Sunday, November 22, 2009

Road Report: Cleveland

Hi, Tommy here with the latest from the road. Thanks(?) to Margi for filling in.

I wasn’t sure what to expect for my trip to Cleveland. My fiends in Pennsylvania arranged for me to stay with the Thomases (names changed to protect the innocent), who have two zombie sons who I’ll call Greg and Dave. Like me, Greg and Dave both died in a car accident. Unlike me, their injuries are both visible and horrific. Greg can still walk, albeit with a pronounced dragging limp, while Dave is confined to a wheelchair. Greg’s face was so disfigured in the crash that he wears a mask like my friend Melissa, although his is a Spiderman mask and not a white theater mask.
Greg doesn’t speak at all; Dave is talkative but isn’t what you would call a fast talker. Both of them are deadly poker players, however. I gathered that Greg and Dave had been popular students at the school prior to their demise; a photograph on the Thomas’s mantel showed them both in the school’s baseball uniforms, smiling for the camera on a sunny day. There was also a prom photo of Greg and a pretty smiling girl nearly a foot shorter than he was. No prom for photo for Dennis; he must have died too soon. Of course he died too soon.
I thought I would just be talked to them and whatever network of zombie friends and maybe parents that they had, so I was a little surprised when Mr. Thomas told me that I was invited to go speak at the high school where his boys still were allowed to attend classes. I said sure, I’d be glad to.
When I followed the Thomas family down the hall, with Spiderman Greg pushing his brother down the hall, using the chair to balance himself, I was pleasantly surprised by the number of their classmates that said hi or called to the boys by name. Dave always waved with his one good arm, although by the time he was able to raise his hand the person he’d meant to greet was already long gone down the hall.
I was thinking it would be something like Undead Studies class, with maybe fifteen students and a teacher or two.
I was wrong. There were over a thousand people in the school’s auditorium, students and many of their parents.
I don’t get sweaty palms or shortness of breath, and when my speech hitches people assume it is because I’m dead and not because I’m nervous, so overall the talk went pretty well. I spoke about what people were doing to zombies across the country, and I encouraged living people everywhere to try and be more understanding of the difficulties that undead Americans deal with on a daily basis. When I was done speaking, everyone clapped. The clapping wasn’t like I was at a U2 concert or anything, but I’d like to think the applause was more than polite.
The principal took the stage, and he shook my hand.
“Does anyone have any questions for Mr. Williams?” he said.
Lots of people did. The parents, especially. Questions about how they could get involved, questions about politicians I had never heard of that might be sympathetic to our cause, questions about how they might get laws to change.
Many of the people that spoke to me didn’t have questions as much as they did ideas, or statements about things that could help. A young girl spoke up and said that a city bus driver threw some “hoods” (her word, which I just loved) off his bus because they were making fun of a zombie and his mother. I told her that was the one thing that beating hearts could for us: speak out.
One elderly woman spoke up and said that she’d invited a couple of runaway zombies to stay with her at her house.
“I love those kids!” she said. “They’re quiet, respectful, and they take my trash out for me. And I don’t even have to feed them!”
That got a big laugh, but she wasn’t done yet.
“They’re so much better company than cats!”
After the applause died down, she looked around at all of her neighbors, her grip on her purse tightening.
“No one should be lonely,” she said, and she sat down, rather hastily.
I wasn’t sure if she was talking about “those kids” or herself, and clearly, it didn’t matter either way.
Like I said, I wasn’t sure what I was expecting out of my trip to Cleveland, but this sure wasn’t it.

20 comments:

EvilGu said...

wow. A much more cheerful outlook than the last time we heard from you. This gives everyone a better outlook for the future of America as a whole, doesn't it Tommy?

Axel said...

That's great, Tommy.
That school's reply to this situation made my day.
I sincerely hope you get more reactions like that.
Hope to hear from you soon.
:)
~Axel
<3

Tia said...

Wow. That's an inspiring story, and it's good to know that not everywhere is anti-zombie. Good luck! I hope you managed to do some good today!

Anonymous said...

I love it and sometimes i feel that way and i really want to read your book it sounds magnifisent....

Hanne-chan said...

I'm glad you got such a warm welcome at Cleveland :]
Hopefully the rest of your trip goes just as smoothly.
Keep up the good work! ^-^

Much love,
Hanne-chan

EmoGirl#55X said...

life is full of surprises Tommy!! (lawl)

animeface said...

Spiderman always was my favorite superhero...
It looks like conditions or improving! That's great!

Anonymous said...

Thats amazing and im glad ur ok

Bennett said...

Good to know that it went well in Cleavland! Luck on the rest of ur trip.

kirsten said...

Wow!I am happy to hear that you where welcomed so warmly there!It also makes me happy that not everywhere is...not that welcoming.:)!!I hope that you remain safe!

YourDeadFriendBee said...

Wow! That's amazing, Tommy :D
I'm so glad to hear that Cleveland's turning out to be such a stronghold of understanding towards the differently biotic <3
Love Always,
-Bee

Whittney.R said...

i am so glad that u have met somany nice people.

PhoebeKendall said...

Hi, Everybody!

Tommy sends his thanks for your kind thoughts!

he says he has "big news" after his trip to Nebraska...and he actually sounded *happy*...wonder what it is?

Bye!
Phoebe

natalie said...

tommy, im so glad that things are going well we are all really worried about you and can't wait for your latest road report.
pheeble: seriously...cliffhanger much?!

LunaTehNox said...

They got over they're prejudice for other races. Now they're going to get over their prejudice for us. Eventually. It'll be hard o'course, cuz before now, people either viewed zimbies as voodoo victims or flesh-eating monsters...

SydtheKid said...

1. How did you die? slipped and hit my head on a rock

2. How long have you been gone? 4 months

3. Death age/true age? 14/14

4. What do you miss most about being alive? my eyes looking normal

5. What, if anything, is cool about being a zombie? not having to sleep

6. How did your family react to you coming back? didnt really mind, they always thought i was strange anyway

7. Most humiliating moment as a zombie? nothing yet

8. Visible signs of zombiism? i look pretty normal, always have been pale. probably my eyes.

9. Goals/ambition? to become an actress

10. "If I were alive today, I would..." try to stay alive lol

OceanEyes said...

Wow. Thats incredible. I am so happy to hear about that. Now I'm asking myself: why can' all of America be this way? Best of luck.
xoxo

Anonymous said...

I don't get it who was that old lady talking about. Interesting that word I just said you know the one (interesting) it is quite interesting. I finally made a funny. I like that bus driver he was right to do that. I have a nice little question. Or more like thought comment about it I would like to see your view. But is the reason everyone is so skeptical or hateful or whatever else is because of fear. It can make people do crazy things. They might think that you could hate them or that you might endager them or the ones they love. What you think what could it be? Please comment in the blog or just think about it. I will be reading the blog more often now that I have found it. FINALLY!!! I am thankful. It is interesting there is that word again.
-That wako spider girl the world looks different just how might one wonder-
byes for now

hannah said...

wow thats great! i wish i knew about this site earlier and could have seen you speak in clevland, im from ohio too and would have killed (haha) to go see you speak. let me know the next time you're headed to ohio!

-sierra-

Anonymous said...

Tommy, nice job at that school. We all love what ypu're doing for DB around the U.S. and the world at large. I just wish I had some DB friends, but at least my bff is sorta DB. He's a demom (ginger joke, sorry) and he says I'm a witch, so yeah. Tell yhe boys that all of us support them, and wish that they get to make many more wonderful memories in their afterlifes (?). And please stay safe and away from Pennsylvania, okay?

Love,
KayKat