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Zombietown, part 7


Lenore did, unfortunately for her. Her eyes were misty and, sure enough, the tears began rolling down. That calmed me. Tears have that effect on me. To tell the truth, I think they have that effect on most zombies — at least those who still have their wits about them — for two reasons. First, the vast majority of zombies is physically and psychologically incapable of crying. They kissed their tear ducts goodbye when they joined the undead, and the trauma of death precludes them from relating to most experiences from Before — one’s previous life in zombie parlance. Second, unlife in Zombietown beats all sentimentality into a pulp before long. It drains you of any softness, leaving behind a hard shell and a cold interior, hardly favorable conditions for an emotional display. The rarity of this event is best illustrated by the Zombietown equivalent of the expression “when Hell freezes over”: when a zombie sheds a tear.

Lenore’s tears allowed my more rational self to take control again. She had collapsed on the chair and was now sobbing with her face cupped in her hands. I knelt beside her and with my hand gently raised her chin. Her mascara had run down her cheeks, giving her a melancholic worn out look.

“I’m sorry,” I said.

I feel only a bitter hatefulness for Zombietown and its inhabitants. With Lenore is different, I feel affection too. This simple positive element should have enabled me to recognize how special she was, and how dumb I was for not telling her so. It had always been hard for me to express my feelings. Add in the resentment and the many years I spent building walls around me. That’s why I didn’t say anything else to her. I just stood, turned and walked to the door.

“Jimmy,” she called as I was leaving.

I paused and looked back at her.

“I don’t know if it’s important,” she said, “but that reporter… She was here. She kept asking me about Samedi’s warehouses on the waterfront.”

“Thanks, babe,” I said and left.

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