Night of the Living Dead

Dan Minch stays up later and later watching old horror flicks, slowly transforming into the monster of his obsession.

Insomnia is an interesting phenomenon.

Since this past semester ended, I‘ve been waiting tables and taking summer courses. Two classes a day and four days a week of waiting have kept me from my normal caffeine detox routine after semester’s end. I think a reserve of caffeine in my blood has been keeping me awake.

Comcast has free horror movies on demand, which is good for me. I am a certified horror-flick-freakazoid (I even have a favorite special effects artist). I to feel scared, but it’s been so long since I’ve felt that way in a movie theater. To me, the recent phenomena of splatter-fest films like Saw and Hostel are more smut than horror. I want a good horror film complete with vampires, zombies, and aliens, with the human dissections done mostly off screen. They make the nights better.

Last summer, I once stayed up till sunrise, cooped up in a dorm room watching vampire movies and eating pizza. Nothing about that night was good or memorable, except that it happened, and all things being equal, I would rather have been sleeping. I remember that near dawn, I couldn’t take it anymore and ran outside to chase rabbits across the campus.

This year is different. I know that I have to wake up early to catch a train to school from my apartment. Even so, it’s physically impossible to sleep. No matter how many miles I run or sit-ups I do, when it comes time to lie down, I am no longer sleepy.

Waiting tables is physically demanding. I’m exhausted when I come home, but mostly I just go to the bar and watch horror flicks or cartoons.

I have more room to roam about this summer: I’m the only one living on the third floor, and though it’s hotter than Hell Night with Linda Blair up here in the Philly summer, I have it all to myself. If it’s too hot inside, I can always sit out on the fire escape. Though I finally have a door to my room, it doesn’t fully close, giving me an ominous view of the staircase to the second floor.

I wander my living space, feeling more and more like the living dead each night, drinking red wine to feel drowsy, and waiting hours for sleep to overtake me after I’ve already said my prayers. What’s worse, I’m no longer compelled to compose new music or poetry. I simply decompose more and more–watching and re-watching flicks I’ve already seen, singing and re-singing songs I’ve already learned.

Lately, I’ve been trying to assemble my new room, but somehow in the many hours of sleeplessness, I only manage to put up a few posters each night. Mostly, I feel anxious. I miss people who are far away, and everyone nearby is in bed. When I get up in the morning, I wish I had gone to bed earlier, but knowing I never had a choice.

Dan Minch reinforces his existence as a Theology and Classical Studies major at Villanova University with an epic addiction to Fair Trade coffee. His thinking is split between dead languages and bits of Thai picked up from being the only white person at an Asian restaurant. He hopes to one day be paid to drink coffee and read the Bible.