So this nasty Paranoid Scenario popped up in my head a good six months ago or so. It started when I was re-watching 28 Weeks Later with a buddy. I hope I’m not ruining anything by telling you, Gentle Reader, that there are zombies in this movie. Jackrabbit vicious, snarling, angry, I-must-destroy-you-because-I’m-propelled-by-a-rage-virus zombies (truly the only kinds worth writing zombie stories about.)
In the opening kill-most-of-em sequence, a little band of survivors are hiding out in a farmhouse. The zombies descend, everyone panics, and some of the humans head to the barn, where they can climb up a ladder to a loft in the hopes of evading the zombies.
Except two of the survivors are a kindly senior citizen couple, and they can’t run as fast, can’t get up the ladder as fast, one of them gets halfway up, turns to the other one to try and pull them up, and the zombies take them both down in a very violent, ugly way.
I remember burying my head in my buddy’s shoulder, ‘It’s not nice to kill senior citizens in a zombie movie,” I said. And it’s not. Seriously, it’s uncool. If you’re doing a zombie movie, create soon to be victims that have a fighting chance, and go down swinging, or panicking, but at least let them be able to run a bit. Don’t make them be senior citizens, they’re sitting ducks. It’s the same as if you had the zombie horde attack a kindergarten class. That’s not nice, either, is it? So why is it okay to rip the guts out of the kindly senior citizen couple? Grrrrrrrr.
My buddy didn’t comment (nor did he notice my distress, hmph) and I couldn’t shake that image out of my heads for weeks, and now months. The Paranoid Bitch in my head, who’s been having quite a lovely time shooting a BB gun at my career plans, gunned the throttle, kicked out the jams, and trumped up a steady stream of gosh, you know, when the zombie apocalypse hits for real, your parents wouldn’t stand a fighting chance.
I think I have a reasonably good chance of surviving the zombie apocalypse. For one thing, I have an emergency disaster backpack in my closet. It’s actually a leftover Christmas present (who sends THAT for Christmas!?) that was sent to my boss, and he didn’t want it, so he gave it to me. He will therefore not survive the zombie apocalypse, and I will think of him fondly as I dive and thread my way through the vicious mob.
The emergency backpack has all sorts of things like a battery powered radio, a flashlight, a tiny cooking stove, meal rations, pouched water, first aid kit, capsules you break into filthy water to make it clean, la la laaaaa. So I’m set and will be on my way to either the North or South pole, as everyone knows that’s where you go if a zombie apocalypse hits, because zombies will freeze in place, and you will be snug as a bug in a rug once you find the underground military bunker.
But what about your parents? What about my Mother The Phone Harpy Whom I Love Very Very Much? What About My Dad, The Great Stoic Wonder? I have my leftover Christmas present emergency backpack. What do they have? Each other? THAT’S not gonna help.
The Paranoid Bitch in my head has been having a GREAT time puffing up all sorts of awful scenarios. Even if my parents barricaded themselves inside the house, they wouldn’t be able to last for long (My mom can’t really cook, and she definitely needs electricity to do it.) They couldn’t climb out onto the roof fast enough. They would probably believe the military convoy that promises to get them to safety, when everyone knows the military is one of the most dangerous places during a zombie apocalypse, it only takes one zombie to get in there and then you’ve got zombies AND weapons, and that’s definitely not good (that’s a later sequence in 28 Weeks Later, FYI)
And if my parents DID manage to barricade themselves long enough to survive the first zombie wave, and if my Dad did refuse to go along with the military convoy, then if any survivor groups came along (which wouldn’t be likely, since my parents live on a dead end road), and if my parents were desperate enough to say, “Please please take us with you,” the survivor group would most likely say “Um, nope, you’re too old, you’ll slow us down. Didn’t you see the first ten minutes of 28 Weeks Later?”
And all of this will go down while I’m miles away and unable to get to them to help them with my leftover Christmas present emergency backpack.
As I’ve been sharing my fears with assorted friends, the responses have been amusing, “Oh, you’re worried about them not being Saved?” “No, I’m worried about the zombie apocalypse (and they’re Saved, as far as I know).” “Is it the economy? Are you worried about the economy?” “No, I’m worried about the zombie apocalypse.”
Finally, one acquaintance looked at me on Christmas Eve and said, “Wow, you must really love your parents if you’re this concerned about them.”
And though it hadn’t occurred to me until then, I think she’s right. I DO really love my parents, if I’m this concerned about trying to think of a scenario where they survive a zombie apocalypse in style.
My Mother The Phone Harpy Whom I Love Very Very Much went to New York City this past weekend. By herself. She was meeting a group up there, they were going to see a friend’s daughter sing at the Met. The group was already there before Mom got there, and Mom would be traveling back before they left. So she had someone to meet up with, it’s the traveling part she had to do on her own.
And for some reason, THAT scenario terrified me as well. I had visions of some gypsy cab shanghaiing my mom out to Brooklyn and leaving her there. I had visions of unscrupulous Super Shuttle Cab drivers overcharging her. I had visions of random annoyed passengers ignoring her if she needed to ask for directions about where to meet Super Shuttle, and she’d be wandering around the terminal like a lost four year old. I asked my prayer groups to pray for traveling mercies for her. (My prayer groups were flabbergasted that I was actually asking for prayer about something, but as I pointed out, it wasn’t for me, it was for my mom.)
It’s now Monday, and I think she’s back safely, or I would’ve gotten The Call by now. And as I sit here and examine why in the world is my head stuck on this, why CAN’T I shake visions of my parents being eaten by zombies, WHAT IN THE WORLD IS WRONG WITH ME, I realize that it boils down to trust.
I have huge trust issues. Perhaps this is obvious? Counselor Gladys used to try all the time to lead me down the therapy road where Everything That’s Wrong With You Is Because Of Something Your Parents Did To You, which I outright refused to believe. My parents did the best they could with me. I’ve actually suffered much bigger Trust Wounds from living here in Los Angeles than anything my parents could’ve done. Cruel bosses, cruel boys, cruel I Thought You Were My Friend not-friends. Los Angeles just sucks when it comes down to Trust, in so many ways. Maybe the Wounds are bigger and deeper when you’re on the path to following your dream, dunno.
Why can’t I trust God to take care of my parents in a zombie apocalypse? Because I don’t trust God? Because I don’t trust my parents? (Mom has a hard time on the internet, for example.)
Because I think it’s a little dumb to pray “Please please take care of my parents in a zombie apocalypse.” I’ve been praying that God work with me on my trust issues, but if these scenarios are still around, then it’s like, um, where’s the PROGRESS, GOD?
God, isn’t it obvious that I need help? Ya wanna help me? Like, anytime soon?