Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Gosh, I hate earthquakes. And I know earthquakes. I had the misfortune to be in the 1989 "World Series" quake in San Francisco, and the 1994 Northridge quake in Glendale. I didn't even live in California in 1994; I was visiting.
We had an earthquake here today. I didn't know it at the time, but the epicenter was only five miles from here. I was sitting at my desk and I ran in circles around the house looking for my dog and then pointlessly ran out the front door. Then, I ran in circles through the house to the backyard, where my dog was pointlessly running in circles in an eerie replica of my own behavior. I went inside and got his leash and then realized that my cell phone was still on my desk. The two of us went in together and got it. I might as well have stayed outside and found a rock the same size as my phone; I couldn't make a call on either of them. We stood in the yard for a while like a couple of idiots, then went to the front of the house where some of my neighbors had come outside and we all stood around looking at each other, asking "are you all right?", when it was quite apparent that we all were. When it seemed that there would be no more shaking I went inside and turned on the radio. KFWB, the all-news station, was interviewing people who had experienced the quake. "It was a rolling, then a hard shake." "It was like teetering on top of a point". "It lasted a long time, and the chandelier hasn't stopped shaking yet". "It sounded like a truck hitting the house". To tell you the truth, I am not a connoisseur of earthquakes. I don't have words to describe what they feel like or sound like. I just try to live through them. Wit's end, indeed. The earthquake was about 10 hours ago; my knees just stopped shaking.