Tuesday, May 29, 2012

this will be just like all the other times.

Originally to be posted 7/30/2011

Another zombie apocalypse dream; how many have I had?
This one was different, however (that's what I always tell myself) -- this time, it was what happened before the end that inspired my dream.

I was back in DC, getting used to the way things are. I stood in the middle of a Metro train, gripping onto a pole and struggling to hold a conversation with my friend and roommate, Claire. It was bright and sunny outside, hinting at a late summer or early autumn afternoon, but the atmosphere seemed dead and silent. We were just rounding a corner when the train began to slow and jolted to a stop.

Nobody minded it. This happens sometimes, such as when trains of opposing traffic have to share the tracks....

Claire stopped mid-sentence to pull out her phone and read a text. As she did, the train began to move again. The lights flickered a bit.
She put her phone back in her purse and I asked, "What is it?"
After thinking carefully of how to phrase it, she replied, "They just took another one off of the train."

There was some sickness going around, some kind of fever or flu. And all the hype of its contagious nature went along with it. So, naturally, I tried to act like this kind of stuff happens all the time. It was just like the H1N1 virus going around. Everyone got it. I did. But we all got better eventually, and so this would be just like it.

But people were vomiting on trains and their skin seemed to melt off in the streets as they tiredly rubbed at irritations. And we all felt paranoid of breathing in dead skin cells or being too close to a sneeze in the more congested areas of the city.
Although there were still droves of tourists going around downtown, there were significantly less of them.
And you could feel the tension everywhere.

There was one more taken off the train. And now the train stalled. Everyone in that singular car, somewhere on the Metro, swore to themselves that they could feel themselves contracting the illness.

Someone gagged in the car in which I stood.
Another woman looked at me with bloodshot eyes.

A couple of dream-days later, I felt like I was on fire. I didn't want to be near anyone, but I didn't want to tell them, either...that while I looked fine on the outside, I could feel myself burning up on the inside with a strange fever; that the symptoms began before you could even show it; that half the "healthy" people they interacted with were probably not that healthy; and that they would feel it in a few hours.

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