Saturday, July 01, 2006

The lurking horror

disclaimer: this post is not in response to any specific incident or individual, rather this is something that I, as a poly person, have had stewing about in my brain that I needed process through. It is amazing how liberating the act of putting a fear down on paper can be.

There comes a point in all zombie films when the cast finds themselves making a last stand in some rickety farmhouse or other such old building with thin walls and no exits. Barring and barricading themselves in as best they can, the intrepid heroes face the onslaught of the un-yielding, uncaring, unending waves of rotting flesh that seeks to consume them. This, this is how I see jealousy for me right now. You barricade and arm yourself as best you can against the press of unwanted emotion, like so many maggot riddled limbs reaching for you from the night, you press yourself against the barricade and pray that you have sufficiently bolted all the doors and windows against the impending onslaught.

And like any good horror film, something always gives way. It never comes in through the well-bolted front door; rather it takes its entry through some forgotten or overlooked chink in the wall. The assurances that you were sure would gird you against the waves of gut ripping insecurity and fear gives way and the fetid stench of jealousy that fills the air as the corpse press upon you, forcing you to face their lifeless stares and not run screaming into the night.

As any aficionado of the zombie also film knows, the true horror lies not with the monsters lurking in the night. Yes, while they would merrily rip you asunder and dine upon your moist pink brains, the real monsters are always the people inside the house.
So who do you follow when the shit goes down? Do you flee to the basement with the paranoid guy and bolt yourselves in and wait it out? Blame the world and damn anyone who might need help or differs with you, you are gonna look out for yourself and to hell with the rest. Or do you do nothing and lay on the floor in the fetal position and blubber in inescapable fear and wait for the inevitable?

Right now the only person in the house is me, alone, terrified and filled with dread. Not dread of the monsters that wait just beyond my meager defenses, no dread in the knowledge that I am better than this. The truth is that I have chosen these monsters and that I have stood up to and beaten these monsters and worse before; heck I’ve practically gone "Army of Darkness" on them in the past.

It’s that self anger and frustration in knowing full well that you are better than this yet in this very moment not being able to rise up, take my trusty Winchester model 94 (aka my boom stick) and stare down the monsters in all their lidless horror and give them my best, “Yo, she-bitch. Let’s go” clear a path out of this dead end death trap and stay alive till dawn. That feeling chaps my ass more than anything out there waiting to eat me.

The key seems to be (at least in the movies) that if you can just hold out till dawn, then you will survive the ordeal. Stay low, keep moving and stay alive till dawn, with the dawn always brings salvation, the cavalry, or at least the end credits. The ugly truth is that the monsters don’t fade away under the bright, warm sun’s morning rays. No, they will still be there waiting for you come sunrise or they will return for you in the inevitable sequel.

Some days that fact seems the most daunting of all.

Perhaps the lesson here is this. Yes there will always be monsters and yes there will be times when you feel like you are trapped, out gunned and out numbered, in some deserted farm house, but with every passing minute that this film called life that rolls across the screen they become easier to kill? The with experience and better tools developed along the way, that shambling sack of flesh that nearly paralyzed you with terror in the first reel now seems like a passing nuisance. Quick blow to the head with a trusty cricket bat and move on, you’ve dealt with worse and lived.

Besides, I’m pretty certain I saw a chainsaw in that shed over there…