Sometimes, itís better to be a zombie than to feel too much pain



I turn women into zombies when I fall in love.

I donít mean for it to happen.

It just does.

So when I see the fading look in Sueís eyes, I panic.

I donít need to see other peopleís faces in the bar to know they think Iím no good.

I will have to move soon like I always do.

My thirst for other peopleís souls will never end.

I wasnít always like this, an emotional vampire.

When I got out of school, I was a well-respected man with high hopes.

I looked forward to working in my uncleís shop, going to the same church he did, drinking with the boys at the local tavern up the block.

I even had my eye on the girl next door, and planned to ask for her hand in marriage once I was situated.

Then, I met Elvira, a woman I later learned intended to sue me up the way I use other people now.

But she found in me the same vacuum she had in her Ė perhaps an even more powerful vacuum. So when she threw open the door, I sucked her up instead of the other way around.

When the girl next door went pale Ė as did all the other women I dated at the time Ė people began to look at me funny.

I found I was no longer welcome at my church tavern.

Even my uncle suggested I get work elsewhere.

I moved to another town.

I thought a new life would keep me for thirsting after people.

Indeed, at first, I was made welcome at the new place.

I even met a girl I thought I could love

Then, I saw the deadness started to show in her eyes, whole parts of her emotional being turning off as if the juice that powered them had drained away.

I understood then that I had become a black hole into which that juice poured.

Her friends and family took quick knot6e of her zombie-like condition, and soon blamed me.

With no friends and no I job, I was again forced to look elsewhere.

I decided I could no longer live like this, and consulted a psychologist.

Treatment and a new location again appeared to help.

I found people liked me again and I could hang out with folks and feel accepted.

Which I how I met Sue, and fell in love, and felt happy for the first time in my life.

Then after I proposed marriage I saw the first hint of fading in her eyes.

Other people noticed it, too, and stopped talking to me.

Even my psychologist suggested I find a new therapist.

I never felt so empty as I did then, knowing that sooner or later I would have to move on despite all my apparent progress.

Since I really do love Sue and hate to see this happening to her, I tell her maybe she needs to find someone knew, and suggest one of the other men we both know at the bar.

She is stunned, and this look hurts so bad I want to take the words back, but I wonít. I know Iím saving her life.

Some of the others at the bar overhear what Iím saying I see their looks shift a little, away from hatred and disgust Ė giving me their pity.

But then, I glance up into the mirror behind the bar and see my reflection there, and realize that Iím the one thatís fading, not Sue.

She has a strange smile on her face like the smile I saw on Elviraís face long ago.

And strangely, I smile back, the way Elvira did back when in consumed her, realizing at long last I no longer had to wander alone, content to fade into blissful twilight.

Sometimes, itís better to be a zombie than to feel too much pain


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