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My So-Called Life as a Zombie

Rating: PG-13

Not much has changed since my recent transformation from the living to the undead. I mean I still have to pay the phone bill, still have to go to work. My apartment is rent controlled, so there’s no way in hell I’m ever giving that up. At the office, I did have to go down to HR to fill out some paperwork – apparently I’m now in a different tax bracket – but besides that, it’s all minor updates. Like I finally got the ergonomic chair I’ve wanted since last year, but not because of my aching back. My skin tends to slough off when it gets hot, and the new chair was the only one that had the advanced ScotchGuard protection.

So all in all, I’m happy, or as happy as I was before I became a flesh-eating monster. That’s a joke – like most zombies, I’m not into eating human flesh. Yes, it’s true, a tiny portion of our population does, the born-again zombies, but they’re not us, even though the media wants you to believe exactly that. And by the way, I don’t zip around like those creatures in that movie, 28 Days Later. What is up with this zooming, frothing-at-the-mouth zombie craze, anyway? Did you guys see the new Dawn of the Dead? Same thing. I don’t know what these filmmakers are trying to do, but we don’t need this kind of publicity. We are a very slow-moving, non-threatening people – that’s right, we are people, I still have my New York State driver’s license and you better believe I’ll be voting for a Democratic presidential candidate in 2008. Anyway, like everyone else, all we’re looking for is a little love in our lives.

I used to think that I had it tough with the ladies before, but man, it’s brutal out there. I went on and filled out their Relationship Questionnaire to determine my 29 Dimensions of Compatibility and had seventeen women all lined up, but then it turned out that I skipped the question, “Are you a zombie?” From seventeen hits to zero in one click.

When I related my Internet dating experience to my friend Rob, he pointed me to another site, zdate. “Dude,” he said. “We all gotta stick together. The chicks there understand us.” I nodded and thanked him, but I have to tell you, I didn’t want to go there. I know a lot of zombies have met and fallen in love using that site, but I’m all about openness, you know? Everyone on zdate are zombies, and it just bothers me that we’re being so exclusionary. I mean this is the twenty-first century. Shouldn’t we learn to embrace the different?

But…I was desperate. I was checking my email every day and getting zilch from eharmony, so I went on zdate, filled out my profile, and as expected, found a match. Her name was Maureen, and her page on the site made me uneasy. First of all, her photos. She was posing in such a way to show off her diamond bracelets, platinum anklets, and her patent leather Manolo Blahnik pumps. Now I’m not the kind of guy who makes hasty judgments based on a couple of pictures on the web, but sorry, she was without a doubt a ZAP, a Zombie American Princess. And if that wasn’t bad enough, on her description, she’d written how she was looking for that perfect zombie guy who would sweep her off her rotting feet and love her decomposing body for the rest of her life. Now folks, keep in mind, we’re the undead, as in we never die, so when she says forever...? This was not a woman you wanted to go near, let alone date.

So I took Maureen out to Gramercy Tavern for dinner. Like I said, I was desperate, and besides, my friend Rob had a point. I hadn’t been playing the field much, so I needed practice. Maureen and I ordered rare filet mignons, then we got a bottle of Cristal, and then we went back to her place for…you know. And of course, it was mind-blowingly awesome. My zombie brothers and sisters know what I’m talking about, so for those who haven’t yet become, let me tell you, you are in for a treat.

Anyway, things didn’t work out with Maureen, but that’s fine. I know my other half is out there somewhere, the girl of my dreams. We’re shuffling toward one other, arms wide open, our unbeating hearts full of love.

Award-winning author, novelist of Deep Roots, acclaimed essays in NYT, and creator of Amazon-adapted Modern Love series.