12. Born-again Zombie (4)

With one hand I wiped my face clean. I groped toward the wall for support, found none, so I stumbled across the room, bumping into tables, knocking over trays. They clattered to the floor, which was also shockingly cold. Clumsily threading my way through what seemed like an obstacle course, I gained the support of the wall. Leaning into that vertical plane, my vision came clear. I saw how I left a peach-colored handprint on the smooth white surface.

Blink. Turn. Scan.

The room was large and barren, and I wasn’t the only one in it. Two men and a woman were with me. But the others were far less animated than I. All three lay, naked, on solo tables. So lovely they were in their blue-gray rigidity, like statues carved by a hand capable of great detail. On the wall behind them were a series of stainless steel sinks and a length of white counter. There were glass containers filled with body parts suspended in fluid on the countertop: a pancreas, a stomach, a brain. Above this were cabinets that took a right turn at the corner and continued along the perpendicular wall. Where they stopped, the space was filled with an absolutely gorgeous image that reached almost from ceiling to floor. It was a beautiful rendition of the human body, its inner secrets—muscle, organ and bone—boldly rendered in reds and blues and small splashes of black and pink ink. It became, instantly, the object of my adoration. I felt myself carried away by the twist of arteries, the fretwork of bone, by the sinuous curve of muscle. Nerves, membranes, cartilage, ligaments, trachea, the thick cloud of the intestines, the lungs spread like a pair of wings behind the chubby pump of the heart. Complicated beyond imagination. Breathtaking. The body. I hadn’t been back in the world long, but I had found my God.

—DEAD LOVE/Chapter 12.4/Born-again Zombie