Zombies and Aliens.
Music for this entry: “To Wish Impossible Things” by The Cure, “Hollow Hills” by Bauhaus, and “She’s in Parties” by Bauhaus
The other night, I awoke from a dream where I was back in high school again. I’ve had dreams like this before, recurring dreams, actually. But this one was entirely too different. The sky was grey. The school itself was old and decrepit, and falling apart by chunks at a time. The holes in the walls were big enough to see the school yard through. And the holes in the ceiling threatened to release their wiry bowls on the heads of all the students. Students with familiarly unfamiliar faces. Though we were in a classroom, there was no teacher. Yet all of us sat there; staring blankly, in mind numbing cold, pretending to absorb a lesson that didn’t exist, and also pretending to be content with it. I don’t know.. Maybe it was just God playing Sims, but something made me get up. I needed to move, and I needed to get out. I stood there, in the middle of the room, looking at all the faces that were now staring at me. Stares that were no longer blank. In that moment, I did the only thing I could do in that situation. I left. And as I walked down that hallway, freezing autumn air and crisp leaves were my only company. When all you have is yourself, you can’t help but notice odd things. How did we get here? Why are we here? What were we waiting for? And as I continued onto some unforeseen destination, the more I noticed. Each classroom I peeked into was exactly the same as the last. Cold, no teachers, invisible lessons, listless yet seemingly content students; still staring. And suddenly I found it. The only thing in the entire building that didn’t look decayed, nor did it seem like it would break under the slightest of touches. It, was a door. It, was a way out. A gust of cool air against my face was the first thing to greet me on the outside. The sky was still and grey. The grass was a vibrant green, almost the color of ripe avocado peel. You couldn’t even see the sun behind the clouds, and the only sound was that of a chain clanging against an old flag pole. Nothing special, but it was beautiful. I felt different. Like the air was fresher, like my eyes were clearer, and like the elephant seated on my lungs finally decided to stand up. There was no danger; there was no pain. Only freedom. So I went back. I needed to let the others know that there was a way out. That we didn’t have to just sit and pretend all because we felt we had to. As I re-entered the school for what I hoped would be the last time, part of me wanted to run. But I knew I couldn’t just leave them there. They were suffering and that was no way to exist. Yet to my surprise, as I passed from room to room, I noticed something amazing. Some of them were standing. And instead of staring, they looked towards the door; waiting. Waiting for me. Once I’d reached the last room, the one I’d come from, I said “it’s safe. I found a way for us to leave here. It’s safe to come out now.” My classmates sprang to life. Their smiles and questions, and optimism filled every crumbling crevice. By this point I was pacing the lengthy corridor and students gathered around the open classroom doors, but were afraid to leave them behind. So I ran, back and forth, yelling. “It’s time to go! You can come out now! We can leave! I found a way out!” Slowly but surely, a small trickle of people my age steadily poured into the halls. And that was when everything changed. To my left, the hallway began to fill with creatures. Creatures that were clumsy, dressed identically, and rotten just like the foundation of the building, within which, we were still standing. Frozen. And to my right, fluorescent beings of a fourth kind began to appear one-by-one, then all at once. Both were strange, both were trying to keep us trapped. Or so we first thought. They were trying to make us decide. The aliens were bright and unique, and different. A vast change from what we were used to seeing on a daily basis. They didn’t seem threatening, but they were different and that was enough of a reason to be scared. The zombies, on the other hand, were horrifying. Not because of the way they looked, nor was it because of their blood spattered clothing. It was because we all knew that if we didn’t make it out of here, we’d end up just like them. Lost and stuck. Forever. Doomed to rot into the school’s rusted frame. As the distance between us and them quickly decreased, we were forced to make a choice. Do we take a chance on something new, and live, experiencing life in otherworldly ways? Or do we stay here? Just existing and going through the motions, ultimately meeting the same fate as our undead counterparts, only because we didn’t want to try something new. Some of us stayed lost that day, but as I passed one luminescent being after another, I emerged victorious.