You know what’s happening, that’s the hard part. You’ve seen it hit so many other people, and the symptoms are so well known and hard to ignore. The fever, the pale skin, the cloudy eyes, the odor of rancid milk. And then there’s the unbelievable craving for brains. It’s inexplicable. It’s not like they’re some sort of gourmet masterpiece of culinary delight. Honestly, they make me nauseous. It’s a texture thing, like overripe banana. Just kind of mushy and no flavor, hard to actually swallow, but for some reason I cannot get enough. The brain cravings are even worse than the nicotine cravings I had before I was afflicted. I usually started craving my next smoke when I was half way done with the one I was smoking, but at least I found smoking enjoyable on some level. How depressing it is to not only be a zombie, but to be so disgusted by the one and only thing my so called life now seems to revolve around.
There is a short period of time when the sickness first hits that you realize what is happening and you become very emotional. There are tears, angry tantrums, a lot of feeling sorry for yourself and asking why me. The thought of blowing your head off with a shotgun makes numerous appearances. Then the emotion fades away suddenly and you feel okay with it. It’s not so bad. No more pain or depression. No more bills or taxes. No more sneaking off to smoke a cigarette when no one’s looking. No more responsibilities or worries, almost like a vacation. But then you get your first whiff of brains and you lose it. Brains are all you can think about, like some sort of preteen on a One Direction binge. I have urges to get an I ♥ brains tattoo even though I don’t really love them. I’m caught up in all the hysteria. I don’t want to regret it later.
So I’m trying to deal with this brain fetish thing. I wish there were Brain Addicts Anonymous meetings. A 12 step peer support group. A sponsor I could call when the craving hits, which I’ve got to say is pretty much all the time. Not like I could actually use a telephone anymore. All coordination of my fine muscle control has abandoned me, leaving me lurching around like a corpse with a handicap. But while my body deteriorates I’ve still got all these thoughts in my head and no way to express them. My tongue fell out last week. I can barely even lift my arm anymore let alone bend my fingers. I’m lucky if I can actually stand up and balance these days. It’s embarrassing. But when I get a whiff of that brain matter I get a sudden surge of energy and stumble off toward the source, asking myself what have I become.
I’m on the hunt now, having got the faintest hint of fresh meat in the air. Me and few of my zombie bros are shuffling down the street with teetering purpose. I catch a glimpse of myself in a storefront window as I’m hobbling along, and I can’t help but think that I look like shit. But compared to some of these other car wrecks I actually don’t look so bad. At least most of my face is still there. At least all my limbs are still attached. My tongue is gone but honestly it was just getting in the way. But I don’t stand for long, because the scent is strong.
Then I see the meal ticket already swarmed by brain addicts. I’ll be lucky if there is anything left the way the melee is digging in. I feel sick but I can’t help it. I stumble toward the bloody mess in hopes of getting a sad little morsel. I see another zombie approaching from the opposite side, and our vacant eyes meet for a moment. I can sense that he is sharing my feelings about our current situation, saying what the fuck bro, can you believe this shit with his cloudy eyes. I wonder if we all have these same disgusted, self-loathing thoughts as we continue about our business. I wonder if we are all sad little prisoners trapped inside our decaying bodies, addicted to something we don’t really want. Then he shrugs his shoulders, which is no easy feat for a zombie, and dives into the swarming mass of brainivores. And I of course dig in from the other side, hoping to get at least a taste, and I have only one thing to say for myself.