The Next Wave of Undead

Recently there was a “zombie pub crawl” in my neighborhood. People dressed up as zombies in torn clothing and pale, blood-blotched faces and went from bar to bar, grunting and knocking blindly into things. Zombies seem popular right now, in hipster culture. And I have to wonder, what’s the next trend in the undead? Vampires? Didn’t they have their day in the 90s? Mummies? Can they really be as cool as vampires and zombies? Maybe we’re in for a twist — maybe it’s robots, who never lived as humans at all, who will come for us in armies and remind us that at any moment our mortal hearts may seize up and cease.

More St. Louis

-Morning… Sonic + City Museum. Learned: Sonic = still makes me swoon with its Cherry Limeades and tator tots. The City Museum = institutionalized dangerous fun. We crawled through steel mesh tubes suspended ten stories up, through dark caves seven stories down, slid down slides that ended in concrete floors (plus there were was the gallery of vintage opera posters, the enormous pipe organ, the turtle aquarium, the spatula and doorknob museum, the shoelace factory, etc.) Mental snapshots: Wiping out at the end of a steep slide and having a little kid ask, “Are you ok?” Slamming my body on skate park ramps and sliding down the smooth, curved wood. Looking down at my feet and realizing I was standing on a steel grid from five stories up. Feeling like Becky in Tom Sawyer exploring dark caves full of muffled echoes.

-Afternoon… The Arch + More Sonic. Learned: It feels peaceful to stand with my whole back against it so I feel like I’m part of a giant magnet. Mental snapshots: Looking up at the Arch from below and feeling so utterly tiny. Watching the Mississippi gently lap against the side of a river boat.  Watching Kevin roll down a huge, grassy hill. Pulling into the Sonic parking lot for our second fast food fixes of the day, having to remove the giant cups from our morning Cherry Limeades before we inserted the giant cups from our afternoon Cranberry Limeades.

-Evening… Sleep. Learned: Sleep feels good after a day of bruising oneself and eating Sonic. Mental snapshots: Whatever dreamscape rolled in waves through my sleepstate.

Here’s what I wrote in college, after my first trip to St. Louis.

St. Louis

I’m in St. Louis with Kevin, visiting friends Jade and Joe, who moved here last year. Today:

-Morning…Brewery tour + zoo. Learned: Midwest = wide bottoms, much drinking and Dippin’ Dotting. Mental snapshots: Kevin shouting how we were having a great honeymoon, the Spekes gazzelles, the deep green and sun-soaked landscape, the intricately painted hippie bus in an empty parking lot, fresh soft pretzels.

-Evening…The University district + the movie Planet B-Boy. Learned: Hipsters = everywhere, breakdancing = coolest thing ever. Mental snapshots: a little girl hula-hooping to the beat of a drum circle in the square, while a boy her age watched from atop a statue. She asked what his name was. Bottomless mugs of root beer. The Tivoli theater’s cool old movie posters and gilt-edged charm. The awe-inspiring dancing from the winning Korean team in the documentary we saw.

Plus Jade and Joe are hosting us. Which means much lounging, eating, and all-around goodness.

Time for sleep.