"Could It Be Zombies?"

This was written on a really slow day back when I worked at Waldenbooks. I wanted it to somewhat emulate the style of Hunter S. Thompson, though I would say that I didn't make it. At any rate, welcome to my "secret" rant.

This morning comes in slow and I find myself in the smothering grip of those same tumbling thoughts I always have: Is it raining? Are there black storm clouds rising up on the horizon?

Was there some vast, unknown or unplanned celebration last night? An impromptu orgy where everyone got smashed out of their head on rough, thick liquor and cheap scream sex?

Jesus H. Christ...could it be zombies? Finally? Has that time come?

That makes no sense. Why am I here? There. Out there! Mall workers are limping to their posts out there in those god forsaken halls, their faces drained and already it might as well be late night for them as much as they wish to be awake and here. Mall walkers scamper like slow rats upon the stained tiles, old age no impediment to rituals leading their lives. I hear faces behind metal security grates. I smell flashes of pink. Commercialism commences!

Traffic wasn't backed up like the living dead would surely make it. That would have tipped me off. Government agents in disposable, yellow plastic plugging tax funded hollow points into the heads of slobbering, sluggish sidewalk junkies would have alerted me. I would have noticed these things. Maybe not right away, but surely at least a little would have soaked into my brain. I would be nibbling on the thoughts, as it were.

Maybe management has something to do with this. Fuck...what black magic have they used? Is this some trap in their image; some awful goddamned trip funded by the hallucenigenic need for expenditure to make up for a shitty christmas sales season? I find myself breathing deep, fast...heart beating out of my chest and into grey carpet floor, scampering behind a bestseller display. I think of it as the lucky one.

Millions dead. But, there is no way we could possibly capitalize on this. There would be too many autobiographies to face out in the front display cases. Not enough buyers. It would flop.

Think of those filthy flesh eaters and their disregard of holidays. What the fuck is mother's day but a chance to trick a live one to the feast? Easter...well, I'll not be blasphemous.

No, management is not this pigheaded...stoned out their brain on the chance for billions on that mystical, dark, we're-in-the-black and way-over-comp day they all foretell.

Do I wait on a zombie? Do they care about my name? Do I offer them a prefferred reader card? Do I really need to know their e-mail?

I find the dark chance that my routine will be in shambles...

Was it all pointless? Could Karl Marx somehow have stopped this? Could Lamarkian evolution have held some desperate truth to save us from this fate? What Would Satre Do? Despair in a black turtleneck?

Love above...I'm a fucking bookseller. My training is worthless in this dystopian, undead future. What zombie do you even know that would buy a damned care bracelet?

I would starve in a matter of days. My only consolation would be the excellent reading material all around. Even then, my world would come crashing down in a hellish shroud of walking, rotting flesh as I am mocked by my inability to finish all the books before death took me...

And what of those titles on order that will never come? Rain sleet or snow is nothing compared to reanimated mimickry of humanity.

Damn you in your guns shops and your food markets with giant produce sections. You think you are so goddamned prepared and have it made all that rosey happy bullshit. But, hey, Rube, not one damned soul is breaking in here. Enjoy looters and their homemade weapons and sharp edged desperation, you sons a bitches.

To be safe, I am going to leave all survival guides, atlases, camping guides, issues of playboy, penthouse and all copies of anything with Nora Robert's name on it outside the door. Just in case someone tries to get intellectual. Hope you fuckers never need a bookmark. Wouldn't that be an ironic reason to die?

Danielle Steele. Damn. Her I burn. I am not spending any more time than I have to with her mocking me. She'll keep my feet warm.

Just think...all those pissant bestsellers wasting away in the passage of cannibalistic time...with me...smiling...dead...and half way through a second shot at /American Tragedy/. Even zombies can't make Theodore Dreiser all that damned good.

It will be a well-read torment while it lasts. Fuck it, that's not much different than my life now. Except I will have mall music in this version until the power shuts off. It will be dark. I will overcome.

I turn to face my first customer of the day...and brain his ass with a good, thick dictionary...driving septum deep and feeling a satisfying give of the skeletal structure.

Never hurts to be sure...

This was originally written in April 2005, but was rewritten (editted?) and posted on the website on 4th May, 2006.

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