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Thanks for inviting me. I don’t really go in for support groups but to be honest I’ve been a real mess for awhile now. There is a constant shame in me. I hide it well but it’s there. I remember once in freshman year of high school an older dude pulled down my pants in the locker room. I had forgot to wear underwear that day. I always thought that would be the worst and most hard to look back on moment of my life. I was wrong. The worst moment was when I was shown on national news eating my former best friend's mother’s brain while growling incoherently. Now that is real rock bottom. It wasn’t really my fault but try telling that to the orphanage I helped slaughter. Being a zombie was the in thing for about ten years. We were forty percent of the population by even the most conservative of estimates. The virus started with a freaking monkey or a pig or something and then before you knew it it was everywhere. I was bitten by a guy I used to be in Scouts with. His name was Mark or Mike or something. I was never really into scouting but that’s neither here nor there. One minute I was at the grocery store comparing prices on two percent milk. The next minute this dude is standing in front of me drooling like he’s on some kind of drug. I recognize him and being a basically decent person I kind of awkwardly wave and say hello, and before I can retract my arm after completing the gesture he’s got a hold of it and he is chomping down on me very hard.

Luckily Mark/Mike was always a bit shorter than me, so after the initial struggle of freeing my arm from him I was able to take off running and after that he didn’t have much of a chance at all of catching me. About three hours later I was home and I started to feel sort of a combination of some of the good feelings you can get with molly and some of the bad feelings you can get with coke. It was like I was really calmly and pleasantly pissed and I needed to do something immediately. That something, it turned out, was beating my brother to death with a television set and eating the majority of what constituted his head, before walking aimlessly in the darkness in search of nothing in particular besides more people to kill and things to break. Eventually the zombie population was high enough that we just sort of filled the streets and sidewalks like a gigantic ocean of death or a swarm. I was part of the swarm and it was such a relief. All my life I had been searching for meaning and a community and something to make me happy. Now I had all that. The masses of bloodthirsty maniacs were more family to me than any blood relation had ever been. The purpose of life was to kill and to be honest, despite how much I regret it now, killing was better than sex.

I killed my friends and I killed my family. I ate the rich and the poor alike. I never slept. I never questioned, I just did. Then one day everything changed again. We were surrounding a small cluster of teenagers underneath a bridge. I had my mouth wrapped around its neck. It kicked and squirmed and begged for its life. I did not show mercy. I ripped open the tiny little man’s throat with my strong and wild teeth and felt a spurt of warm, sticky blood pump directly down my throat. It was joyous. Then we were stormed by soldiers dressed in black. To this day I’m not sure how many there were but I know we could have taken them. They started firing rounds which exploded in the air and produced the dark green smoke. I inhaled some and began to hack and cough. I thought it had to be some kind of poison.

I was getting ready to retreat when I felt a sudden rush of warmth through my body and the blood in my mouth tasted bitter and wrong. I felt like I always used to feel. I was a real human person with morals and doubts and hopes and dreams again. It was like waking up from a wonderful and freeing dream to find yourself in an inescapable nightmare. I dropped the young person who I had just turned into a freshly minted corpse onto the concrete and looked around. All my fellow zombies were just boring old people again. They looked around in confusion and terror and all kinds of shitty human emotions the “undead” have no need for. As the truth of all the horrible things I’d done washed over me, I realized that I would have been better off had one of those soldiers fired a couple bullets straight through my brain. I know a lot of you have probably had that same thought.

Since I returned to the world of the living I have tried to adjust and really participate in society in a meaningful sort of way. I work at a call center. I have a pet turtle named Malcolm. I go to church every now and again. I even have a girlfriend online. It’s all alright or nice or whatever, but when I Google my name the first result is a list of the once infected. When I do an image search I see myself bone thin, half naked and covered in blood. Every now and again I think about giving someone I used to know a call and then I remember I watched them die or someone like me apparently killed them or they would just hate me anyway because of the things I did when I wasn't me. The worst part is I miss being like I was. I miss feeling good and not caring about who got hurt. I miss killing old ladies and babies and everyone in between. I don’t want to feel that way. I pray every day that I’ll just be normal again but the shame and sadness are all that really feels like me at this point. Sometimes I wonder if I even still have a soul. Maybe I never did. Anyway, thanks again for letting me share. It feels good to talk to people who understand what I’ve been through.

Written by Gomez Capulet
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