Warning: If you're within the first two seasons of Lost, and "the Hatch" doesn't sound familiar, then you might be subjected to mild spoilers.
After our fourth week of living in Sweden, Jason & I admitted that it was time to wash our two-weeks-worth of clothes. When you've worn all your underwear once-- and then once again, inside-out-- you know you're slacking on the whole "responsible adult" gimmick.
Seeing as Jason spends twelve hours a day in his Physics lab, it was my Sveedish housewifey doom to find a nearby washing machine and put our clothes in it. I soon came across a sketchy-looking door:
|We're definitely looking at some long-lost Dharma Initiative Station here.|
and tried my key on it. Nothing.
Relief washed over me, because this whole scenario was giving me some serious Lost flashbacks. Namely, the part when John Locke finally dynamited open the Hatch, and went inside despite the BIOHAZARD/ QUARANTINE sign. He totally deserved the surely impending zombie buffet on his brains.
Well, Karma loves a Judgy-McJudgersons like myself, because I suddenly had an idea to hold the blue, plastic thing that came with our keys up to the lock... and I heard a muffled click as the light flashed green. Sh*t.
I slowly cracked the door open, and this is what I saw:
|It's impossible for me to look at this without imagining Resident Evil creatures scrambling across the ceiling.|
I've put off writing about this little misadventure for over a month now, because I knew my writing skills will utterly fail at communicating the SHEER TERROR I felt at this moment.
I may or may not use an inexusable amount of artistic license when writing these posts... but it would be impossible to exaggerate my neurosis about zombies. Debilitating neurosis. I don't even like typing the word.
- The night after I saw "I Am Legend" in theater, I didn't sleep a wink. I trembled under my covers until the sun came up the next morning, and all those undead demons outside returned to their lairs.
- The one time some friends & I wandered into an abandoned Japanese theme park at night, I tearfully begged everyone to leave with me, lest we awaken the zombie infestation lurking in the shadows. ...That's an embarrassing memory.
- The night a stumbling drunk tried to break into my apartment when I was home alone, I DIDN'T SNEAK OUT THE BACK DOOR because I was completely convinced he was a zombie, and that he surely couldn't be the only one out there.
So. I believe the use of the word "debilitating" is justified.
And you'll be quite proud to hear that I actually entered this demonic-looking hallway, and let the door close behind me.
I shakily tried my key on various doors along the dark hallway until one finally opened, and I nearly... ahem... rendered yet another pair of pants ready for the wash.
|That plastic bag made me scream a tiny bit.|
Finally, a windowed door revealed a dark room with silhouetted, whirring machines and red blinking lights. But the door wouldn't open.
Guys, at this point I was so terrified that it felt like an out-of-body experience. Although I could no longer feel my face, I could hear my teeth chattering. Every last survival alarm had gone off in my brain, and my adrenaline levels were such that I probably could have Edward-Cullen-ed a car.
To the side of the door, a metallic box displayed the same emblem the outside door had, so I waved my magic blue key at it.
"SVEEEEEEEDISH SVEEDISH, SVEEDY SVEED SVEEDISH."
I went Rambo on the buttons until it started to look like some sort of scheduling system. I guessed at making an appointment for the next afternoon and got the hell out of there. I didn't stop shaking for another twenty minutes.
* * *
The next afternoon, after a morning's worth of pep-talk and dread, I literally sprinted down the demonic hallway to the laundry room, our 40-lb laundry bag knocking me against the walls like a rubber pinball. This time, my key turned the lock light green and granted me access to the insidious-looking machinery inside.
Checking my back every three seconds, I began stuffing our clothes into a washer.
I saw movement out of the corner of my eye. This was the end. I knew it.
Body frozen in place, my head slowly turned to the side to behold two eyes glaring through the door window with black, bottomless RAGE. Like, 28-Days-Later RAGE.
For those of you with z-o-m-b-....etc. neurosis (seriously, I hate saying that word. I understand why wizards call Voldemort He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named)... anyway, those of you who suffer from my condition-- when you find yourself in this situation, you pray to God Almighty that that door opens. Because you know that if they ARE infected, they no longer have the mental capacity to open doors. Much less the advanced forethought to show up the day before and make an appointment with a magic 007-style key.
Well, it was not yet my time to succumb to viral cannibalism (ahhh, thank goodness for technical-sounding euphemisms), because the door swung open to reveal a disheveled, spandex-clad Sveede with a giant pregnant belly and a hamper full of socks. I could have hugged her.
She proceeded to rant at me in hormonal Sveedish as I smiled at her, semi-slumped against the washer in relief. I happily interjected to tell her that I didn't speak Swedish, and without missing a beat she switched to English and told me I was using HER washing machine that SHE had scheduled a week ago. Bless her fertile, still-human soul.
I gleefully moved my clothes to the next washer as she glowered behind me. If anyone could stop hordes of staggering undead, it was this ass-kicking, hormonal woman on a F***ING SOCK- WASHING MISSION.
I was safe. We now have clean clothes and I am not undead.