This fascination has a root cause, yet in true roustabout fashion I hesitate delving too much, in recognition that perceiving a thing changes it. Since this fascination fuels a great deal of creativity, I don't want to rationalize it out of existence. Forgive me, even so, for dabbling in the irrational.
I think back to my upbringing in the church, where the idea of being in the world but not of it was introduced at an impressionable age and iterated time and again as a basic tenet of belief. I listened to a lot of "Jesus rock" and one of my favorite albums as a pre-teen was Petra's Not of This World. From the first buds of consciousness, I was inundated with the idea of being separate from a world of unbelievers, who in my perception as a young boy of faith were the walking dead doomed to everlasting perdition.
Ah, the sweetness of youth!
I was not yet to my tenth year seeing Night of the Living Dead. What an impression that made. From the riveting image of a zombie stumbling through the cemetary, I was simultaneously terrified and fascinated. It was right out of the church handbook: this was an unbeliever, shambling along hungry for faith but settling for cannibalism.
I'm reminded of that early vision when peering from my office window. The view of docks on the Duwamish river is a playground for my mind, ships arriving from exotic ports with their freight of the undead, overrun as lumbering hordes unload and overwhelm hapless stevedores. Inexorably the mass grows, spreading out from the docks like a bloodstain and moving onto the nearby beaches and hills, inevitably reaching the bridge and starting a slow march toward our side. Despite the vastness of our office building there is no escape, as we find the exits blocked by grasping, unfettered corpses from some distant continent, in their long passage over endless oceans grown ravenous to the very pit of their rotted souls. The doors burst inward and they are upon the living, a maw of undeniable appetite that pursues every last one of us through the countless corridors of a workplace once thought impregnable from all harm.
Ah, the wonder of maturity!