When I first picked the name Zombiepaper on January 26 2008, I wasn’t planning on it being prophetic over a dozen years later, although now that we’re here at the point where each day for the past few months I’ve had the cadence of a zombie, it might be a good time to write about what the name means to me. In a sense, it’s a nothing name. Names sometimes gain their meaning after you apply them.
Years later, I shortened it to “ie” and then lengthened it there to Zombiepaper without much more of a thought than I needed more than a two-letter username and I liked EarthBound. I was still somewhat insecure about the username until my time in Endless War thrust me, as “Zombiepaper,” into a narrative as the character of myself. Although I eventually found the community to be not a positive element for me, and left, there was something about fully adopting the moniker of Zombiepaper after all these years of having it just being a filler username where things clicked.
Zombiepaper represents two elements I appreciate most.
Similar to the reason why I liked the name Better Zombie for this website – better is my favorite word and zombie is my second favorite word – Zombiepaper has sort of become my brand and what I represent. I didn’t grow up with an interest in the macabre or horror, and I’m not an especially big fan of, say, horror media. Over the years, I’ve gained an appreciation for life and death, especially as they have pertained to people that have made media I have enjoyed. Death was also more of an abstract concept for me back in 2008. Other than my childhood dog Patrick’s death in March 2005, it’s only been within the past few years that I’ve encountered death through the lens of someone that has known people, either indirectly or directly. That’s in addition to the string of people I’ve heard of, or have meandered through the media of, before they’ve died.
My perspective of life has been skewed by months of spine pain, too.
It hasn’t been easy, especially when the many doctors I’ve encountered have treated me more like a paycheck than a person, but I would say that through all of that, I have gained valuable perspective. One year ago I started experiencing bad headaches about one year ago and two years ago I was in the moving process, so if we rewind the clock back to three years ago, my life was vastly different. I wouldn’t say that the past three years have been completely negative, but I would say that the lessons I’ve learned and the life I lived was harder than necessary, and through all of that, I’ve gained a brighter appreciation for life and myself.
I find that people will call me either one of three names.
Most people call me Zombiepaper and that’s the name I like the most. Some people will call me Zombie – or, Zomb, if they’re European, and others that perhaps feel less inspired by the whole macabre thing will call me ZP. These are all acceptable. I don’t need the emblem of ie anymore, and the name is just something that I’ve become, so to speak. I even parody this. My Twitch username is Zombiepaper_, so whenever I join a Discord community based on a Twitch livestream community or livestreamer, I set my Discord username for that server to Zombiepaper_. At first, I did that to clarify that I was the same person, not that it’s really needed, but it became a funny joke.
Maybe eventually I’ll have Zombiepaper_-brand merchandise?
I still have other account name styles like @thezombiepaper on Twitter and the URL RecycledZombiePaper on YouTube as a holdover from when I still capitalized the P in Zombiepaper, but for me, a name serves as primarily a differentiation point. If there are multiple zombie-themed users in a chat, then it might be easier to refer to me as Zombiepaper. If we’re playing a zombie-themed videogame, ZP might be an easier way to refer to me as, to avoid contextual confusion. All of these are fine because none of these really matter all that much. Life is a temporal thing, as I’ve learned over these past three years, and the important thing for me is operating with respect and dignity.
If you act better than some of these doctors, you’re in good shape.
Some of these doctors have reacted to my concern over my pains as though I were asking them to cure COVID-19 immediately. Others of these doctors showed absolutely no compassion or concern for me as a human being. Faced with that over sufficient amounts of time, it made my world view much harsher. There are drawbacks to that, but the benefits are that for things I enjoy, I can enjoy them much clearer. I won’t waste my time on things that don’t matter more now than I considered myself to have done in previous years because now the effort required for me to give a fuck about many of the things out there in life is an actual effort. I don’t wish for destruction on anything, if only because it’s too much effort for me to be the arbiter for life and death, so I’d rather approach things I dislike or hate with apathy, so that these things don’t exist in my mind.
I treat things I dislike or hate like the many doctors I’ve seen in 2020 treated me.
How cruel that sounds, and perhaps it is, but these past three years, these past two years, and especially this past year, has taught me more about myself than any external education or internal meditation could have taught me. Facing our indifferent reality that has no interest in my self-worth and finding ways to navigate through that has led me toward a pain-free lifestyle.
It will just take more fighting to secure that lifestyle.
|Sources: My personal experiences.|
|Inspirations: About a year ago, I still felt insecure about my name, but then I was thinking about how I enjoy zombie things now more than ever – I’ve enjoyed zombie movies for years, but for me, I would have, say, enjoyed looking around Halloween stores for zombie things more, if I could have, and now I feel like Zombiepaper is the perfect name for myself and my brand. I write about the sort of content that could be too extreme for others, or not.|
|Related: Sober Living essays and Tripping On [The American Healthcare System] chapters.|
|Written On: 2020 November 19 [4:12am to 4:447am]|
|Last Edited: 2020 November 19 [First draft; final draft for the Internet.]|