It’s Saturday night and after convincing myself I have probably developed a load of diseases I’m now lying in bed and for some reason I have further convinced myself that the zombie apocalypse has started. Here, localised in downtown Dublin.
I live close to the city centre and I can hear what seems like an unprecedented amount of cop cars vaguely in the distance. Not loud like outside on my street or loud enough to wake me if I had been sleeping but just far enough away. My senses are probably heightened by frayed nerves – I haven’t slept well in weeks so every tiny noise seems extra loud. For some reason I think I can hear a faint crowd, like a riot. I’m not sure why this is my first thought or why I’ve jumped straight to zombie apocalypse but I am so convinced that something terrible is going on that I’m rehearsing conversations that I’m going to have when I ring Kevin Street Garda Station (my local cop shop) I am a hairsbreadth away from dialling them. It goes something like this:
Hiya, I appreciate that it’s Saturday night and you work in the emergency services so every Saturday must be misery. But if you could give me two minutes that would be great. So um ..is there any chance that there’s a riot (read: zombie apocalypse but we don’t say that on the phone as we don’t want to sound completely mental. We also don’t want to sound like a jerk as I’m sure most Saturday nights feel like some kind of Groundhog day Armageddon) It’s just that there seems to be an inordinate amount of sirens and helicopters. And I realise that I’m calling from the town end of Dublin 8 which has to be the epicentre of crisscrossing squad cars … but is …it …. Um … unusually busy tonight ..? Or am I just noticing it because whatever I used to do on Saturday nights it didn’t include being awake and hearing these things..
I don’t get an answer from my practiced convo as, well it’s a practised convo so I just replay it trying to make it sound more plausible and ask myself how much of it would they listen to before telling me to get to fuck and stop wasting their time.
The gardaí remain unbothered by me this night and I don’t make the call.
I don’t even watch the Walking Dead so I don’t know how to prepare myself. But I’m wondering will this be live tweeted by anyone before it gets to my door or will anyone get the chance? Would I get a chance to call my family and tell them to make a run for it – knowing they wouldn’t believe me. I get out my phone anyway to check.
Ironically I start to calm down and come to my senses when I conclude that I’ll probably get eaten by the zombies before I can be taken as fresh meat to be eaten by survivors. And then I calm down to the point where I think it might just be a riot about … I dunno, taxis? Lack of available cheese burgers? The gay Spar being closed? (What would people in Dublin get riled up about at 2 in the morning?) And I doubt they want to come smashing up windows because of that.
And eventually I realise that I am most likely (probably definitely) having some kind of stress induced panic attack. Albeit a fairly novel one. Not that I’d know I don’t think I’ve had one before, zombie themed or otherwise. But as mentioned I’m not myself of late and while I usually sleep like an innocent, baby log i.e. very fucking well, at the moment it eludes me. So it seems that every little noise is amplified either stopping me from dropping off or waking me if I do manage to.
But that’s all par for the course it seems when someone pulls the wool over your eyes with your own jumper and pushes you out into oncoming traffic. Or in other words, when you find out from Facebook that the guy you were seeing (admittedly casually) turns out to be married. And if you weren’t such a fucking social media snob you’d have found this out ages ago, like maybe the day you met him. And could easily have avoided this whole mess, or at least some of this mess. Definitely though, some mess avoidance could have been attained.
And then the greatest hits of rhetorical questions start playing in your head and you realise that you nearly called the guards cos you thought the fecking zombie apocalypse was happening??? Jesus Christ what has it come to?
And then you fall asleep.
And the world has not been laid to waste by either burger induced riots or zombies. And you remember with surgical clarity that it was only your world that got consumed by someone, just your own peace of mind that was infected. And you can’t tell anyone cos you feel like a dope.
* The gay Spar is a lovely beacon and widely beloved of late night Dubliners and tourists. I’m not entirely sure why it’s called the gay Spar but it could be to do with an incident that occurred there where an abusive homophobe was refused service and barred for heckling someone. And it’s right by the oldest gay club in Dublin. It’s also the most beautiful Spar you’ll ever see in your life.