What a freaking week. I’ve been working for the District Department of Undead Management for 5 days and I feel like I’ve aged a year. I’m going to have to go buy some “Just for Men,” because at this pace, I’ll be gray in a month.

Things were finally quieting down for the day, being Friday and all. I have to get out of here, there is something I have to do, for me.

I’d spent the last 5 days listening to people’s horror stories from behind a desk, powerless. The more emotion I show, the more they tell me – about watching their loved ones being torn asunder right in front of them; about hearing the screams of their kids as they are eaten alive; about the slow, confusing decent into infection with no one there to help them. “It must be hard,” I tell them, “to not recognize your wife anymore.” “It must be hard,” I say, “that insurance isn’t going to cover these medical bills.” “I understand.” “I’m sorry.”

The more emotion I show, the more they tell me. I’ve been here just 5 days. I can’t listen to this anymore. I can’t show any more emotion. I sit behind a desk and listen to these people – regular people – and I can’t do anything for them. I just fill out my D-37s and send them on their way. “I’ll take care of it from here,” I assure them. It’s all bullshit. I can’t help these people, they have already lost everything they’ve ever had. If they are lucky enough to survive this, they’ll spend the rest of their lives just trying to get back to yesterday. Most of the time, yesterday wasn’t even that good.

I grabbed my jacket from the hook behind my door and snuck out of the back exit of my office. It was 5:03 pm, and still light outside, if for a few more minutes. No one saw me leave, good. I don’t want to be followed. I put on a black knit cap and my Ray-Ban’s. I looked over my left shoulder again, just to make sure no one saw me. I could feel my pulse quickening, and every time my heel hit the sidewalk I could feel the impact all the way up my back and in my lungs. I ducked into an alley and walked quickly to the light on the other side. I need to do this, just once, I have to do this. For me.

Why did I go through an alley? Am I stupid? Fuck! I started to run. My brain had already flashed forward to my untimely end, being gorged upon by a zombie hoard in this dank, dark alley. But that isn’t how this story ends, I knew that already, and as I came out to the street on the other side, I looked back to see the alley – a clean, well lighted place, and free of zombies.

Walking up sixth street, I came to an unmarked brick townhouse and went up the short stairs to the door. I rang the bell on the intercom, my heart still racing.

“Robert?” said the call box.

“Yes, I’m here.” There was a buzz and the door unlocked, allowing me to pull it open. I walked up the flight of stairs to the sole door at the top. I opened it and walked in, still breathing hard. It was a small office, with a young, pretty girl at the reception desk.

“Mr. Dingle, so good to see you. The doctor is waiting.” She smiled just long enough for me to turn my head in the direction she was pointing.

I walked through the open door into the doctor’s office, and took off my jacket.

“Thank you for seeing me on such short notice doc.” (that’s me).

“My pleasure, Robert, please have a seat and tell me what is on your mind.” (that’s him). He motioned to a couch with big fluffy pillows. There was a box of tissues on a small table to the right.

“I’m going to need a lot of Xanax.”