Today I found myself sitting in a coffee shop watching the cracks in the wall grow, the man with the stocking cap on reading a book, the guy in the corner creating a website on his mac, the college recruiter talking a mile a minute on his phone… I sit in a half-dream, half-awake state of curiosity, scanning the room, feeling the energy of the people here all hopped up high on caffeine and internet conversation. I am looking for some breathing, living, awake, aware existence. The existence which will play with me, create with me, beckon my soul into song, a partner in crime to dance on the table with…something real. Someone alive.
All of the sudden, my eyes, ears and attention is drawn to a young girl, probably only four or five years old. She is quiet, small and respectful… hardly moving, humming and whispering words to herself, fascinated by the air, the way the juice tastes in her mouth and the grainy texture of the crumb cake on her tongue… and she… this 5 year old… is the most alive.
I look around again… every other person in this room could be confused with a zombie (I mean, without the whole dripping blood and gore thing). But just the same… dead, lifeless, box-living, incurious, unconscious, scattered, fragmented, worried, stressed, zombie.
What happened to us?
When did we die? Or perhaps when did we ‘stop living’? Sure, we all have ‘grown up’ but actually… have we just ‘grown asleep’? Being alive and living are two different things.
This small child looks around in wide-eyed wonder and utter amazement, taking in every single little detail of the room. She wiggles in her hard wooden chair, teetering on the green cracking concrete, flailing her head backwards looking up at the ceiling in adoration of the crystalline chandelier, speaking in a whisper… every word breathy, every syllable is given her utter and total focus and concentration. She is present, she is alive. Her eyes are sparkling with the radiance of spring. Her skin is buttery like coconut creme. She is a muse, a genius, a Goddess.
She is me.
I put the cup to my mouth, and take a sip….
Did I ever mention…
I’m a zombie slayer.