You know you’re no longer 22 when you won’t stand in line for an hour upwards on a cold autumn night.
Not even for zombies.
Never been to the One80° venue hosting live bands, drama and video. For weeks, it’s been advertising its Halloween event, “The Dead Regenerates. A Zombie Apocalypse.”
In absence of a description, best I could ascertain from this side of closed doors is it’s a live event with zombies and dramatics.
I do hear blasts of gunfire — blanks, it’s safe to presume — bursting through the building walls.
I do witness a dozen or so folks at the front of the long line being admitted before the doors are shut again. Don’t see ’em leave. Safe to presume the exit’s on some side of the building. Let’s hope so.
Some 70 folks corralled between two moveable fences seem unfazed by the wait, 45 minutes now and growing. They have one another — friends with friends, families. I’ve only my cell phone. Even that gets boring after a while.
Heat from a pair of propane patio torches is welcomed, their blue and orange glows appropriate to the season and this eve of Halloween.
Folks, two, three at a time, earlier entered through a side door into a kitchen, by distant glimpse. Players in the Zombie Apocalypse? Perhaps.
“Doors open at 8 p.m.” read the ads.
Uh-uh. I arrived at 8. It’s 8:45 and and I’ve seen them open late just twice.
Maybe 50 people are ahead of me. At this pace of intake, I could easily stand here for another hour.
No announcements are made. Nothing. No one knows what’s going on and no one really seems to care. They want encounters with the zombies behind those doors. They want their brains to be eaten — not really — their flesh to be feasted upon — not really — and in final deliverance to morph into zombies themselves — not really.
Me, I just wanna go. With intact brain ‘n’ all.
Not wholly because it’s a cool autumn night turning chillier by the hour.
Not wholly because of boredom with my cell phone.
It’s because I’m really not 22 anymore.
And unless the cause or reason is extraordinary, i.e., a concert of a beloved musician, an “endless” wait in an “endless” line with “endless” uncertainty about what’s happening inside and when I might be admitted grows stale. Fast.
Been there done that. It’s a matter for youth. Not old ladies (I’m 58) like me who, truth told, would rather be sitting in a Starbucks sipping hot chocolate (i.e., now) or home in bed watching zombies terrorizing and feasting upon helpless mortals on Netflix (i.e., imminently).
Is that what aging is?
Choosing creature — no pun intended — comforts in our encounters with the creeping undead?
Sinking our backs into soft pillows while crazed ones sink their teeth into the necks of hapless mortals?
Turning One80° and leaving venue One80° and its queue of folks who, like you, are hungry for the fear factor yet yours is an unwillingness to wait “endlessly” to be shaken, stirred and spit out by (pretend) zombies?
There are worse things in life. Just ask the dead regenerate sneaking up behind you. Boo!