09 December 2008


I’d never been so thirsty before. I must have stood at the fountain in Balboa Park for five minutes sucking up the cool, cool water, but it didn’t help. As soon as I’d lift my mouth from the stream the burning would overtake me again. Water wasn’t the answer.

I stumbled in the midday glare, where did I leave my sunglasses? to the bodega for an Orangina. Water might not quench this fire in my throat but something had to.


Maybe something to eat as well. Anything to make the burning, gnawing pain in my – throat? stomach? everywhere, I guess – end. I couldn’t tell where the thirst ended and the hunger started now.

I pushed open the door and heard the familiar clink of the bells. Mrs. Suarez was behind the counter reading her bible. Dogeared and filled with bookmarks, I wondered what passage she’d quote me today.


She put down her bible and reached below the counter, coming up with a shotgun pointed it at my head. She nodded toward the door and calmly read the sign:

“No Zombies.”