Partly because I needed milk, partly because I had to move the car to the other side of the street due to street cleaning, and partly because I was incredibly bored at home, I ventured out to Ralphs on Sunset yesterday around 4:30. Dusk had fallen and there was a strange "Dawn of The Dead" feeling in the air. I sat at the light at Seward and Sunset and a group of people across the street were staring at me. Not just looking in my direction, but staring with an unbroken eye contact that only the undead could maintain...all five of them. I began to wonder if there was something on my car attracting attention. Traveling west on Sunset, I noticed similarly strange behavior in other people on the street. Trash cans all the way down the street had been overturned and wild-eyed people stopped to stare as I drove by. And there was an inordinate amount of people on the streets, too. I thought that perhaps I'd missed some news report of rioting or zombie attacks, or that the underground dwellers came above ground on this one day when all normal people were safe at home with their families. I fully expected to see burned out cars and looting. There was a palpable crackling in the air.
The parking lot of Ralphs wasn't any better. It was as if all conventional rules of driving had gone out the window. Cars were driving in every direction like Queens on a chessboard. I managed to navigate the fray and parked on the street.
Outside the store was a gauntlet of homeless people with signs all asking for money. I'd never seen this many people panhandling in one spot--not at bus stop, not at the Promenade, never. It was unsettling and again I wondered if I'd missed some important news bulletin. (I'd been watching Charmed, season three, all day). Inside the store, lost souls wandered aimlessly, with the occasional harried husband who'd been sent out for wine, or whipped cream that had somehow been forgotten on the pre-Christmas shopping trip. I mulled over a good bottle of wine, settling on the cheap "on sale" wine instead. (a choice I regret) Picked up the milk, a chocolate eclair, Nestle's ready-to-bake Chocolate Chip cookies, and Funyuns. I think I need an intervention.
I rushed out of the store, hurried home and lock the door tightly, just in case the Zombies could smell my fear and decided to come after me. Oh Crap! I have windows on my front door. I'm screwed!.....aaaaaaaaaaaaeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaa
One bottle of wine later and it was "zombie, schmombie".
ps...C.H.U.D.--that's what they were--Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers.