Thoughts On Zombies

Moody photograph of tombstones at dusk.

It has come to my attention recently that I have another fear. I’m not very original in my fears, but hey, whatever—I’m not a special snowflake.

I’m scared of

  • Being in deep bodies of natural water, like oceans and lakes—I can’t go swimming in them, but I can be in boats on top of them.
  • The dark—when it’s a dark that produces shadows.
  • Tornadoes—they’re just… so quick to form, do so much damage, and screw off within 20 minutes. The ultimate fuckboy of natural disasters.
  • Decomposition—this is the one I found out about this month.

I have always had an aversion to zombies. A few years ago when I first watched ParaNorman, an excellent stop-motion animated PG film, I needed a few minutes to get used to the zombies. Whenever I saw my brother playing Call of Duty with zombies, I avoided looking at the screen. The Walking Dead? I will never, ever watch it in any capacity. Horror movies are always a no-go, but zombie horror movies—even horror-comedy ones!—are always a never-go. I can’t play zombie-themed video games, no matter how good they are.

I’m okay with vampires and ghosts—I actually enjoy them very much—so I knew the “undead” weren’t really the issue. It was the body horror and gore of zombies that unsettled me, but why? Why the bodily aspect?

Because body decomposition freaks me out.

I was recently thinking about mortality and death, as one does when they have severe depression and they’ve recently visited their brother’s grave. And I kept thinking: I’m okay with people dying. Death itself doesn’t bother me so much. It’s natural. It’s what happens. But why can’t I handle zombies?

I started delving a bit more once I realised what made me the most sad about my brother’s death and my pet rabbit’s eventual death in the future. The fact that their corporeal selves won’t simply disappear.

A corpse doesn’t float off into the afterlife. It doesn’t turn into pyreflies like it does in Final Fantasy. It takes its time. The finalisation of death takes time, and it’s just so gross. So, so gross and depressing.

I don’t want to rhapsodise about the body (oh goodness, did I just make a subconscious allusion to a poet I hate?) or go on a tangent about mortality. I’m just getting into the freaky Halloween spirit by reminding everyone about the rot of life. How life takes its time in dying, because the body has had so much time to live.

I suppose it’s a balance. We take an average of 9 months to grow. It’s only fair that nature can reclaim us in some span of time.

1 comment

  1. I wonder if you were referring to TS Eliot as a poet you hate. 😛 I actually don’t mind his work at all.

    It is really interesting and at the same time gross that in dying, we decompose and we are not completely gone. The notion of nature reclaiming us sounds really hauntingly beautiful, actually, but certainly not what happens to us physically.

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