I don’t know where to start with the review. So I guess I’m going to start way back in time. To when I was 11. This should be titled why I am fascinated with zombies and vampires but not ghosts.
When I was 11 my father went to work in the morning. I remember him kissing me goodbye like he always did. It was early and the morning was still dark grey. He left. And he never returned. From then on I became obsessed with death. So much that I tried to kill myself the first time (when you say the first time, you know you got a problem!) when I was about 15. It was in the 80s and Gothic culture was underground and home made. Not like how you can go to the malls and get all your matching death outfit in one handy store. (note: I worked at that handy store for 8 years. I know the evil of which I speak!). Anyways. Let’s first talk vampires.
I became obsessed with vamps when I was 5. How do I know this? My fave Sesame street character was The Count. My father got me a subscription to Sesame Street magazine and I feel in love. But after his death, things changed. The world changed. I changed. My first true book was Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire. I was immediately fascinated with all the glitter. All the gold. All the living for eternity and all that wonderful life of the undead. I liked the idea of never losing anyone I loved. That they would live forever. That they would…never leave me.
Through the years I turned that obsession into ‘non fiction’ books of vampires and all its kin. I drank up lore and myth of all cultures. I was enthralled with the live forever. Look young forever mentality. Think Lost Boys.
Well let’s skip ahead to zombies. I have a fear of zombies. Fear in the way you have fears of real honest to goodness spiders and mice and things you can’t see but are indeed real. Are possible. When I was 14, Day of the Dead was released. Yeah, I’m an old fart. My mother took me and my best friend to see it at a movie theater. I remember the day like it was yesterday. Seriously. Trauma will do that to you. I remember sitting there with my tub of popcorn. Giggling. Talking to my friend. Whispering. And then this movie fucked my shit up for life. How? Well horror movies all take place in dark universes. Everything is dark when Freddy comes for you. It’s dark as hell with no good power source in all those Jason movies. Bad films of the 80s all took their evil into the dark corners of the world. But this movie was happening in BROAD DAYLIGHT! Who does that? What is wrong with the world?! Safety is in the day. You beat out the monster all night so you can live in the day. We all know that! Vamps can’t get you in the day. But zombies? Oh they get you in the day. They get you everywhere. They even get you in the mall while you are shopping for those cool jeans for back to school. Some sales lady takes a chunk out of your chubby arm and you are fucked.
Zombies terrify me. Why? Because the thought of dying is not bad. It’s the thought of being stuck in there. Being one of them. Knowing what you will become. It’s hell. I always think what would I do if my father came out of the grave toward me? Would I be that bad ass woman who gives him a metal kiss between the eyes? Or that one that reaches with arms outstretched…calling…’daddy’. The dead should stay dead. The other side of the vampire myth. The truer side. The side they don’t tell you about. What it takes to be not dead. Not alive. That limbo in Dante’s Inferno. And that it’s not what if you become on of those things. It’s when. That inevitability. That train you look down knowing it’s coming. It’s coming for you. And there is no amount of right decisions that will keep you from becoming one of them. That complete loss of control. Of Identity. Of will.
I keep arguing which is worse. To be in a world where you know one day it’s a wrong step. A too slow. A bad move. And you are being chomped on by your neighbor. To live in a world that you constantly aren’t safe in. Or being trapped inside that zombie body. Where you don’t just become one of the undead and you go to heaven. No. You are there. Inside. Stuck. Aware. And all you want is to put your arms out in that zombie pose and walk towards your next meal. But inside that’s not what you are doing. Inside you are hoping. You are praying. You are pleading that they will kill you. You are trying to reach out to their gun. You aren’t safe. Alive. Dead. Undead. I’m not safe. I haven’t felt safe since my father left me. But the though of him coming back for me makes it worse. Makes it a hell I attach myself to. All fictional writings of zombies it’s always me as the lone survivor. And him as the zombie coming towards me.
This book really did a number on me. It's the first zombie book I read that showed me my true fear. Of what it's like to be one. The desperation to end your suffering. The feeling of being stuffed so far down inside your soul, you can have the thought of pain and feeling, but it's so far removed. You are so far removed, it's clinical in nature. The moving through life without being part of it. Without control. The moving through life but there is no connection to another human being. You look and you move. You mouth words. You wave arms. You are having a complete conversation in your head. But all that the living see is a dead thing.
The truth of why I am fascinated with zombies? Is that I am one.