Ever seen the movie ‘Shaun of the Dead’? The scenes in the beginning when he’s riding the bus and all the people around him have this eyes-glazed-over look to them? That’s what my ride to work is like every day. More than ninety percent of the people just sort of sit there, lost in their own thoughts, or perhaps not having any thoughts at all. That means that less than ten percent of the people, less than one in ten, is listening to music or reading or talking. Even then, some of the people who listen to music do what I call “listening to secret music” … see, on my MP3 player, I have only songs that I like, songs that make me smile, tap my foot, bob my head, mouth the words… good music. Lots of these other people, they either have only music that they don’t like, or they’ve been socially shamed into not drawing any attention to themselves or showing any emotion at all. Except for the tinny sound escaping their headphones, you’d mistake them for the one who are just sitting there lost in their lack of thoughts.
This all leads me to another issue… I’ve been having dreams lately, pretty much every night… Zombies. Running through zombie infested cities, holding off the horde from a mall or a Wal-Mart, surviving against the odds. In my conscious life I find myself wondering, if it really happened, if zombies really did start to emerge and the world went to hell, would I survive as well as I do in my dreams? Would I be the movie hero, or would I end up being another mindless creature prowling for flesh? I’d like to think I’d be a survivor.
So I find myself wondering as I ride the bus, if these people, the ones with no emotion, eyes unfocused and slack-jawed, were to suddenly turn and begin the tell-tale zombie moan, how would the story end? My daydreams echo my night, and I stand on the MARTA train, never sitting, never letting myself get lazy, and I imagine a disturbance at the far end of the car, screams, blood, and I pull the emegency brake cable and I open the door and drop to the ground running, or I yank hard on the loose hand rail and lay in with skull crushing blows on the ‘infected’. And I smile, and the music plays a soundtrack to the destruction, and I tap my foot and I bob my head and I mouth the words, and I rejoice that I’m not one of those people… the living dead, slack-jawed and mindless, shuffling off to work the grind, shuffling home to rest up for the next day.