Walking Dead Wyoming

One of the benefits to a job that covers a wide geography is travel. This weekend, I went from Colorado to Wyoming to facilitate a class – a trip, I might add, of 4 hours and 20 minutes which I made driving alone.

For those of you who have been hanging around for a while, you might know that I enjoy being alone but I also tend to get a little lost in my own thoughts which sometimes – okay, often times – leads to strange things when I’m left to my own devices. Just imagine what happens during a 4 hour solo drive through high desert and cattle land.

Platte River at Sunset

Platte River at Sunset

It started out innocently enough. Some AC/DC, a little pop, then some country – all accompanied by lots of singing (I won’t make any such claims as to the positive or negative quality of the singing…); then came a few random phone calls; then a long and enjoyable (for me) conversation with a telemarketer; some worrying about things and stewing on a few others (I’m a total ‘festerer’ when something bothers me – I’m obsessive…); and then finally an enjoyable line of thought brought on by the solitude, the vast expanses of open land, the feeling of the old west and hard living and simplicity:

I thought about the absolute utopia that is The Walking Dead.

I know dystopian-based stories abound these days, and I can’t say all – or any – of them inspire me the same way, but I see nothing but freedom in a world where the only things that matter are the things that really matter. No fashion, no gossip, very little in the way of politics, no money, no “reality” TV, no Real Housewives of “Fillintheblankstupidplace”…

Sure, it would be inconvenient to lug around a machete all day. And who wouldn’t get a little depressed with all the moaning – or suffer a bit of PTSD from the constant surprise zombie-sneak-attacks (don’t they always seem to just appear at the worst moments???)?

Scary, right? Totally zombie apocalyps weather.

Scary, right? Totally zombie apocalyps weather.

Just survival: safety, shelter, food, water. The lowest levels of Maslow’s Hierarchy.

I crave that return to basics. I suppose I’m a bit of a minimalist anyway (aside from my clothes/shoes…I do love fashion). My walls are white, my cabinets are white, my carpet is cream, I have only photos of a personal nature hanging on the walls, I abhor (abhor!!!) knick-knacks and anything that requires dusting; I hate wasting food, building material, or anything else I spend money on…you get the picture.

I’d probably die in the first 30 days of an actual zombie apocalypse, but I think I’d die satisfied (providing I died of a merciful gunshot to the head before being torn apart by the flesh-eating undead). I’d die having finally lived for things that matter.

The Tetons. Surrounded by plenty of edible buffalo.

The Tetons. Surrounded by plenty of edible buffalo.

As I watch our world (and specifically our country) fall apart at the seams – failing economy, decades-long wars that have killed over 33,000 Americans to no avail, school shooting/stabbing sprees, and on and on – all I can think is, “If we didn’t have so much spare time to make up things to occupy our time with, we might actually be functional.”

Who has the time to go to war in a foreign country when you’re trying to protect your own home and family?

What value is money (paper backed by rare rocks, for crying out loud!) when the only things we need – food, clothing, shelter, safety – cannot be bought?

Would children bully each other to death when they depend on sheer numbers of warm bodies to survive?

Would gay, straight, black, white, male, female, young, old, muslim, Christian, agnostic, atheist…any of it…matter when all we have is each other?

And if the answers to these questions are, as I suspect, no one, nothing, no, and it wouldn’t, then why do we let it matter now?