I couldn’t sleep. It was 3 O’clock in the morning and I still couldn’t sleep. Every noise reminded me of what I thought zombies might sound like.

 If this were Hollywood in the ’50s, I would have descended into some sort of dramatic Hitchcockian hysteria by now, running down the street in a t-shirt tucked into my slacks pulled up high, screaming things like, “Don’t you see? They’re going to get me! They’re going to get us all!!!” I would have gone out to Virginia and bought a gun, and taken matters into my own hands. Yeah.

 Instead, I started working on a letter to soon to be ex-Mayor Fenty and the D.C. Council laying out my arguments as to why they should have taken the Heller decision a few steps further and allowed for concealed weapons permits to be issued in D.C. I was starting to realize that I couldn’t walk around with my golf clubs in public. People would start to wonder. A gun would be much, much better.

 Times have changed, I argued; having a gun in one’s home doesn’t adequately provide the protections that the 2nd Amendment affords. What good is a gun in one’s home, when the real danger is OUTSIDE? Home is the only place I’m confident that I don’t need a gun – it’s out there that’s scary!

 I e-crumpled up the letter and e-threw it in the e-trash. No one would take my letter seriously anyway. I guess it’s time to look for a gun. I woke my computer from its digital slumber (do computers count 0’s and 1’s to fall asleep?) and googled “gun store in dc.” Surprise, surprise: there are no licensed gun stores in D.C. None. Now that is comedy.

 After all the mess and media and hype and hysteria about what the Supreme Court’s decision would do to the fabric of our community, nothing has changed. They put pen to paper and came up with 157 pages of legal opinion, and it is completely 100 percent meaningless. I have the right to buy a gun in D.C. and protect my home from zombies, I just can’t actually buy a gun in D.C. If I go buy one in Maryland or Virginia, I’d be breaking federal law by bringing it into the District. Great. They may as well make it illegal for a tree to fall in a forest if no one is there to hear it.

 I dozed off slowly, still clutching a can of lukewarm V-8 with my left hand.

Visions of guns growing on trees and the sound that zombies make when they fall over seeped into my head as sleep finally came…

******

My eyes peeled open at 6:21a.m. I was covered in my own lukewarm sweat. Looks like my AC went out again overnight, and it’s just been cycling warm air for the last 3 hours. My arms stuck to the leather on my couch and the spot where my head had been looked like one of those headrests at an old beauty salon. Shit, I never made it to bed last night. Fuck, it’s my first day of work at the Department of Undead Management! I gotta get a shower before I head out. I blinked and the smell of CVS brand Head and Shoulders was filling my nostrils. I blinked again and I was grabbing my desk-sized hand sanitizer and heading out the door.

 It was damp outside and warm, though the sun wasn’t fully out yet. The air smelled vegetal. At 7:37 a.m. I was walking briskly toward the Metro, my feet were barely touching the ground. I saw other people, but it felt like I was the only one going anywhere, like everyone else was somehow stuck in humid time.  

 Down the moving steps and into the rumbling snake I flowed. The siren’s voice asking me if this was “my first time riding Metro.” No. “Is that your bag?” Yes, thanks for asking.

I feel my soul being pulled out of my chest when I ride the subway. I feel detached and as if everything were muted. I’m underground and I’m moving fast, but I emerge from the snake and things look the same, though I’m somewhere else.

It makes sense why tourists always feel nervous riding Metro. If you get off at the wrong stop by accident, you may end up in hades. I’m completely serious. It’s on the Red Line between Metro Center and Gallery Place. Watch out!

 Off the train, up the moving stairs, and into One Judiciary Square. My first day on the job. I still couldn’t shake the feeling that I’m the only one moving, the place was deserted. I got on the elevator and stuffed the knuckle on my right middle finger into the button labeled “7.” The fluorescent lighting was struggling, and it flickered just enough to be annoying. “Bing” said the invisible speaker. I got off and rolled toward Suite 730 North. It didn’t seem like they had turned the AC on yet so it felt damp. I smelled the faint scent of vinegar and wet ash. More lights were flickering and buzzing now too.

 As I opened the door it felt like a hundred pounds of rocks grinding against steel. The room was dark and the only light was from an open window at the far end of the office. The smell was no longer faint; I was standing in the middle of it. I looked up, expecting Betsy there at the front desk, waiting to congratulate me on joining the office. I didn’t think a hug was out of the question.   

 But this wasn’t Betsy, at least not anymore. Her skin was like week-old spinach dip, and her clothes were torn. Urine gushed from my terrified penis. My tongue retreated into my esophagus. She raised her head and exposed her decomposing teeth.

Her banshee yell sounded like it was coming from 100 yards away, and as she rose, I saw others rising from their cubicles too. They stumbled toward me with their old-appetizer-skin faces, and I felt the cool wall behind me as I backed up. I fumbled for the gun I wedged between my back and belt. I felt for the grip, and raised it up and forward to my mark. But my hand was slippery with nervous sweat and the gun slipped from my shaking fingers. It clanked as it hit the floor, immediately between me and un-Betsy. Crap, that ain’t good.

I now reached for the 9-iron, cleverly strapped to my back. I put on my driving gloves and adjusted the Velcro, taking aim at this she-thing. I guess she wanted that hug after all. She was mumbling something that sounded English, but I couldn’t make out what she was saying. Maybe it was Dutch.

 I took a deep breath, closed my eyes and swung. I could feel the head of the club meet resistance as it plunged into what I thought was her neck. I opened my eyes just in time for a geyser of orange puss to erupt from her clavicle and speckle my face. I hope my health plan will cover this…

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