Saturday's Child is Undead

There's nothing like the haunting narratives in World War Z to get my blood pumping... when I'm loading the dishwasher or running the vacuum. I'm sure I've listened to it on my iPod three times within the last year with the same fervor of tonight's race through the first two volumes of The Walking Dead, shunning the aforementioned chores in favor of the undead. I don't know what it is about zombies, but I know it's not healthy. Possibly contagious. I'm already afraid of the dark, and indulging in literature like this just fills it for me, the gurgle and drag of my imagination promising nightmares. Still, I can't resist, not when these are stories that get at the heart truths of what it means to be a living person, to live, to be a person. I'm not interested in drivel, but ink that coagulates on the page like old blood, terror that resonates even when it's a belly laugh; maybe because of it. Like the Borg or the Flood, the Cybermen and even to some degree the Shadows, what is scary and best about zombies is their singular desire, their collective agency, that they want and rot and are willed all the same. I've found I haven't enjoyed as much those short stories that explore zombies who retain some sense of who they are, and zombie romance confuses the hell out of me, mostly in attempts to gross me out. Zombies who want more out of their (un)lives than brains might as well be vampires or aliens or soccer moms. I like my monsters just the way Romero intended them... and I like even better the monstrous things they inspire in soccer moms.

Bottom line, I don't want to save them. I just want to shoot them in the head.

Zombies Eat Babies Eat Baby Trees

I got a little drunk last night and admitted to my husband that what I really want to do with my life is work on my writing and spend my days playing and teaching and being terrorized by the children we don't have yet. I remember his smile now with relief, and hope that I didn't through a film of inebriation channel terror into tolerance. I don't know when I became the sort of person who wants to serve baby trees instead of broccoli, and while I'm not sure I have the patience to bake bread with a preschooler, I don't think that will stop me from trying. I imagined myself as any number of things when I was growing up, but a mother was never one of them. I liked to play college with my Barbies - admittedly, they spent most of their time hanging out in the dormitories I built for them, and not so much in class - and while the collegiate adventures of Courtney and Skipper were not even in the smallest way realized when I was an undergraduate, it was still a sort of inevitable dream for me, acquiring a degree. That I'd claw the eyes out of anyone who tried to keep me from getting my education, including my own when laziness or poorly distributed schedules threatened, didn't make it any less of a dream. It was what I'd always wanted.

When I graduated, though, I remember one of the things I thought was that at least then if I were to become accidentally pregnant, my life wouldn't be over. I feared more having a child and having to give up the pursuit of my degree more than anything, including the zombie apocalypse. That I'm not afraid anymore, or at least not as afraid,  would've seemed to me as unlikely as needing to take out the stairs in Collins Hall and defend myself with my acoustic guitar (I hadn't read Max Brooks yet). But I was, and now I'm not (as much).

My husband's response to me was, following the smile, that I'd start writing childrens' books if we had children, to which I informed him that I can't indulge in page upon page of sexual tension in childrens' books or carve out hearts or curse, so.