Two years ago, I did something I’d wanted to do for years, but had never worked up the guts to do. I went to ZombieCon.
For those of you who have managed to never turn on an electrical device until just now (in which case, I’m so sorry my little blog is what will initiate you into the terrifying world of technology), ZombieCon is a costumed celebration of zombies. No, not actual zombies. (yet… teehee?). It’s silly. It’s fun. It’s messy. It’s a party. That about sums it up.
I’ve loved zombies and horror movies my whole life, so attending this event was a real treat for me, especially since I’ve been trying to rally some hordes to accompany me for years to no avail. But not that year. I had a gaggle of ghoulish friends fiends who were willing to grin and bear it. It was like going to Cinderella’s ball* - I was able to don my grisliest gown, cake myself in fake blood and latex scars, rat my hair to high hell and just have fun.
*(N.B. That allusion actually isn’t too far from the goriness of Grimm’s original retellings. The step-sisters end up cutting off their feet to fool the prince into thinking the magical tiny slipper was actually one of theirs. I hope I didn’t just ruin some childhood joy for you. Or whatever.)
I even did something that was quite out of character – I took part in a “zombie walk” competition… and won third place! It felt good to do something without fear.
|Note to self: When given a gift certificate to Halloween Adventure (woot!)|
as a prize, it's ok to step out of character. And not ok to ignore the pervert
to your left trying to grab your ass.
Well, ok. I didn’t do it without fear. I’m actually surprised that I didn’t start vomiting real bile right there on stage. Which might have won me first place. Hm…
But I digress. Basically, once it was all over, it felt good to be recognized for doing something well and doing it on my own... even if that something was blankly staring at the ceiling while drooling and limping across the stage at Le Poisson Rouge.
I was lucky that night at ZombieCon. I was able to take pride in an internal accomplishment – (yes, I know that it was just a zombie walk competition… just let me run with this). But does that mean I’m going to give another go at the upcoming ZombieCrawl (shameless plug)?
Now reflecting on that heart-stopping but still thrilling experience, I wonder something about the concept of zombie lore - in its present “artistic” state, anyhow. There seems to be a real focus among many folks of late (whatever that means) to gather en masse to celebrate or make any showing of force. Not to say that this is incorrect, or ineffective, or negative in any way, shape or form. It’s just striking that the need to collectively rise is matching a huge trend in zombie fandom. Particularly because I was always under the impression that the massive throngs of mindless mashing monsters in these undead depictions were the ones to be feared. And feared with disgust.
I can’t help but wonder where that disgust is supposed to lie now. Is it in the fear of monsters? The fear of masses? The fear of alienation? The fear of simply being alone?
I’ll confess, I’m leaning toward that last one. Especially how it relates to individual accountability. Because as I wonder if I can summon the spirit to attend another event, I realize that it’s not because I’m afraid of being alone in a crowd. It’s that I’m disgusted with myself for being afraid at all.