Estimated reading time — 10 minutes
So, what’s it like to be a zombie?
I’ll save you the effort of asking because we both know that’s what you’re thinking… right? Or, more to the point, what the best part of being a zombie? Well I’ll tell you one thing: it’s not the loss of dexterity. I’ve really only got two fingers capable of typing so this tale will be a significant labor of time. However, in a fortuitous twist of fate for you, dear reader, time is something I suddenly seem to have a lot of. My schedule has opened considerably, what with the apocalypse and all, and I no longer find myself monitoring the clock and placing any importance on its significance in the progress of my day. The person who said, “I have all the time in the world,” had no idea what that truly meant.
While I digress, I feel it’s only fair to inform you that leaving a point open-ended or letting a train of thought never reach the station will probably be a consistent theme throughout my narrative. Since this wasn’t really an issue when I was… I don’t know… let say: alive; I can only surmise that this may be due in some part to the fact that my brain is beginning to rot in my skull. I do my best to keep my head cool (in regards to temperature) but there’s only so much a guy can do these days. No power mean no air conditioned duplex. No air conditioned duplex means a cool creek can do in a pinch. Everything has a fine line though; everything. Even in a cool brook one has to keep a close eye. The second you see a bit of hair or a chunk of flesh go merrily, merrily, merrily down the stream you got to get the hell out.
So what were we talking… oh yeah; the best part. Well let’s see, there actually more to consider than you might think. Is it the general sense of comradery and sharing of resources in the zombie community? Perhaps it’s the ability to re-discover the real world after being held so tightly in a virtual one for so long? You probably have no idea how nice it is to just unplug your intelligence and free yourself from the thoughts that imprison you; except for the hunger for brains, of course. Is it the freedom of schedule and the opportunity to finally see this great country? The cardio is fantastic and if you can hook up with the right horde you’d be amazed at how entertaining a long road trip can be.
Plus, I probably don’t need to tell you as I’m sure it would go without saying, but the women… oh man. The ladies of the horde are aplenty and as dirty as I’m sure you would imagine them to be. While it’s true that the dirty is literal, plenty of mud, blood, fecal matter and whatnot in a horde, these girls can be freaks as well. Zombie chicks are the shit. Imagine really hot Goth chicks hell bent on getting some meat in their mouths. Now imagine them in a significant state of decay, writhing and fighting to eat the living. Granted, it’s not ideal, but easier to make work than you might think.
But even the constant party atmosphere isn’t the best thing about being a Zombie. It’s the fact that I’ll never have to buy another piece of useless crap again for the rest of my undead life. I will never again have to walk into a Walmart or a Target for milk and bread and walk out with a shower curtain, garden-hose, pasta strainer and a “Snuggie”. I will never again need to walk into a post office for stamps to mail my rent and utilities to the only companies left who don’t believe in electronic payments. If I do ever find the need to enter a post office again it would only be because a young Hispanic mother and her eight-year-old daughter had barricaded themselves inside and were making their last stand with their golden retriever whom they called Lala and which barked incessantly over their terrified sobs. Just as a hypothetical of course.
That is the best part. You’ve not tasted true freedom, my friend, until you’re at a point in your life where you don’t have to worry about the free market grind. You know what thoughts I never have? Did I grab my wallet? Do I have my credit card? Do I need gas in my Yugo? Should I pick up a six-pack of Zima? Do I want to buy Aerosmith’s new album or Kool Moe Dee? If I stop at a Blockbuster, which VHS cassette should I rent? What aerosol hair spray should I get? (I guess I should mention that I died in 1987).
Do I need this or do I need that? Do I have enough of Product A or Product B to get me through the night? Honestly, the only product I really think about at all is, well… tasty brains; but if we are being truthful then I have to admit that’s really only an indulgence as well. I’m not eating out of necessity and you really don’t want to know where the things that I do eat ends up. Let’s just say smooth running bowels aren’t really synonymous with my condition. Indulgence might not be the right word for the brains. I don’t need them in the physical sense but the urge can be so strong sometimes that “addiction” would be a better fitting glove.
I was actually really embarrassed by the compulsion at first. I thought it was my own personal failure and kept it very close to the vest. I called them my “private delicacies” not wanting to give away the true nature of my revolting cravings. Turns out, the symptom was more wide spread than I’d imagined. So wide spread, in fact, that there is actually a bit of competition for my delicacies. If I’m being perfectly blunt; some of these fools are really starting to piss me off. You put in a good, hard day’s work: tracking and stalking a victim and the second you get to the good stuff you’re surrounded by a crowd of bums trying to wrestle in on your action.
I will beat a fool who comes after my goodies. I will tear their arm off and beat them into a pile of mush. I will tear my own arm off and mush them. I’m a bit of a work-a-holic. Sorry, that’s not true; it’s more of a hobby I’m greatly invested in: a hobby that I find myself singularly focused on with laser intensity. If you must put yourself in my shoes then think about how much time you spend looking at porn and you should be able to equate.
I’m aware that I have a problem but the one thing the zombie community is painfully short on is any type of outreach or self-help programs. There’s no, “Hi, I’m chuck and I’m addicted to chowing grey matter.” So given the circumstances it’s only to fair to warn you of the consequences. You don’t want to mess with my delicacies. If someone’s cool and shows respect and patience then… yeah, I’ll share with them. It’s not like I don’t have a heart… I think, kind of hard to say at this point but you get the gist: don’t mess with my brains and I’ll do my best to manage my addiction.
It’s really quite silly anyway. I can’t actually taste anything; not at all. Frankly I don’t know where the compulsion comes from. I can’t taste anything and for the most part I can’t feel anything. I consider this a benefit as well. Could be a firm handshake or could be you just cut my hand off; if I’m daydreaming at all I wouldn’t know the difference. I keep telling the guys from the horde, “You gotta pay attention. It’s crucial, you gotta pay attention.” Do my pleas fall on deaf ears, you ask? Considering the majority of the ears were no longer attached… you could say that.
I know that you might find this to be detrimental, but let me ask you this: how do you feel right now? I don’t get headaches or a sore back or arthritis or hangovers or any of the things that you get all the time. I don’t get sleepy or sneezy any other issue of diminutive stature. I get plenty of fresh air and exercise and don’t worry about stubbing my big toe… or the next to the big toe. I believe I’ve lost my big toe but that’s beside the point. At this point, I’m sure you’re thinking to yourself that this sounds too good to be true. Zombie life (or Trans-human as the left-wing undead like to call it) sounds like the only way to go. Why on earth would I ever want to keep living as a Walker?
Oh yeah… we call you guys “Walkers”. You know, because of the way you guys are able to… just, well… walk around and stuff; most of us can’t really do that too well. That being said, the term “Shufflers” is highly offensive and you may not be looked upon in high regard if you choose to use it. If you hear one of us say it, that’s different. We can use that word. Within our community it’s seen as a form of unity and is us taking the hateful power that you walkers gave to it away. You should only refer to us as Zombies or Undead-Americans.
Anyway, I can see that you’re ready to turn in your walker status and join the wave of the future. You’re ready to join Team-Zombie and take your first steps onto the ladder of success. These feeling of excitement are natural we want you to know that we’re just excited about the prospect of you coming aboard and contributing to the greater success of the enterprise while impacting on a personal level. We think you are Zombie material and believe that the one thing that could push us over the top… is you. I know, I know; I feel it too.
Before you can jump into this exciting endeavor, however, you need to be told about the down-sides. I don’t want you to walk away from this today, dear reader, having thought that I was some type of snake-oil salesman who tried to sale you the happy side of a donkey without revealing its ass as well. Everything in life has two sides: the sun and the moon, the yin and the yang, the mountain and its reflection in the lake, the most beautiful woman you’ve ever seen… who has a penis. You need the entire bill of sale before you make such a momentous decision. You need to know it’s not all team-building exercises and seminars on synchronized swaying. There are a few… let’s just say… quirks that you may not be thrilled with.
The first of which would have to be the permanence of the transition. It is very much that: permanent. The actual procedure is quite expedient and depending on your ability sustain a number of bites in a short amount of time can be nearly instantaneous. Of course, there are scenarios where the process can take a bit longer depending on your ability to remain unbitten and, of course, hack and shoot well. But these are extreme circumstances which agents rarely encounter in the field and really not worth devoting a lot of time towards. So yeah… permanent.
Also, there have been occasional issues with fairly isolated cases of crew members losing various body parts due to extemporaneous deterioration. That being that, we’ve been able to do some amazing things with duct tape and leather jump-suits. Are these corporate BS puns doing anything for you, by the way? Another consideration I should mention is the maggots. You really can’t feel them at all but I’ve been told by some that they’re a… irritation. It’s hard to keep them out and one you get them… well, you know how when you go to the beach you keep finding sand everywhere for weeks after that? It’s a little like that. If you fixate on the critters you’ll start picking and then you won’t be able to stop.
I knew a girl named LaTasha who literally picked herself apart. That poor little white girl picked and picked until she was half a torso and one arm. Even then she couldn’t stop. Poor, sweet LaTasha picked until her arm and head fell way. Don’t get too upset please, dear reader, imagining this sweet mother of three lying in a pile of separated limbs and flesh. She was able to get rid of all the maggots which was a tremendous victory for her personally. Also, she was anorexic and the loss of weight had greatly improved her self-body image.
A mutual friend set her head up with a guy named Winchester, who was also just a severed head. Being an interracial couple some people had their doubts, but they’re still together today and living with his mother and her “boyfriend” who we suspect is putting his hands on her but no one can prove it. You’d think it wouldn’t be that hard to do since he’s the only one in the household with actual hands. Not to mention being a player. Leroy’s a slick one. He’s got an excuse for everything.
Why are you with that woman, Leroy?
“Ah, well, see, she said she knew a guy who had some brains for us down the way, so I was just gonna see if I could get some brains for us, because you like brains baby and I like you, shit, Love you. So much love and brains because… I’m your man, and… brains.”
Why are you coming out of that woman’s bedroom, Leroy?
“Yeah, um, see, yeah… you see, this crazy woman I DO NOT KNOW, asked me to walk her dog and I said ‘bitch, I ain’t walking your dog; I’m gonna eat your dog!’ and then, so… then I ate her dog and that’s when you saw me coming out of there… plus… I was getting you some brains, baby.”
There’s really no catching him in a lie and now we don’t even try. F- Leroy! Why did you even bring that punk-ass up? Kind of off-point, wasn’t it?
So anyway, before I was so rudely interrupted… maggots. They can get behind your eyeballs. Usually they’ll just push your eye so that it’s looking in a slightly difference direction. I know it might seem like a disability, but I’ve seen some amazing people overcome this to not live their amazing lives. Sometimes, what you focus on is more important than what you see. Worst case scenario would be the maggots pushing your eyeball out of your head completely.
This usually works in two ways. First would be a complete exodus of your eye from your physical persons at which you’d have the brief sight of your face from an angle you’ve never seen it before for your memory banks and then… nada. The second version is the one which keeps your eye attached to the optic nerve and dangling from your skull. I’ve been informed that this is not entirely undesirable and provides the different outlook on things; think Go-Pro camera. Also, maggots will eat your penis away. Some reports seem to reflect some dissatisfaction to this regard, but c’est la vie I say, easy come easy go.
Other than that… the maggots… it’s all peaches and cream and grey-matter sundaes. No life is perfect, dear reader, but I think we both know that this is the life for you. It’s time for you to stand tall and join the revolution. You will be in the In-crowd for once. You can’t cast aside your inhibitions and start sporting the “Morgue”. You can use that, by the way, if you want to. I’m trying to get it trending. Remember Madonna’s “Vogue”? It’s supposed to be like that. I’ve already gotten it copy written before you get any ideas, douchebag; but again, feel free to use. “You look pretty badass, lady and sir.” “Thank you, we’re Morguing. So just put your hands up and… Morgue.” I know, right?
Since I can tell you’re confident about the decision to go Zombie, I’ve got some good news for you. I know you’ve been hem-hawing about the way to go. Should I go with a little nibble? Should hang myself in the closet? If that’s confusing, I’ll clarify. You already have the Zombie virus in your bloodstream and all you have to do now is die to turn. Yeah, that stupid continuity filler is actually a thing now. Don’t blame our apocalypse on Hollywood’s lack of originality.
Aaannnyway. You need not fret over the particulars of your transition. I’ve made the experience painless and nearly unnoticeable. A small speck of infected blood mixed with an epidermal absorption chemical dropped onto a small area can be enough to turn a walker. A small area, like say the down arrow on a keyboard. A little drop and keep someone occupied for just enough time to read a short story.
See you soon.
Credit: Shannon Higdon