“Okay, that wasn’t my heart trembling . . . “

I don’t know how they do it on the West Coast.

Between those flash mud slides, the nuclear capabilities of a 49’ers- Raiders tailgater, smog as thick as corduroy plastering the sky and Simon Cowell’s over inflated ego breathing up most of the good air that’s left, immovable traffic jams meeting up with unstoppable car chases and the capper of having to endure the Governator’s parabolic policies for eight years . . . .

There’s a special place in heaven for Californians. The irony is, they’re already living there. Despite all of that crap. Oh, what power and majesty there exists in 70 degree weather year round. That you’re willing to overlook God’s clumsy pawed housekeeping skills, otherwise known as Earthquakes.

I place Earthquake in bold letters due to the overwhelming respect I have for its unmistakable authority. Now. Before today, earthquakes existed on the stratum with an unfortunate out of town baseball score. “The Yanks got swept by Anaheim? Damn!” From afar, it’s easy to  be that ignorant.

Not to say I wasn’t sold on the power of a tectonic plated rim shot before today, cause I was. Hey, I went to see the movie Earthquake. And I took two lessons with me that day. One, it wasn’t Charlton Heston’s best work. And two, don’t move to a place that has earthquakes. I was seven years old, the words prodigious.

Earthquakes are stronger than Barry Bonds in that Fantastic Five flick. They are the most cranky bit of horizontal since I dated a girl who did theater. They have the power to loose thousand ton structures from their moorings without much of a fight. And bowels? Even easier than that.

I get it. Which is why I’ve done my damnedest to stay away from it.

I’m an East Coast fixture, a Bronx born boy whose nomadic impulse never let me stray far from the seaboard which joined those hated Sawx of New England with the mysterious swamps of South Florida. I slept through hurricanes (It’s a barometric pressure thing), I drank my way through blizzards and I simply bought more insurance in case the flood waters decided to have at it with my recreation room.

But earthquakes? Not so much.

Of course, a 5.8 on the Richter Scale is a sneeze to most Californians; unless you’re just moving into town, in which case a 5.8 begets an impromptu call to the movers to just make a U-ey and head for St. Looey.

All I know is, I wanted to be anywhere but on unsolid ground this afternoon while the earth was busy negotiating with its upset stomach. The thought even occurred to me to rent a helicopter for a couple hours time just in case the ground started swallowing itself.

I figured, why make things any easier than they already are for my next landlord?



5 thoughts on ““Okay, that wasn’t my heart trembling . . . “

  1. Thanks for the personal account. I’ve never experienced the earth move but as I was listening to the news while this was all happening I was trying to imagine what it was like.

    Renting a helicopter is a darn fine idea as an earthquake preparation plan!

  2. Hey Simone! Great to see your comment, much welcomed.

    Yes, the earthquake, for all of the humor I was able to interject, was a matter of great seriousness to me when it went down. Truth be told, I was more than a little scared. I admit it.

    I only posted after reading up on the event. Structural damage aside, no lives lost. Which really makes it a 10 on my Richter Scale. All in all, a good day if that’s how it has to happen.

    Meant to tell you, that “Dragonflies” title? Save it for your book. It’s a keeper.

  3. I’ll try to refrain from the obvious Earthquake jokes, but the earth has moved for me (shit too late, sorry . . . ) on several occasions (no more double entendres, I promise…) but strangely twice here in Umbria a well known earthquake zone BUT also twice in Manchester not known for tectonic activity . . .
    The last time however was here in Italy- it sounded, and felt, like somebody had driven a truck into the side of the house . . . I ran outside to see the street deserted . . it was lunchtime after all . . .

  4. RJ- I can joke about it today. But yesterday I was prepared to move into a hot air balloon forever.

    Sara- And speaking of crazy weather, Hurricane Irene is bearing down on the Carolinas, which will probably bring heavy rain this way.

    But I’d still rather be up in that hot air balloon.

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