The Walking Dead
Six years living almost entirely outside the U.S., no physical location to call home, and no television. But then again, I hadn’t owned a TV since the early-to-mid ’90s. No Breaking Bad, no Game of Thrones, no Sons of Anarchy, no Vikings–And no The Walking Dead. All of these were just names I’d heard in passing over the years, usually when people asked me with fanatical eyes if I’d seen the latest episode of one or the other. Nada. Only one episode of Breaking Bad in Brazil about 2 months ago.
Then in about 4 sittings over a span of 2 weeks, I watched all 4 seasons of The Walking Dead. I’m generally no fan of horror films, but a friend recommending it promised it wasn’t that. I was hooked right away–and one reason I like to avoid television is because I watch it so intensely, emerging myself into storylines, and I don’t want to be addicted to anything.
One of the reasons The Walking Dead hooked me was how familiar it all felt to me. The beautiful world you know has fallen apart, and now its time to survive–and help your people survive. Strange as it may sound to some, this is what happened when my esteemed and very conservative Mormon parents divorced and entered into a seven year court battle. I was fourteen at the time, the Cold War was raging, and I was preparing to be one of God’s soldiers in the final battle–seriously. Movies like Red Dawn and The Road Warrior were popular.
Then the rug was pulled, my paradigm shattered, my father left home, and I began having serious ideas of leaving home and making it on my own. At seventeen just before my senior year of high school, I stole a car that had been stolen from me, then headed West to start a new life. Several months later I headed East to start again. Three months after that, West again. On it continued until I eventually landed in Austin, Texas and stayed for the better part of two decades. But even many of those years, I was more “on the run” than I was grounded.
I have spent the last five years literally homeless and world traveling (but more accurately, houseless as I have made the world my home). Somehow being on the move feels more familiar and comfortable to me, than laying down deep roots and “settling down.” I thrive in the midst of challenge and chaos, and I am sure it is in no small part because that was my life through my teen years. Its almost as if I have been preparing for the end of the world all my life, preparing for the day when it all goes to Hell.
The Walking Dead–they do exist, not literally as zombies, but as sleepwalkers through life. Can’t let them grab you and suck you in. Got to keep moving!
P.S. I have started telling my life stories, at least 98% of which is are completely true, in The Ronin Diaries. You can start with any book in the series, currently the first one published is Gone Ronin. You can download it for free here.