I just read an article about left handers that said us southpaws are more prone to fear than the righties. My first impulse was to say harrumph...
For the record I don't actually use the word (onomatopoeia) harrumph in my daily discourse. But I digress.
I immediately thought of my strange and unnatural fear of zombie stuff. When I was a little kid, way back in the Stratton Ridge trailer park in Clute, TX, I was being babysat by the neighbors, who happened to be watching a horror movie, which I think was Creepshow. I remember seeing Ted Danson and his girlfriend as creepy, seaweed covered zombies that returned from the grave to kill Leslie Neilsen. (How could anyone want to kill Leslie Neilsen? Surely, even if he did something heinous...come on, it's Leslie Neilsen. Yes, and don't call me "Shirley").
I believe this marked the first time I ever saw cinematic zombies. I also have a visual snippet in my head of zombies with bluish-tinged skin tearing a guy open in a shopping mall. (My parents were watching Dawn of the Dead with another couple while the children played in the back part of the house). This image is still burned into my brain even now.
When I was in high school one of my friends forced me to watch the color remake of Night of the Living Dead. Suffice to say that movie scared the pants off of me, and it was then that I became aware that I had an unnatural and irrational fear of zombies. It was so bad that I would even have nightmares if I saw parts of the movie in passing, or even thought about it. I attempted to live my life as a celibate towards all things zombie, not watching the movies and requesting others not talk about said movies in my general vicinity. This was relatively easy in the 90's as the zombies were not a "thing" yet.
Then came the resident evil games: excellent gaming experiences that I at first avoided because of my fear of zombies. I was content to watch roommates play. Ulitmately I caved, and terrified myself by forcing myself to play through them all. I have often commiserated with Resident Evil survivors about the "typewriter room". You never want to leave the typewriter room. You can save your game there. It has a nice box for you to keep your stuff, and the music is soothing. "I'll just hang out here. It's scary out there," I would say to myself.
Then came The Walking Dead. The arrival of a major cable television show about zombies heralded the fact that they were definitely a "thing" now. A thing that you couldn't avoid at water coolers or facebook posts nationwide. So I caved. At first I was terrified. I am a grown man, and I wouldn't watch the show at night or alone. I almost had a nervous breakdown in the final episode of season 2. But little by little I felt my irrational fear dissipating. Don't get me wrong, the concept of an unstoppable, unfeeling zombie horde that can knock down most structures one might erect to keep them out is still absolutely terrifying. But as they say, I am over it.
So that's why I am writing a novel about zombies right now. Perhaps it is the final step in my Zombie Aversion Therapy. Can't wait for you guys to read it.