Night of the ...

... noooooooo. Not going there.

I am not a zombie fan. The first time I tried to watch Night of the Living Dead was on a Halloween night 20 umpteen years ago. My boyfriend was busy tending to something that could be characterized as "illegal" and I was trying my best to be seasonally festive. Alone. I couldn't watch the end.

See, I read Bram Stoker's [amazon 0451523377 inline] when I was about 13 or 14. 1957 or so. It scared the bejesus out of me. I lived with my family in a big white house in a small midwestern town. I had no idea what garlic was. My only protection was the crucifix I borrowed from my Catholic girlfriend down the street and hid under my pillow so that my purely Protestant mother wouldn't find it.

There was something about the sensual, suggestive 19th Century language that left so much to the imagination that years later, as an adult, I had to cover up a wall switch light in my bedroom because it glowed red. In the dark. Like an eye. Like ...

Still, in spite of my precautions, I remain fascinated by the vampyre. The word itself, no matter how you spell it, gives me the creeps. But I can't quite stay away. Is it possible that the mere reading of the book constituted an invitation into the home of my imagination?

So yeah, I read [amazon 0345337662 inline]- and watch True Blood and follow any number of other interpretations of the tale with a combination of horrid fascination and carping critical disdain at the departures from the "original" classic. In my world, Bram Stoker was not just a novelist. He was a researcher. He knew his stuff.

Vampires, however, are one thing. Zombies quite another. Zombies are far more real. Walking or not, they remind us of the unattractive transition our ephemeral bodies make between life and the star stuff to which they eventually return.

So why are zombies all the rage? I finally saw the end of Night of the Living Dead. And really? Is hopelessness the point of it all? Is it hopelessness that is all the rage these days? I'm not sure I understand it. But I'm working on it.

I have The Walking Dead on DVR. And I watch it. In the afternoon. Early afternoon.

I'll let you know when I figure it out.

Happy Halloween.