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Sunday, June 5, 2011

Thoughts on Writing, Forming Bonds, & the Apocalypse

Today at work, I had this unnatural urge to just put pen to paper and write.  It was the perfect setting - a chilly pool deck, empty save for one woman reading what I think was The Help, and me, with my writing tablet and my favorite pen from the high school newspaper awards last year.  I had some characters in my head, a few ideas, some plots.  The problem was, most of them are for larger projects I either have work done on or I have yet to begin, and none of them were going to become short stories I could knock out in the four hours I had left in my shift.  Nothing seemed right.

I hate that.  I love that drive to write, but I hate how it never seems to match up with the right ideas, the right words, the right remembering.  I would have continued a story I've already started, if I could remember specific details and where I'd left off.  But I had nothing - just myself, a pen and paper, and creativity taking me nowhere.

Of course, with one hour left in my shift at the pool, I remembered a brilliant idea I'd had and meant to work on, but I was already invested in my book and I was hoping to leave a little early since no one was swimming, and it didn't seem worth it.

That's what nighttime is for though, right?


Have you ever looked into someone's eyes and just clicked?  Was it the cashier who was extra smiley?  Was it the guy at Subway who grinned and asked if you wanted your veggie patty toasted?  Was it the random grandpa chatting with you on a sunny day?

Please tell me I'm not the only one who forms unnecessarily strong bonds with strangers.  Too often, I walk away from a situation saying to myself, "Wow.  She was super nice."  Or, "I like him; he's silly."  As if I even registered with these people.  As if they'll actually be my friends.  As if I'll actually ever see them again.

I guess it's better than being a hermit.


And I don't mean the God and Devil and angels and demons one.  I don't put much stock in that - remember, I spent "the Rapture" laughing about the whole ordeal in an Applebee's.  I'm thinking something a little bigger, a little more possible.

There are so many ways for the world to go down in flames.  Have you thought about it?  War, meteorite, disease, Mayans.  No one knows.  One day we're here, the next we're not.

But I'm really most worried about the idea of a global epidemic.  Obviously, AIDS is terrifying.  And anything we've supposedly "eradicated" could come back with one slip of a lab tech's wrist.  But, if you slip into the realm of the horrific and unbelievable, what I'm most terrified of is zombies.  A zombie apocalypse.

Yes, I'm serious.

I'm not a huge fan of the whole zombie sub-genre.  I don't watch zombie movies, because I don't want to see brains and blood all over.  I'm more of a reader, anyway.  I liked Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, even if it was a little blegh with the gross-out factor.  And I'm currently reading David Moody's Autumn, which I'm in love with.  I'm really just in love with him, apparently; he wrote Hater, which is almost zombie fiction, but it's just about people who get infected and then get really, really mad at everything.  I love his writing style and he really just has such a strong and original grasp on what the words "zombie" or "undead" imply.  I even gave a zombie short story a try (spoiler alert: it was really bad and you'll never read it).

But how terrifying would it be to get attacked by hordes of the undead?  No remorse, no love, no mercy.  It seems like a gruesome and (according to a CNN article I once read and now can't locate) entirely plausible way to die.  You lose everyone you love in an instant, and then have to face them down when they rise and try to nom on your brains.

That's why I came up with a zombie preparedness plan at the pool today.  It's more like a list of possible ways to slaughter corpses who threatened the Harbour Club.  I was alone and reading a zombie book and terrified all evening - I had to make sure I was really prepared for anything.

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