Almost every Friday night for the last several months, since mid February if I remember correctly, I have spent my evenings well into the learly hours of the morning with an amazing group of flesh craving, heartbeat deprived lunatics. Not many people have the opportunity to spend time every week with a horde of seemingly insatiable zombies. Even fewer, I think, have the chance to willfully forfeit the living world for an eve and join the thralldom, enslaved by a never ending hunger for warm blood. We even get paid for this nonsense! I consider myself very lucky.
This past Friday, my undead coworkers and I had a pretty slow night. For reasons well outside of any of our control, the sky decided to open up and unleash its moist and mushy fury over the entire city. People seem less inclined to care about ending the laser tag zombie apocalypse when the clouds start pittling on their heads. And that’s how we creatures of the night found ourselves huddled together in a circle of black light makeup talking about life, love and all manner of happiness. In a small, dusty corner of the asylum maze we call home…we had a grown up conversation.
It began when someone said something about undergarments. Logically, my mind went that famous one liner from Boy Meets World: “Underpants!”
That one word, with just the right inflection and intonation, set us off on a tangent of childhood times and memories. Who else had a massive crush on Rider Strong? Did anyone else love growing up and learning that Captain Planet’s Gaia, spirit of the earth, was voiced by Whoopi Goldberg? Really…go listen to her. Not only that awesomeness, but were you aware that the show had an episode tackling the social stigma attached to AIDs? Respect!
Logan, my zombie brother, and I got into quite a stir over Dragon Ball Z. Others joined in with the discussion once more when it turned to Pokemon. Apparently I’m way out of the gaming loop. Any of the ‘new’ moves and gaming modalities that I brought up seemed old news to my bloodthirsty compatriots.
The deluge outside showed no signs of stopping, and our trip down memory lane continued onward. I took mental note of all the ages present at our little powwow. Everyone was somewhere between 21 and 25. In the middle of a debate about whether or not the Planeteers utilized the power of their rings to the full extent that they could have, something clicked in my head.
“Hey guys,” I said drawing everyone’s attention for just a moment. “This right here, what we’re having right now, is a grown up conversation.”
And so it was. Everyone present was of legal age for just about anything anywhere. We happened to be having a slow night, but we were all there making money at our New York City performance venue. We just happened to be talking about kids shows from the 1990’s while dressed up like zombies. Totally grown up if you ask me.
I’m actually quite excited to be part of a generation that can bond over things so silly. Judgment calls about a person’s moral character can be made about how they would treat their pokemon. Unbreakable bonds can be formed over which exact Are You Afraid Of The Dark episode scared you the most as a child. And all of this fun and relationship building can come while we still make our money, pay our bills and have a kick ass time doing it.
My name is Brogan Wikarek. I manage a new age shop selling stones and doling out spiritual advice by day, and I lead zombies in a ploy to take over the world one laser tag game at a time by night. I pick my own outfits and don’t give a damn about what anyone thinks on how I look because I know I feel hotter than the sun at noon in summertime. My friends are all awesome sauce, and I am, too. I’ve left my home town and my comfort zone for a life of adventure and constant change, and the opportunities that have been afforded me by that leap are ones I wouldn’t give up for the world. I am making it in this big crazy city in this holy moly world, and I’m able to say that I’m completely happy while doing it.
I’m a big boy now, with a grown up life and all. If you think I’m not because I still play pokemon on my computer, then your ideas of what constitutes a successful adulthood are skewed.
Enough of my blathering. It’s time to go Skype with my equally awesome friend across the country and catch up on how exciting our big boy/girl lives are right now! Have a happy day, my friends, and be the silliest most awesome big kid you can be.