steal my energy. Forget blood, isn’t our energy what vampires are really after? I think so.

And speaking of stealing my energy, “Slave to the Rhythm” was just never my thing. Of the remaining three options I’m going with David Bowie, Ziggy Stardust, as it were. This over Arcade Fire, and I’m not sorry The Beatles. I believe vampires exist; and Bowie was one among them.



Nikki Barr

Normal human in an extraordinaire world. Memoir / Humor / Just Life