Zombie-Voodoo Dream


(google image, Night of the Living Dead, 1968)

A shadowy figure
coal dust-covered zombie in rags
followed me everywhere
reaching out his rotting finger
trying to touch me

I went into a hotel
telling them he would not leave me alone,
not to let him in
He got in anyway
I said, “What do you want from me?”
making a cross with two fingers in front of my face
as if that would ward him away

He didn’t speak

“I curse you,” I said.

I know he was trying to curse me

I woke up,  ready to do battle
with the zombie voodoo brigade

 

I’m a Stranger Here Myself

Years ago, I did a cabaret show that included the Kurt Weill song, “I’m a Stranger Here Myself.” If ever those words rang true, it is now.

I feel like an alien, a zombie (not that I know what a zombie actually does or does not feel).

If I hear “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” one more time in a shopping mall, I will go postal. Yes, I have done all my Christmas shopping and have wrapped most of the gifts. “Fake it till you make it,” as someone said.

The world feels like a dangerous place, a place that offers no security now that my security blanket is gone. Yes, Lorin was my only security blanket in an unpredictable and often cruel world.

I started a list of “Things I Miss About Lorin,” which includes:

(1) How he told me, “I love you,” several times a day and always insisted on a hug before he departed for work.

(2) How he would grab me and start dancing with me in the kitchen while I was cooking and not let me go.

(3) His telling me, “All I need is the love of the Sweetie.” One of his nicknames for me was “Sweetie.”

I’ve come to the realization that no one needs me anymore, except, perhaps, my mom. Lorin needed me. It was good to be needed. It was good to be co-dependent, if that’s what it was. I don’t care. It worked for us, and we were happy.

I haven’t been able to cook or bake since Lorin died. He was grateful for all the meals I prepared for him and even bragged to his co-workers about the lunches I prepared for him. I made extra Christmas cookies so he could have his own tin. He thanked me for every meal, every cookie, even a frozen dinner. I miss having him to cook for, and how grateful he was for every culinary offering.

I made a spontaneous decision to go to New York this weekend to visit my mom and Lorin’s grandmother on Long Island since I won’t be able to see them for Christmas. I need to connect with people who need me (Mom) and loved Lorin (his grandmother). It makes me feel closer to him. I also have a keen sense of my mortality right now. Why wait?

In the evening, I light candles in the living room and in our bedroom, hoping he’ll see them.

This afternoon, I talked to a couple of turtles at the marsh, and asked if they had seen Lorin. No reply.

I said, “Well, if you do, tell him to come and see me.”

Lorin loved animals, turtles included. He said he wanted to die in Savannah. I wish he had lived here too.

Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die

“There he goes. One of God’s own prototypes. A high-powered mutant of some kind never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, and too rare to die.”
     –Hunter S. Thompson

 I admit to being a weirdo, a mutant, in the words of Hunter S. Thompson. But mutants are on the rise, are they not? X-Men and superhero movies are all the rage, as are TV shows about geeks and zombies and people with special powers. Not sure if I fall into any of those categories. I am more a generalized weirdo with an abstract sense of humor that some don’t understand and others are offended by. So be it.

I’m writing this because (a) I don’t have much to say at the moment, (b) I only had 2 visitors today on my site (egad!), and (c) my husband and I are in the throes of selling our home (short sale) and have had 20 or so prospective buyers come to see the house so far. Somewhat nerve-wracking and self-absorbing, but a necessary and positive step forward in our lives.

We have done a lot of cleaning, sifting through our belongings and throwing things out, all in preparation for the “staging” of the house before our realtor’s photographer took pictures of the house pre-listing. After seeing a slideshow of the photos, my husband said, “The house never looked so good.”

We call our house “the huddle house,” because we feel cozy and safe in it, shielded from the troubles of the world. During one of our marathon car trips, we discovered a restaurant called Huddle House, and wondered if people go there to gather in safety or take a needed respite from the madness of The Outside. Seems like a good idea to me.

m-8925

(google)

Alas, it is time to leave our Huddle House and begin a new chapter of our lives. I hope someone nice moves into our house. It’s a very, very, very fine house.

Zombies for Hire

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(google image)

With the economy in crisis, and U.S. corporations compelled to downsize or rightsize staff wherever possible, some employers have come up with an edgy new solution: HIRE ZOMBIES.

Zombies are the wave of the future and an incredibly cost-efficient solution to transforming the office into a mean, lean machine.

The chief benefits of hiring zombie staff:

1.   Zombies work for free.
2,   Zombies don’t sleep so they can work lots of overtime
3.   Zombies don’t procreate, so they don’t go out on maternity leave, which can be such a hassle for the company in terms of substitute staffing and possible paid leave
4.   Zombies don’t get sick so they don’t require health insurance or sick days
5.   Zombies don’t need a 401K because they never retire
6.   Zombies are never late for work because they never leave the office. A special zombie barracks will be provided for zombies who want to rest when their bosses do not require their services. Big screen TVs with cable and Netflix will be made available to them so they can catch up on their favorite TV programs. One of their favorite movies is Warm Bodies. Yes, even zombies can fall in love.
7.  Zombies don’t make personal calls because they generally have no family or friends
8.  Zombies never complain (they barely speak)
9.  Zombies don’t decorate their work stations with plants, postcards, photographs and other paraphernalia, thus creating a more professional, sterile (as we like it) work environment
10.  Zombies are very strong so they can haul heavy boxes and engage in brute, physical labor without injury (and don’t require workmen’s compensation)

Challenges:

  1.  Zombies will have to be integrated slowly into the work environment, and non-zombie support staff will have to train them, which may be a source of friction.
  2.  Competition / animosity between non-zombie and zombie staff. Ultimate goal, of course, is to achieve an all-zombie staff.
  3.  Eating habits: Zombies are required to have a lunch break, which can be a messy venture. Some have been known to haul bloody carcasses to their work stations. Ground rules will have to be established as to where their “meals” can be consumed and clean up procedures afterward. Even zombies are expected to keep a pristine work station which will not offend outside clients. Zombies are expected to be as invisible/inoffensive as non-zombie staff.
  4.  Acclimatization to a non-human support staff: Bosses will have to adjust to zombie staff and their special needs. For example, zombies tend to mumble and they will have to be trained in proper telephone etiquette.
  5.  Odor: Most zombies are malodorous due their putrefying flesh. Teaching them proper hygiene and setting up powerful scent-blasters throughout the office space to ameliorate excessive stench are currently under discussion.
  6.  Some zombies may be attracted to humans, but there is a strict policy of non-fraternization between zombie and human employees.

So you see, the benefits clearly outweigh the challenges. Times are changing, evolving, and we can’t be set in our ways.

I know some of the human support staff out there may be asking, “What will happen to me? Will I lose my job?”

The answer is, “Not right away.”

A generous severance package will be provided to human staff who successfully train their zombie replacements. Also, it will take several years to reach 100% zombie staffing. Human employees will still have a place in society. If they have substantial savings, they can work independently or live off the land.

Embrace the pioneering spirit!

Pick yourselves up by your boot straps and explore a new destiny. Accept that zombies are the wave of the future, and you will be okay. And if you’re not, we really don’t care.

Social Zombie

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(photo by Tobias M. Eckrich)

I may look human
on the outside
but really,
I’m a zombie

I don’t chomp
organs
in public places
I do not want
to offend

I’m a social
zombie
I’ve adapted
to this world

My skin isn’t
ghastly pale,
but it’s close–
urban cadaver

My clothes
are neat
and clean
I even
floss my teeth

I’m a social zombie
I try hard
to fit in

It’s lonely
being a zombie
I would like to
have a friend

I promise not
to eat you
if you let
me hold
your hand

 

Free the Zombies

I had passport photos taken today. My passport expires in October, and Lorin and I might be going out of the country this year. You never know. I made sure my hair was washed, and my face was made-even adding eyeliner underneath the lid, which I usually forego. It would be a good passport photo. I was wrong.

out of focus passport photo

(I realize it’s somewhat out of focus – took with my iphone. Believe me, it’s better this way.)

To me this screams, “Just Sentenced to Gulag” or “10 Years Hard Labor.”

Anyway, after hiding the photos in the zippered portion of my wallet and walking back to the office, I realized how much healthier and happier I looked in my photo from 2005. It helped that I had some color in my cheeks, and I think I had recently returned from vacation. And I was smiling. That always helps.

We often read about preserves and parks to save various species who have been enslaved by the circus or been lab animals all their lives. These animals deserve their freedom and a modicum of happiness. We all do!

We also need to recognize the Caged Zombie, aka office worker, who needs sunlight, fresh air, and perhaps, even a pool to splash in. Would it be so hard to provide this?

Granted, we get vacation time, but sometimes we don’t have adequate funds to travel, or things are too busy at the office for us to leave. What would be the harm in providing us– free of charge–a few weeks of freedom, out of our usual surroundings, away from the grueling commute that gradually transforms us from humans into zombies. Would it be too much to ask?

Prerequisites for a zombie vacation:

1.   freedom from computers

2.   freedom from answering phones

3.   freedom from flourescent lights

4.  freedom from multi-tasking

5.  freedom from fire drills

6.  open spaces

7.  natural sunlight

8.  pools to splash in

9.  freedom from commuting

What would your ideal zombie vacation be?