I’m running in my dream, probably the only place where I still can. I am literally flying through the grass which is knee high, spring green and lush. My feet know this path as I’ve hurtled down this mountain many times before. I know I won’t trip or lose my balance on a chance loose stone or get bitten by any creature that lives in the grass. I just know this place and I know myself here.
The mountain begins a shallow descent and the grass gets sparser. It turns a faded green before going completely straw colored. By the time I reach the bottom to the even plain, the straw has given way to Rocky debris, sandy soil, and very sparse grass, if any. There is no way to tell that this is the lush grassland which once was seemingly never ending.
It’s not as if this journey hasn’t changed me physically. My heart which was as steady as a metronome, is beating an erratic, wildly out of tune tattoo. My lungs are working to their maximum and yet can’t keep up. My head is pounding and I can feel a nagging pain in my shoulders and back. My spine feels as if it’s being pulled down by gravity and my feet are suffering the weight of a corpus that is suddenly not too sure of its center of gravity.
I come to a halt at an enormous gate above which is the legend, welcome to zombieland. There are medicine bottles lying all around and medical bills flying all over the place. Blood pressure pills, diabetes pills, pills for thyroid, x rays, cat scans, MRIs, and so on.
Besides these, there are clothes for the elderly, oversize or plus couture, orthopedic shoes, adult diapers, wheelchairs, walking sticks.
Next up are the schemes for investing in health and pension plans. The documents fly thick and fast. Now my had is spinning although I am not running.
I breathe in deep and look back the top sof the mountain. I remember a time when I was 12 when food was fun, work was something to look forward to, walking and climbing mountains gave me real peace and bliss. I remember drawing artlessly and making friends without any hidden agendas.
I look back at the entry to zombieland. I lift up the bottle of pills at my feet and hurl it into the gate. It vanishes just as I could in a pharmaceutical induced haze. I turn around and retie my sneaker laces. I walk back up the mountain.
I’m heading to a time and place in my mind and body when I felt most like myself.
Zombieland can wait forever.