I can remember that gap in time, too. It’s a hazy memory hidden away in there and I can honestly say that it felt fucking fantastic. I didn’t give a shit about anything. I can best describe it as playing peek-a-boo with a baby. Every time your face reappears from behind the dishcloth a baby is enthralled, as, in their eyes, you’ve produced the greatest magic trick ever. Everything amazed me and although my facial expressions, I’m told, remained empty, I was content, other than the fact that I was desperately hungry and only one thing could take away that pain. It felt like sitting in a restaurant with the menu in front of you and you have no idea what you want, but then someone suggests lamb to you and you wonder why you would want anything else other than lamb. That’s been me pretty much ever since. Except, you know, human meat instead of lamb.
Once I could think and feel I began to get closer to the person I used to be. I could recall faces and events from my life with more clarity. The hunger has never gone away but more of my body felt like mine until eventually my agent decided it was time for him to fill in the gaps. He sat me down and gestured slowly, like he was explaining sex to a five-year-old boy.
I got it. My brain registered it. But what was I meant to do? If I stopped eating flesh, I’d be back to plain old Zombie. I wouldn’t be famous any more. So, I kept it up, being a cannibal to maintain my career. It worked better than anyone expected, and has done over time – the more I consume, the more alive I feel and the more god-awful films I can remember being in to the point where I’m able to discuss things here, like a normal fucking person.
So yeah, I kept it up, all of it, until last week.
The fact that I was getting more and more of my memories back worried me. I felt I wasn’t just getting back to a level where I could pass for human, like the piece of shit actor that took my thumb, I felt I was improving. Was it just me? At the beginning it seems like the actors that were taking this stuff to stay alive were basically corpses warmed up, but recently I started to feel… better.
I gotta be honest, I’m sitting here using words I’ve got no business using. But anyway, I had no fucking idea, because Harvey was continuing to approach me as if he were my carer, stopping short of feeding me soup in bed. He had been used to treating me with contempt for a few months so when I put my question to him, the one thought that remained wedged in my mind, he remained evasive.
Where does the flesh come from?
I’d been chowing down contently at the human buffet for the best part of four months and eventually I began to wonder where they were getting their supplies from. They couldn’t exactly drop into Walmart. And this is gonna sound dumb, but it tastes fresh – recent. I don’t know what that tastes of but it makes sense in my head.
Anyway, he’d tell me that I was contributing plenty of money to the church and so that part didn’t matter – they weren’t going out murdering people in the street, he’d say, before laughing crazily.
But I wanted to know who was suffering to keep me alive. These were feelings I’d never experienced in my life. Feelings for others in general were a new thing. I felt guilt, that what we were doing, even by Hollywood standards, wasn’t right.
Last week I dropped into the church to pay homage to George and kneel in front of this badass mural of him, waiting to collect my meat and meds. As I stood up to leave I watched my agent stop to speak to the High Priest who had conducted the mass and then disappear through a side door. When I say High Priest, his name is Larry. He used to be Samuel L. Jackson’s PA. Back then he couldn’t even get Sam’s sandwich order correct yet here he was, whirling around in a white gown, receiving the adulation of the congregation and making the full thing up as he bounced along.
I decided to follow, keeping my distance. I slinked behind pillars until the corridor opened and the answer to my question revealed itself in about as horrific a fucking fashion as possible.
I realised I was in a scientific facility of some kind, one that was just stuck onto the side of the church. Various science-y folks wandered around with clipboards, pointing at things while removing pens from their white coats. Dry ice seemed to float around. Oh yeah, and there were gigantic glass towers reaching to the ceiling, each filled with foetuses, hundreds of them, submerged in a green liquid and hooked up to various tubes.
The containers stretched all the way to the roof. As I stood there, attempting to knock the ‘What the fuck’ out of my head, the container closest to me started to whirr, like an engine starting, before a huge blade flashed through the tube, liquefying all the babies into a paste. The fluid was then sucked through hundreds of metres of tubing before settling into little vials, lined up perfectly on a conveyor belt. The belt buzzed into action and the vials were boxed up by an automated arm before disappearing through a partition into another room.
This giant fucking glass tower, within touching distance of my shaking hand, then refilled with more fucking kids. It was a pretty graphic way to find out what flavour of milkshake I’d been swallowing for months.
I burst out into the open, revealing myself to everyone.
‘What is this place?’ I cried, trying not to sound like I was performing in a scene as I said it.