Jerome’s vampire movie demonstrates the slightly different way white Anglo-Saxon Protestant families conceive of inheritance as a form of brainwashing. Cal has extensively explored how the Stephanides family passes on lessons learned from trauma and cultural knowledge throughout the novel, describing it as a mixed gift but one given always with good intentions and out of a love of their Greek heritage. In Jerome’s vampire movie, the elders of white culture drain the creativity and new ideas from the young in order to force both sameness and monstrosity upon them. Instead of a gift, white cultural inheritance is to literally be drained of blood, left with an emptiness. This process is analogous to the Ford English School pageant in which the graduates sacrifice their ethnic heritage—metaphorically their blood—in order to all dress alike as newly created Protestant Americans. Jerome’s rebelliousness also brings to mind Chapter Eleven, who treats the Stephanides family as if they represent the dominant American culture, again showing the extent of the family’s assimilation.

The mixed signals the Object sends Callie again demonstrates that secrecy is the enemy of intimacy. Because lesbian desire isn’t socially acceptable in their community, the Object and Callie cannot discuss their growing feelings for each other and only communicate indirectly. The Object couches discussion of Callie’s naked body in the language of them being “best friends.” A best friendship implies emotional intimacy but doesn’t always mean two people see each other naked, and so we can assume that the Object has a curiosity about Callie’s body that isn’t entirely platonic. The closest the Object comes to admitting her feelings for Callie happens in the form of her saying that she’s glad Callie is leaving because their relationship is confusing. Although Callie recognizes the true meaning of the Object’s confession, the reality remains that the Object can only couch her intimate feelings in words of confusion and dismay. Just as the impossibility of Sourmelina explaining her sexuality to Zizmo once led to jealousy, so now does the silence around lesbianism lead to the Object trying to erase her desires and Callie feeling jealous of Rex.

Callie’s out of body experience in Chapter 20 demonstrates her first fully-realized instance of dysphoria, a disconnect with her body. Although Callie has expressed embarrassment, fear, and shame about her body, those stem from cultural forces and a lack of knowledge. Those feelings of discomfort differ from the way she imagines herself in Rex’s body because in the sex scene, she identifies more with Rex’s body than her own. In some ways, her dysphoria has less to do with her physicality and more with sexuality and attraction. She would like to be in Rex’s position because she’s attracted to girls, specifically to the Object. Her identification with Rex in this moment also signifies her realization that her body looks more like Rex’s than the Object’s, that is, her “crocus” appears more penis-like. The drug use in this scene creates a veil of unreality and literal smoke that emphasizes the way Callie cannot fully be in her body at this moment. If she were sober, she would have to directly acknowledge the disconnect between her feelings and actions, her desires and her body.