Zombies, a Dead Cat, Candy Corn, the Reason for This Diversion, and Some Twichell

I have twenty minutes to kill before the end of my lunch, and then I have a date with some filing cabinets, so I'll just babble for, oh, eighteen minutes or so, and you can quit reading it at any time guilt free, because you know now exactly how little effort I have put into this post. If you'd like something a little more coherent, read yesterday's Dreaming Ain't What It Used To Be. It was much better.

Zombies. I have zombies on the brain. I have never understand what is so terrifying about them. They are slower than old people, have no fashion sense, are dirty as hell, claim to want brains but have no real ability to pull a skull apart as far as I can tell, leave their mouths unattractively agape, and have little to no discernable intelligence. Unless they come in mass crowds like they did in "Shaun of the Dead", you could outwalk and outsmart them without very much stress at all. As much as I don't get the fear factor, I do like them. There's something almost cuddly about them aside from their revolting stench-of-deathness. Maybe they wouldn't take such a bad rap if they smiled more.

I was in Nevada with my family when I was fifteen, and as on most family trips, rather than find the actual tourist site interesting, I gravitated to something else that made my mother tight-lipped in her effort to veil her Frown of Disapproval™. We were visiting a ghost town, which was not really a ghost town with its continually shifting population of transient tourists, and the sidewalks were made of wooden boards. The façades and faux shoppes were a little annoying, so I had been walking along with my head down, watching the sidewalk boards bow and creak under the heavier people.

I was quite literally dragging my feet and not looking around at anything except the ground around me, so I started to notice that all sorts of little things had been forgotten between the buildings that had rolled or been brushed off the boards. I saw an old key, some change, a shoe even, all the usual things, and then I saw the best thing that stupid ghost town had to offer: a dead cat.

This wasn't just any dead cat. This was the coolest dead cat I had ever seen, and it still holds that ranking. It's not like I've seen hundreds of dead cats or anything, but of the five or six I've come across, this one is way up there. It was pretty much mummified, and that doesn't happen with the climate I live in.

It was lying on its side in the shade of a building and had been completely denuded of its fur. It's internal organs had obviously collapsed, because its belly was entirely sunken, but its skin was intact. The only bones showing were its teeth, all of them, because apparently death has a ghastly grin. My little brother Fidridge was grossed out, but I was fascinated. Each rib stood out like the framework of a ship. If I could have carted that thing home, I would have.

When I was a kid, I loved candy corn, but not for the obvious reason. I actually hated the idea of eating it. I didn't have much of a sweet tooth to start with, and I found the flavour disappointing. What I loved about candy corn was its appearance.

Its colours seemed unbelievable. Solid, room temperature food just didn't come in those colours. Sure, you could argue that Jell-o does, but I mean solid colours like crayons or plastic. It fascinated me that people could put those things in their mouths. I wondered if they were meant to be sucked on or swallowed. I imagined them to be a little bit caramelly, like candied popcorn. I thought they should be made into jewellery or buttons or snaps on ladies' purses.

I don't think I have ever eaten one. That's one thing I think I like imagining more than I would like actually doing it.

This blathering on is actually about something. None of the things I am writing about are connected to each other, and in fact, they are not connected to the thing that is the purpose for this writing. I am here because I have not had a cigarette since Saturday night.

No, do not call this "quitting", because as soon as I proclaim that I have quit smoking, I run out and buy some. Let's just say that I am withholding.

I hate it. It's awful. I have chewed a hole into the inside of my right cheek, and it's now a touch infected. Maybe I should buy myself a celebratory hugely fattening supper to mark my smoke-free three days. It just doesn't feel right if I'm not actively destroying my health in some way.

Maybe if I became a cutter I could still be compulsive and cool without the nasty cancer issue.

Oh, yeah, so this blathering is acting as a diversion so that I don't find myself darting outside for a sweet, sweet cigarette. I can't now, anyway. My break is over, and I have weathered this little storm of addiction.

I hope the filing cabinets thought to bring flowers.

"Road Tar" by Chase Twichell

More by Twichell

Tulips, The Full Moon, Still Withholding, Me All Me, and Some Collins

Dreaming Ain't What It Used to Be