I’m not overly obsessed by zombies. I haven’t watched a single episode of The Walking Dead.
I appreciate the importance a film like Night of the living Dead has in the lexicon of the horror genre, though I’m not drawn to watch it over and over again.
I do, though, get a thrill out of is a good end-of-days yarn.
An all-consuming virus.
An out of control contagion.
When apes rise up or, in this case what happens when a swell of zombie hoards climb out of the earth and begin to hunt us, one by one.
And here’s why:
I want to know if I would survive.
Would I make it to the place of sanctuary, a second eden, where we are safe, at least for now, from the clutches of the living dead?
Would I have what it takes to make it?
And in thinking about this it gives me space to contemplate the broader question Do I have what it takes?
Am I a winner or a loser?
Am I a survivor or am I fodder for the mindless, gorging masses?
Am I worthy or unworthy?
Am I special or, you know, not?
Tales of survival fascinate me.
Whether from the zombie apocalypse or as one of the lucky few who followed Gene Hackman to the stern in The Poseidon Adventure.
Would I align myself with the right people?
Would I make the right decisions under enormous emotional strain?
Would the other survivors see enough value in me not to:
- leave me behind
- kill me
- eat me
I think really what the coming of the zombie hoards represent for me is questions of self-worth, self-acceptance and the yearning to know what I am capable of when all I have to rely on is who I truly am.
As if this this is these scenarios where these values are tested
They are tested every minute of every day.
Each time I step out into the world, each time I interact with someone, each time I am called on to intervene in a situation.
I am questioned. I am tested.
Whether or not I have the infrastructure capable of dealing with the myriad of challenges that come my way is always under the spotlight.
Because while it’s not the zombie hoards breathing down the back of my neck, my own expectations are.
It’s not everyone else judging me, it’s myself.
I want to be tested and not found wanting.
I want to know I’ll make it, that I have what it takes to survive.
Yet I’m leaving validation for this to others, not trusting myself.
This realisation sits heavily on me. I know better than to engage in the tyrannies of what I should do or how I should feel.
I simply must believe all I’ve done to get here and know I have what it takes to keep going.
Whatever the test.
Whatever it takes.
I think we all have it within ourselves.
I’m going to go from here believing I do to.