From the way his black curly hair waved in the soft breeze, overflowing the top of his worn leather jacket; from the way the light reflected from his designer sunglasses, hiding eyes that hinted of exclusive clubs and $30 martinis; from the way his rotting flesh hang limply from his manly bones, open sores weeping maggots like a Summer rain; just by looking at him, you could tell that Rob was a Bad Boy Zombie.
We met at lunch. Nothing planned, or formal. More of an impromptu meal feasting on a family of Swedish backpackers. Brothers, I think. Our eyes met across the liver. My short stubbly decayed–flesh fingers brushing his long classical-piano fingers as we both reached for the sweet meats.
He was so smooth, so dashing. Like a Hollywood star fallen from heaven. I had some intestines hanging limply from my mouth. Luckily, that didn’t matter to him. His first words to me were, “Braaaains,” and I was smitten. Obviously it was a pick-up line, but it was a good pickup line. I, being the colossal nerd that I am, panicked and made a joke in Elvin with a Klingon punch line. He didn’t get it. I knew he wouldn’t get it. He was a Bad Boy, and I was a giant nerd using my undead existence to watch and re-watch all seven seasons of Star Trek Voyager, director’s cut of course.
I think I recovered some cool points though, when I scooped out the backpacker’s brains and offered them to Rob. They say that a way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, but I prefer to go through the rib cage, suckling each bone like an appetizer.
Our first date was nerve wracking. Rob took us to the dog pound where we watched hungry animals snap their jaws inches away from our flesh. That’s when I knew our fledgling relationship was already doomed, as much as I didn’t want to admit it. He was a cool danger junkie, and I liked photon torpedoes and space-time anomalies.
Our third date, I met his friends. Each of them was a fighter pilot, or an astronaut, or an underwear model. Something unbelievably cool. When I had been alive, I worked at Target, in the back, with the boxes. My most exciting stories revolved around having a 43/12 in a 43/13 designed loading station. They tried to make me feel at welcome, which made it even worse. It was clear that they had to really try. “Boxes, how fascinating!” said one, and “Tell me more,” squealed another, their interest so painfully friendly and so painfully full of effort.
And that was when I met his ex: a 6 foot 4 inch football star, turned fashion model, turned guy who rescues kittens from tree while shirtless. He was rich, good looking, and minor royalty. I recognized him instantly from the front page of Cleo Bachelor of the Year. He had a name, obviously, but I called him Mr DouchBag. Rob and the aforementioned douchbag had remained friends after a steamy love affair that had made the front pages of Zombie Weekly.
I tried, and I tried, to find the one flaw in his armor, something minor that I could use drive a wedge between him and my man, should their passions ever rekindle. I found plenty, of course: he couldn’t recite any of the poems from Lord of the Rings; he had never collected an action figure in his life or post-life; and the biggest, something completely unforgivable in my book, something so absurd that I wanted to laugh in his perfect cheek-boned face, he didn’t know the difference between Star Wars and Star Trek. Ridiculous, but useless in the wedge driving department.
And that’s when my dreams ended. I was going to crush him in the ground by reciting all the Dr Who actors in chronological order, when Rob uttered that one word which will haunt my dreams forever: “Braaaains”. Except he wasn’t talking to me. He was talking to the douchbag.
To the sounds of his friends saying “Sorry Pal” and “Plenty of more fish in the sea” and “I like boxes too” from someone who hadn’t been paying attention, I watched the love of my un-life walk hand-in-hand into the sunset with another man. I screamed out the names of every Dr Who actor to their retreating backs, but Rob didn’t turn around.
He was the love of my life, and he couldn’t even name one single Starship captain.