Dystopian novels: only the strong survive.
Me reading dystopian fiction growing up and internalizing the message in the narrative: there’s no place for me in this world, I’d be dead the moment the regime took hold. I’m not strong enough. I couldn’t stand the suffering. Maybe the narrative is right. Maybe only the strong survive.
Me now as an adult getting ready to rip the pin from the grenade with my teeth and brandishing a molotov cocktail in the other hand: IF I GO DOWN I’M TAKING YOU MOTHER FUCKERS WITH ME, BRING IT ON IF YOU THINK YOUR HARD ENOUGH. YOU THINK YOU’RE SCARY? MY IMMUNE SYSTEM IS EATING ITSELF AND I HAVE NOTHING TO LOSE. COME GET SOME
We used to talk about how we would survive a zombie apocalypse, in high school, and I had one friend that would go, “Well you won’t last that long anyways, so why should we plan for you?” and I would agree, because I didn’t realize how deep I had internalized the idea that my disability made me not worthy of survival.
Flash forward to college, when my new friends and I are having a very similar conversation and I go, “I won’t last, so I guess I would just feed myself to the zombies” and my friends had a very strong response of, “NO, we are going to rob pharmacies. We will all learn how to get insulin from pigs or bacteria. You are not going down easy, you are too much of a fighter for that.”
I still remember the first time on tumblr, on a post discussing the zombie apocalypse, where I said “hey just leave me behind with the shotgun, I’ll only slow you down” and I think it might have been @undead-tealeaves who said “fuck that, we’ll pick you up and run while you aim” and honestly it might have just been meant as a throw away comment but it made me want to cry. And it meant a lot to me, it really did, like this was a comment from over two years ago and it still pops into my head and makes me feel emotional.
Like it really is the little things like your friends being like, come the dystopian government or the ends of the earth as we know it, whichever comes first, we have you. Because we have each other. And the survivalist community that is willing to ride and die for each other, will be the one that thrives and outlives the bastards trying to put us down. Hopefully long enough to see the new dawn, but hey, you don’t always get to see the garden you sow.
Do you know how incredibly useful folks in wheelchairs could be while running from zombies if people just adapted the chairs slightly? Do you know how helpful it would be to have someone you were pulling behind you, seated so they could brace a weapon, watching your six and picking off anything that got too close? Rig a lightweight chair that had a harness for the person in front, rough-terrain wheels and a smart safety strap system (all pretty easy with the right gleaned parts). If needed, add a harness/brace for the weapon. Hands-free for both people, now you’ve got 360 degrees of cover while moving, cover that can do complex things you can’t normally do while running. Make it so the wheelchair user can disconnect themselves from the harness at a moment’s notice just for safety’s sake…
Not that anyone needs to be able to hunt to be worth having around, but if you wanted to do that a clever tinkerer could make you not only helpful but kind of indispensable. Just saying.
I hope I’m not derailing this very good post, but World War Z (the book, not the movie) has a whole section on wheelchair zombie-fighting if anyone’s interested!