I cannot wait until Sunday, when I get to change the clocks. While I love the extra hour, the reality is that it is too freaking dark in the morning when I walk the dog right now.
As daylight savings time nears, it gets darker and darker every morning. And every morning, along with the dog leash, a cup of coffee, and my iPhone, I also have to carry my giant, heavy as shit Mag Lite with me in case I need to brain any zombies. I wish I was kidding. I wish I had the rational fear of the actual humans who wander through and sleep in the dry creek bed by my house, or perhaps the gang members in the neighborhood who have brought the police helicopters search lights up and down my front walkway on far too many occasions. That would be reasonable. That would make sense. But no. In being totally honest, I imagine one morning walking outside to the zombie apocalypse.
Let’s back up and examine why I am such a big baby. I grew up with older brothers who thought it was fitting to make me watch incredibly scary and age inappropriate movies. Halloween, Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th; you name it, I watched it before I stopped wetting the bed. My little brain was unable to connect that the characters were make-believe, humans in make-up and nothing more. I still, to this day, have nightmares about Freddy Krueger. That dude can seriously go fuck himself. I walked into a Spirit store a few Halloweens ago and they had an animatronic Freddy at the front door. I turned around immediately and left the store, never to return, not only to that Spirit store, but NO Spirit store, ever again, just in case. I saw the first Scream movie when I was 18. I slept with my parents for a week. In bed. With my mommy. For a week. An adult, able to legally vote, smoke, and buy tons of porn, huddled under the covers with my mom. So yes, I am ridiculous. I know it, accept it, and move on.
As I have gotten older, there are certain scary things that I enjoy. People have wondered how I can watch Buffy and Angel, but refuse horror movies. It mostly boils down to the make-believe aspects, I suppose, though I really don’t know. I can handle vampires (True Blood and Dracula-type vampires, but NOT Twilight vamps, because those sparkly fucks are terrifying in a whole different way), monsters, and demons, because they aren’t real. There are a few episodes I can’t watch of the shows (Buffy, “Kissed By Death,” because the demon is too reminiscent of Freddy; Angel, “Room W/A View” and “I’ve Got You Under My Skin,” because of the ghost and demonic possession, respectively), but the really creepy ones, like “Hush,” I have no problem with. The scariest thing to me are the real people who are or become monsters. For example, as mentioned, ghosts and people who are possessed, but also serial killers, young children singing creepy song or chanting, etc. When they re-released The Exorcist awhile back, I had to stay on constant alert for the commercials because they always showed the girl doing the crab walk down the stairs and that shit can fuck me up for days. Just thinking about it right now is making me shaky. The Paranormal Activity ads? The absolute worst. Scares the shit out of me.
The one genre that doesn’t fit my explanation is zombies. Technically, based on my criteria above, zombies should terrify me to the core. Regular humans turned into crazed, mindless, brain-eating monsters should send me diving under the covers. And yet, I totally dig them. I love The Walking Dead and wait with bated breath for every new episode. I don’t even cover my eyes when they get their faces ripped off or a spear through the eyeball. Even more strangely, I actually, somewhere deep in the recesses of my odd little brain, accept the possibility of a potential zombie apocalypse, hence the Mag Lite on the dog walks. I am vigilant about my surroundings, unwilling to be surprised by their appearance (like in Shaun of the Dead) due to simple distraction. I know, logically and rationally, that the zombie apocalypse is highly unlikely. I get it, truly I do. Unfortunately, that does not stop my constant vigilance regarding their appearance on early morning pup walks. I have been practicing swinging that flashlight for months now; I really think I could take out at least a few with it.
So there it is, laid bare, my utterly inane irrational fear. Some people are afraid of spiders, others of mice, some of snakes. I fear the undead trying to eat my brains before I’ve had my first cup of coffee. You might argue that at least those people are afraid of things that actually exist. That’s fair. SUPER judgmental, but fair. But if zombies were real, comparing apples to apples here, which would be the more reasonable fear- flesh eating zombies or a little bitty mouse? Hmmm? That’s what I thought.