To the woman who made fun of me today at Target,
I just wanted to let you know that I saw you make fun of me. I don’t think you knew I was watching, I was towards the back in the store, tucked out of sight a few rows away.
I get it, I really do, I make an easy target. What with my unnaturally slow gait, arms that are always lifted just so, the slack jawed look on my face. You’re not the first person to make fun of me, you’re not even the first person to do it in front of me. It’s been happening for as long as I can remember.
Some people have been less kind than you were.
Children have run away screaming.
Teenagers have clutched each other in mock terror.
Adults have moaned and groaned in a half-hearted attempt at humor, but I’m not laughing.
After all this time I’m used to it, but yet, it still hurts.
From my spot in the back of the store (just behind a Batman costume), I saw what I can only assume was your lame attempt to pretend to be like me. You shuffled your feet slowly along, your hands raised just enough to reach the shopping cart. Your hair was set in a sad replica of my own, pulled every which way and unkempt. Your filthy clothes clung strangely to your body, as though you’d been wearing them for days.
Honestly, I’d expect this sort of thing at Walmart, but not here… not at Target.
I saw you, a woman that I had never met before, so determined to show everyone you saw just how clever you were., how funny you were, as you took all of my worst features and amplified them.
Was it worth the laugh and the attention from the other shoppers? The nod from another woman who was also pushing her small children through the store in a shopping cart? Your own two kids watching you with rapt attention, both of them giggling and shrieking as you did your best impression of me.
As you drew closer, I saw you better yet. There was food on your shirt. And a bit of drool in the corner of your mouth. You yawned, and stretched, and from behind that Batman costume on Aisle 13 I saw you a little bit clearer. I was able to read the words on your shirt. I should have known.
Yes, it’s just a joke to you, but for me it’s my life! I cannot just drop from this hanger, where some lazy store employee hastily hung me (this isn’t even my goddamn section, I should be over with the other monsters and ghouls), and stop being me. This is the face I must wear every day of the year, my hair will always look this way, I will never be able to change out of these gore stained clothes. This is my life. And you mock me with your, “I’m so tired, I’m dead on my feet.” routine.
I am the actual undead! Risen from the ground and called forth by my constant quest for brains. You are just a tired mother of two small children. Have some self-respect woman! Put down the dry shampoo, buy a pair of actual pants, and for the love of god- there is human puke on your shirt.
The actual zombie costume (hanging up in the wrong spot), in aisle 13