Advice For Everyone
by Uncle Mortimer
Dear Uncle Morty,
I have a weird and kind of embarrassing problem, and I really don’t know who else to talk to. I’m a twenty-something year old male, a philosophy grad student, who has suddenly developed excessive body hair and a few other medical/psychiatric issues? I don’t even know if what I’m experiencing is real. All I know is I need help.
So here it is – three months ago, I was taking a walk down by the river close to my house, admiring the full moon on the water, when out of nowhere, a dog jumped out of the bushes and bit my hand. It was, of course, terribly painful and there was blood everywhere. I called my parents, but by the time I got to the emergency room, the wound had almost healed! It looked as though I had been bitten days ago. Even though my parents saw the initial wound, they talked themselves into believing that I was high. (That’s a whole different question that goes to the heart of my relationship with them, and I don’t want to get into it right now.) Of course, I could almost agree that this is all is a figment of my imagination if it wasn’t for the weird symptoms I developed afterwards. For one thing, whenever there’s a full moon, I have to do almost an entire body shave. I’ve never been hairy, but seriously, for a couple days a month, I shed! By the way, my mom follows me around with a handheld vacuum, so it’s not like she can’t see it too. I think it’s so disturbing that she doesn’t want to believe it.
The other thing is around the same time of month I’m in a lot of pain. My parents dismiss it as me being a “snowflake” but I swear I feel the hair pushing out from every follicle. I have a crashing headache and I feel like my bones are bending. I’ve been missing classes during that time because I feel so bad. After the painful part, I fall asleep, an extraordinarily sound sleep, but I have the oddest dreams. I dream I’m hunting, running through the brush down by the river, catching rabbits. Here’s the other odd thing…my mom found rabbit (or squirrel or whatever) bones under my bed! Have I thought of going to the doctor? Sure, but I haven’t managed to make a doctor’s appointment that happens during my few days of sleeping and hair growing, of course. The next appointment during a full moon is six months out. My options are limited due to my crap insurance.
The only therapy I can afford comes free at school, and all they did was prescribe pills for anxiety.
A friend of mine told me you might be able to help. What can I do?
Hairy in Huntsville
I hate to tell you this, my poppet, but you have sustained a werewolf bite. Indeed, you are now a werewolf yourself. Since I can’t inquire whether you’d prefer to hear the good or bad tidings first, let’s start with the latter.
The only real cures for werewolfism are dangerous at best and fatal at worst. However, as I recently told one of my readers who wrote in for advice about dating a vampire, things aren’t the same as they used to be. Many people live with all sorts of metaphysical conditions now and lead full and emotionally healthy lives with complete social circles, including yours truly. In fact, there are many of the “afflicted” who have not only made peace with their new physical and existential mode of being, but who feel even more alive, as though they’ve found themselves. Having put the “bad” news in its place, let’s move on to how to cope.
First things first, ethics. Most people who have recently joined the werewolf club, so to speak, are afraid of hurting others - with good reason, if you’re at all aware of the popular culture surrounding werewolves. The transformed body is strong and canine. The conversion process can be painful, as you’ve noticed, and that can cause a rush of anger and panic. However, most werewolves, once they’ve acclimated, have extremely good control over their actions and diet. It’s a little-known fact that most werewolves don’t eat other humans. The ones you’ve heard of went rogue( as many humans do. Living humans are still the most dangerous animal…even more than werewolves.)
Most werewolves prefer to hunt animals. Through the centuries this is why they have remained hidden and alive. Again, once acknowledged, werewolfism can be well controlled. Now we need to look at your particular case. It’s actually unusual for a werewolves to put down their nightly hijinks to dreaming, but it is a known defense mechanism in a minority of cases. Once you acknowledge your condition, I think you will get along swimmingly. Your mother has found only rabbit bones under your bed. This is a good sign. But you must learn to fully inhabit your transformed body and be fully aware of your actions. I will privately message you some information so that you can hook up with a counselor who can help you learn to enjoy and manage your moonlit rampages. Group counseling is also a good idea. You need to be around others who are working through these metaphysical issues so that you can come to accept your new state of being and deal with the admittedly difficult emotional matters that arise in such new and sudden circumstances.
The next thing you need to know is that though you are not immortal (exactly), you will live a very, very, very long time. Possibly into the thousands of years. This will require careful financial planning. Although you can eat for free and enjoy living outside in the worst of weather during your transformation period, you will not find it pleasant otherwise. Your Uncle Morty is not a certified financial planner, but you should be able to find one at some point to help you set up for the future.
One final thought…the werewolf that bit you. It would be very helpful if you could figure out exactly what happened. It’s possible that you simply startled a new werewolf and they bit you out of fear. You didn’t provide many of the circumstances behind the initial bite. I realize that wasn’t the point of your inquiry, but I would still like to understand how this happened in the first place. It certainly doesn’t appear that this creature was a rogue werewolf as they did not further attack or consume you. However, I have concerns. On rare occasions, a newly transformed werewolf feels so lonely and frightened that they bite someone they know simply for the company. It is, of course, abhorrent to so change someone’s existential state of being without their consent. But this person may need to be helped…or somehow to be stopped before they strike again. In your nightly ramblings or as you meet and befriend other werewolves, you might want to be on the lookout for this lost soul.
Please keep me updated on how you are doing! I look forward to hearing about your adventures soon.
Mortimer Richard Wolcott is, quite frankly, not very forthcoming with his bio. We're not even sure if that's his real name. His work during his previous embodiments is not something he'll willingly share. He also won't explain why he's currently assigned to the world of the living. His deathography is only somewhat clear from the point at which he showed up at Sacred Chickens Farm for a Halloween Party and never left. He is occasionally pressed into service to help write the blog and you can search the archives here for his wisdom. He enjoys hanging out with cats, the occasional cocktail, and dispensing sarcastic remarks to the living.