Levi – the zombie I just discovered – presents me his house with pride.
When I think of zombies I usually think of chaos and filthiness, but this one is remarkably organized. The boxes of cereals are neatly placed in a row and sorted by brand, his caps are sealed in plastic, and his bed is orderly made. Bella, his pit bull, sits on a panther blanket upon the couch and is wearing a red leather collar that matches Levi’s outfit.
"Why do you have that tattoo?" I point to the bloody-open-scull tattoo around his mouth. Levi firmly answers: "One: I love zombies. Two: it’s unique." As he is squeezing the words out, his body is twitching constantly and uncontrollably.
Later, it becomes clear that the muscle spasms are caused by the hereditary Huntington's disease. Talking becomes more tiresome, as well as sitting, walking and sleeping. His grandmother also had this disease, and she died a slow death, a fate that also awaits Levi. "I am therefore hoping for an Apocalypse. COVID, but then worse. It could be any kind of disaster." Besides the fact that an Apocalypse will save him from a slow death, "the world can use a reset".
Levi’s brain is slowly dying and if that wasn’t already enough, life has been though on him. After being abused at a young age, having to stop school, the death of his mother and grandmother, and on top of all that a meth addiction, he ends up in prison eventually. During his time in prison, he becomes friends with white supremacists. "You either eat or be eaten". He earns some swastikas on his back in ways he rather not mention. "But I had a high rank". Once he got out, he unlearned his hatred towards black people. The swastikas are covered up with deep black sawblades. "Now I just hate everybody equally." The room becomes silent.
"I have been clean for two years now." I see a little smile. "My grandmother and mom were strippers. I would like to start my own, female-friendly strip club. Nobody judges you there. It is a kind of free counseling, you could say."
Finally, I start to understand why Levi is not terrifying me. Although Levi wishes for the death, I realize that he is telling me the opposite: by slowly dying, he comes closer to life.