A while back Vanessa did a post where she talked about what love is, and then dared a number of people to do the same. I’ve been considering it for awhile, and every time I try to sit down and write about it the whole thing sounds like a Precious Moments doll puked up a Hallmark card onto a Build-A-Bear. I think I got it now, though, but it’s going to take some telling.
I am one hundred percent completely terrified of zombies. It’s a shame, because I’m fascinated with the whole zombie subgenre of horror. I think the human apocolypse is unendingly interesting, and you may have noticed that I have a bit of an infatuation with gratuitous gore. Zombie stories are all about psychology, what happens to a person when civilization ends, when they’re forced to live a raw life devoid of comfort or safety in a barren wasteland of shattered homes.
PS: Sorry if I’m kind of verbose today. I’ve been rereading Rilke’s Letters To A Young Poet and the language kind of gets into my brain and leaks into the rest of my conversation. Kind of like how your pee smells when you’ve been eating way too much asparagus.
Barren wasteland of shattered homes.
So lately I’ve gotten cocky. I’ve been reading zombie comics, and a couple pulpy zombie short stories, and I’ve still been able to walk through our dark house in the middle of the night without any sort of crippling terror. I haven’t quite gotten up to zombie movies yet (which routinely reduce me to a quivering ball of nerves) but I have been sketching them and that’s pretty visual too. Last night, after watching like ten episodes of The Venture Bros, I went to bed and promptly had nightmares about zombies for eight hours.
I woke up in a sweaty ball of blankets. Taylor had gotten up an hour or so earlier, and I was alone in the bedroom. Blearily, I reached over to my phone and texted him:
“I had really bad dreams and I need you to come back to bed and snuggle me a bit.”
I heard his phone go off and he appeared seconds later.
“It was bad,” I told him as he nodded understandingly. “There was one dream, and I was like, in a prison with zombies. But then the other one? The other one was in our house, and we were here in the bedroom, and we knew there were zombies out there, but only like two or three, and you got up, and you were going to go get my car keys out of my purse, and then run back in here, and we were going to climb out the window, and you left, but then you didn’t come back.”
Taylor waited for me to continue.
“So I thought I would go get the car keys myself, and I ran out the door, and I could see you on the couch, and there was like, a big gaping hole in your head, and blood dribbling everywhere, and I could see zombies, so I ran in the bathroom, and I shut the door, but they got in, and I had to climb out the window, and I was looking in the parking lot for unlocked cars, and then I found one, and then I woke up.”
I paused to take a breath, burrowing my face into the pillow. I had twenty minutes until my alarm was supposed to go off. I was still sleepy.
“Promise me there aren’t any zombie reports on the news or anything,” I said. Taylor kissed my forehead.
“Nope,” he said. “Not that I’ve heard. Although there were some strange noises coming from the basement…” He let the end of his sentence hang in the air, grinning at me. I raised up onto my elbows and shot him the dirtiest glare I could.
“That is completely not funny at all,” I said. Taylor chuckled.
I got up, still feeling edgy from a night full of nightmares, listening to the cars pass by outside our bedroom window and half expecting to hear crashes and screams any second. Taylor came in as I was trying to apply makeup and sat on the end of the bed with his computer. As I straightened my sweater, he set his computer aside and handed me my cell phone. He wrapped his arms around my middle. I rested my chin on the top of his head.
“I’m still all nervous,” I glanced at the clock. I had to go. “You know,” I murmured, “if you were a zombie, I’d let you bite me. Just so we could be zombies together.”
“If you were a zombie,” Taylor said, “I would shoot you with a gun and run away.”
“Makes sense,” I said.
And that’s my definition of love.