I used to play this game with my friend Brian. We’d be out someplace, a supermarket, for instance, or a bar, and one of us would say, “Ok, a zombie outbreak is happening right now, what do you do?” The other person, in a proud display of survivalism, would have to explain in great detail or act out their escape plan.
Once, though, we had gone on a long hike, one that we did often, in the hills of western New York. We got to the top of the trail and paused to catch our breath. “Ok,” I said, “zombies, right now, what do you do?”
Brian looked me in the face, put his hand on my shoulder, and said, “I’d break your legs.” And with that, he took off in a full sprint back down the trail and out of sight. I stood there, speechless, imagining hoards of zombies approaching, ready to tear (helpless) me to shreds, and my good buddy Brian disappearing into the woods.
We still argue about this. I say, “You were just joking, right?”
“No,” he always says, “I wasn’t.”
(It’s probably worth mentioning that Brian ran the whole way down the trail–a 45 minute hike–and was waiting for me by the car when I got down.)
Years later, Brian wrote a series of poems with our dear friend and brilliant poet Megan Moriarty called “Notes from a Zombie Apocalypse” which features the line, “In case of zombies, break the nearest person’s ankle.” I like to think of that day as the inspiration for these poems, all that time he spent thinking about what he would do, how he would leave behind even his best friend in order to survive. The poems in the collection are endearing and brutal. And though they are primarily about zombies, they seem somehow more human than many other things I’ve read.
Brian will be coming down for the Zombie Crawl (10/28) to give us a brief zombie reading to get us all in the zombie mindset. Be sure to tell him that he is a terrible friend and a brilliant writer.
Read some of his zombie poems here: http://bombsite.com/issues/1000/articles/5952
And come to Zombie Crawl!
We (Steve, Mark, me) have lot’s planned (Summer Art Show, Movie Remakes, The Invitational Show) that you’ll be supporting.
Also, I’m currently planning a musical project that all will be welcomed to come participate in. You’re going to have to wait for more details, but I’ll say this: We are all starting a very cool band together, and we all play lead everything. The CD release party is going to be awesome.