“I want to kill. I mean, I wanna, I
Wanna kill. Kill. I wanna, I wanna see, I wanna see blood and gore and
guts and veins in my teeth. Eat dead burnt bodies.”
–Arlo Guthrie, “Alice’s Restaurant Massacre”
This is a tale about Alice…
Remember Alice, (not the Mother of all Rabbit Holes)?
No? Fine, it’s a tale about me. Just like every fucking other thing I write.
Zombie Story Thing
It’s a normal thing to try and understand this– to make it mean something. But these things didn’t happen for a reason. If you can bear that in mind, we’ll all have a fine time the next few minutes, or however long it takes you and your body thetans to read through this shit.
This is a story about death. You know that going into this, right? That there will be lots of death? If the title wasn’t explicit enough, the Guthrie quote (Arlo, not Woody) should have made it plain. But just so there’s no saying I didn’t warn you. Kids will die, mothers and babies will be eaten alive. Someone’s father’s going to get raped by flesh-eating fucks of the living variety. Shit’s going to die. You’re going to die a little bit, too. You might call this, “change,” but mostly it is you watching yourself die, so put tape over your damn webcam. If you can’t even watch yourself in private because they’ve wiretapped your pen, what’s left? Religion? Christianity scares the shit out of me. I know that’s opposite of the point, but, eternity? Goddamn.
It was still attractive to us all for awhile… Religion. Even after the dead woke and ate the flesh of the living. Not a wafer and some Welch’s. Not even transubstantiation, but families, neighbors, zombies falling on the just and unjust alike. A great calamity, the end of time.
Surely you sense the great calamities? You’re living through the beginning of them yourself.
Here’s how it went for us: Antibiotics went before the ice sheets, but the ice sheets went, too. This shouldn’t have caught people off guard, but we were too busy arguing about where to stick the climate refugees, the war refugees, and the economic refugees, to do anything about it. The global temperature rose three degrees and routine infection treatment dropped back two centuries. Jesus, they were chopping off limbs to stave off infection, an ever-present risk of toxicity, an entire planet going septic. That toxicity made people ready, though. That uneasiness, a sense that something was happening.
I’ll do the best I can to explain what happened. It’s Gonzo à la apocalypse, but I will do my best.
It makes sense that a zombie outbreak would happen in Stockton. Since the city itself was zombified way before the calamities. Entire neighborhoods empty, foreclosed in the wake of the 2008 housing crash. It was a market that boomed even more than other areas in the burgeoning Techno-fornia. Houses that went from 100k to 200k to 400k, to 500,000 dollars and then fell off the cliff and hit the bottom so hard that they broke on through. The mentality at the time was that it was a secure investment. You just had to buy a house, somewhere, anywhere because the houses would keep going up. You could buy one and within one year, refinance and pull 50,000 or 100,000 dollars out. These weren’t houses, they were geese laying golden eggs. And they lined every street, waiting for someone to claim them, to stick their hands way up deep in that goose-ass and pull out more money than they’d make that entire year.
It makes sense that it would happen in Stockton, but what didn’t make sense is that it would happen at the hospital where I was born.
The End of the World Standing Next to You