Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Zombie Nation

Last week I had one of those dreams that had me waking with a burst of energy and shouting in my head. I dreamt that we lived in a Zombie Nation. 

Every month, it was just a natural part of life that zombies moved around our world, so if you were alive, you simply took precautions. So it must have been that time of month – DON’T SAY IT! – and the zombies were coming.

I was with a group of people and we were preparing for the assault by making sure all the doors and windows were secure. We were in an old, large, commercial building. So as people were checking the windows, I went to check the bathrooms. I saw that they were public restrooms with old wooden doors for stalls. The windows were secured and locked down and I was about to leave when I did a double take. Two of the three stalls were those old, old fashioned type of toilets that just looked like a box with a toilet seat. Anyone could crawl up through it to get inside.

Holy Crap!

So I ran out of the room and into the main room, which now I realized, wasn’t an old building at all but a church. I ran screaming down the aisle that the zombies were coming! 

Instead of springing into action, all the people sat quietly in the pews, listening to words of encouragement from the priests. He had given everyone a large crystal; each crystal would ‘cover’ two people. One person held the crystal close to their heart and another person would hold them so the crystal would press between each of their hearts, protecting them from the zombies. But no one moved, they were all like scared sheep.

So I try to get in with someone because I had come in late and, as usual, had no one to hold. I didn’t know what else to do and just followed along with the crowd. I could see the zombies come shambling inside and hysteria starting to mount, when suddenly, the priest who was supposed to be our spiritual leader and guide suddenly threw his hands in the air in despair.

“Oh forget it! This isn’t going to work! This isn’t crystal! It isn’t magic!” He screamed before he took a bite out of his crystal, the crystal were only giant cookies masquerading as rock. It was all a lie.

In my dream, I quaked in disbelief, now that the hell are we supposed to do? I watch as the zombies get closer, I jump up and run. After all, they are zombies, I can outrun them. But there are a lot of people still sitting around just waiting to be bitten. I didn’t understand why they didn’t run.

I am about to run out into the vestry when I had a thought run through my head like a bullet.

We’re just sitting here scared and surrendering. What can you do that when you do it, you can’t be scared? You smile, you laugh….

So I start screaming to everyone “YOU LAUGH! YOU CAN’T BE SCARED WHEN YOU LAUGH AND SING!!!”

I run back up the aisle and start laughing, I sit down and start singing, oddly enough the old Coca Cola song, “I’d like to teach the world to sing, in perfect harmony.” It starts out quietly, hesitant, but the song and the laugh catch on. The singing spreads around the room and builds to a roar of laughter and joy and the zombies stop. They get a confused look on their face and their blank stares turn into a look of recognition. The zombies come back to life and join in the chorus. Through the laughter and the song they are reminded of their humanity and join the living.

People who have been dead are alive again, joyous and singing and suddenly there is a full orchestra and choir and I’m introducing the fabulous “Ms. Fitzgerald.” I have a brain fart in the middle of my dream and can’t remember her name so I call her “The fabulous Gwen Fitzgerald!” I am overjoyed because now there is nothing to fear, the zombies have been cured and I wake up with a smile and a name on my lips:

“ELLA!” It’s Ella Fitzgerald singing.

I woke up feeling - not knowing - the meaning of the dream converge on me like a wave. Am I living in a zombie nation, where people are already dead and don’t know it? Because they kowtow to the ‘powers that be’ simply because they are the ‘authority’, the moral majority or whatever it is they call themselves these days?  You know, the people who know how you’re supposed to live, how to talk, when to talk, who to talk to? Who, if you don’t abide by their unwritten, unspoken rules are somehow deviant and weird, crazy, psycho, etc.

 So what if I laugh a little too loud? So what if I have an ear worm every five minutes? So what if I burst out into song now and then? So what if I’m not your average everyday bore? So what if I’m ‘different’?

I’m alive and I won’t pretend otherwise.