The Vampire Who (Thought He) Looked Like Robert Redford

This is a multi-level tribute to Filipino-American writer Bienvenido Santos and at the same time, an adventure story in itself

This story originally appeared in Philippine Graphic, December 5, 2005

The Vampire (Who Thought He) Looked Like Robert Redford

By Jonathan Aquino

Call me Sundance Kid

That’s what I told Sandman, a GS 13;

He’s an assassin—

Or rather, that’ what he dreams of becoming

And someday when he’s retiring

He’ll be a novelist like Forsyth.

Or David Morell.

Or Jack Higgins.

Or whats-his name,

The guy who wrote The Bourne Identity

You see,

Sandman’s from the Central Intelligence Agency

But ssshhh!

That’s just between you and me.

He’s also a poet – think of it!

Definitely a lunatic!

I’ve been playing spy games too,

Running around the city

Enough to drive Sherlock Holmes crazy

And that’s without the cocaine mind you.

Childish cloak-and-dagger stuff

With that secret agent out in the cold

Making Jane Marple’s lumbago explode.

Picture this:

Carlos The Jackal in pursuit of The Shadow!

Get the idea?

One has more names than the yellow pages

The other as elusive as St. Elmo’s Fire.

Interesting?

The let us begin.

II

It all started –

Okay, from the top!

I really mean that literally.

As you know (I’m assuming you don’t know

That’s why I’m letting you know, you know?)

The parapets of Saturday City Justice Building

Are dominated by gargoyles hideously leering

The sight of which makes nightmares

Seem like Walt Disney Fairy Tales;

Some say they were stolen property

from insane sculptors of Gotham City.

Almost midnight

I was perched on a fearsome head

leaning against a spiky horn

While feasting on jam and bread

The clock struck

And it was September morn.

From a height of a thousand feet

I saw a man alone, walking down the street.

I forget to bring some tea

so I was kinda bit thirsty.

I swooped down

Like an eagle shot by a clown

I need a transfusion

But no need for a hospital bed

But there was confusion

Around me I saw muggers instead!

III

There were five young men

(reminds me of Menudo)

surrounding our hero

(that’s me if I’m not mistaken)

flashing switchblades

and son of a gun, one has a gun!

and all because of this bum!

I glared at him

And he looked ashamed.

That’s how I met Sandman

He –

well, he looks like Harrison Ford

(chased by natives in Raiders of the Lost Ark)

Harry Ford!

but hey, it was dark!

As for me, I look like (ahem!)

Let me put it this way:

If I have a son (assuming he’s not gay)

He would look like Brad Pitt

And you don’t have to be a sucker to believe it.

So!

We were surrounded

They’ll take everything and kill us

Like De Niro and Pesci in Goodfellas

I began to sing

It was Raindrop Keep Falling On My Head

And one of the muggers said:

“Hey man, wassa matta wit choo?”

(was he from Puerto Rico?)

Apparently they were choirboys too

and we jammed a doowop acapella

Even Indiana joined in, nice fella

Then it rained.

IV

Let’s give credit where credit is due

(what an honorable thing to do)

that weirdo found the invisible man!

Once I was craving for some noodle stew

I was roaming in this small grocer

When Sandman went in there

And headed for the tuna cans;

And exactly at that moment

I was shaking my head

Thinking about mongo bread instead.

So there I was

Hypnotized by cans of cooking oils

And there he was

Probably shoplifting mosquito coils

And we meet again

Then I heard in my brain

The theme from The Sting

And for some reason just then

Four guys barged in

And reminded me of Boyz II Men

Though they looked Taiwanese

With long red hair like Japanese

Then I remembered Rip Van Winkle

And thought about 60’s hippies

And I sang (and Sandman groaned)

Puff The Magic Dragon.

Anyway the Fantastic Four

Is what else, robbing the store!

The leader, dressed like a scarecrow

Also the one with the shotgun,

Told me to shut up

and said: “Put you hands up!”

And in case we’re too dense he added:

“This is a hold-up!”

I nodded and said:

“Proper communication

is key to effective organization.”

But he doubted my wisdom

(not to mention my sanity)

so he blew me away instead

and I fell back and dropped dead.

Then Sandman threw a bottle of shampoo

And he said:

“Gee, your hair smells like teen spirit!”

and for good measure

a bottle of hair conditioner too!

(Han Solo’s a hundred percent!)

Scarecrow shot him then

at the moment I was rising again

I got the bullet and I was dead again!

Then Sandman threw a can of Century

And they chorused: “Hot and Spicy!”

And Sandman said: “Nope, sorry!

But no return, no exchange!”

(This policy is really strange)

But anyway they shot him again

and the bullet him me again

and I said: “This is Three Stooges!”

And Death returned, sheepishly.

Wasn’t me

B1, B2, B3 and B4 actually.

So one “Hi!” and I will fly

Because the trouble with “Hello!” is “Goodbye!”

And now you see me, now you don’t.

Since then, Sandman, that dolt,

Had been at my heels like a puppy

For the living always follow the dead;

That pervert thinks he’s Javert

And I’m Valjean who stole the mongo bread

Photo courtesy of BestHotMalePictures

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