I only noticed yesterday’s earthquake about two minutes after it happened, and that was just because my girlfriend phoned from Cedars Sinai (where she works, just a few miles away) to tell me about it. I originally blamed my obliviousness to the whole situation on my usually disoriented demeanor, but it was probably due to my being on the first floor of my ’20s-era tenement.
Ah, but that doesn’t make sense, either, now that I think about it. I remember my first earthquake — the one in the middle of the night back in 1999. I was in just about exactly the same spot, and I remember that it woke me up from a pretty sound slumber. I slept on a plain ol’ futon mattress back then, and I could feel the floor moving beneath me like little fists punching at my back (similar to the sensation of standing up front at a Youth of Today show). With wide eyes, I noted further commotion; it was as if some giant had placed my apartment on a freight train when I wasn’t looking and we were riding down a patch of poorly maintained rails.
Being from the Midwest, my initial reaction wasn’t, “oh, this seventy-year-old building is going to collapse and I’m going to be smeared like an unwanted crate of pimento loaf under a pile of bricks and a thousand generations of dead cockroaches! Why, sweet baby Jesus, why?”
Not at all. I was excited!
“EARTHQUAKE!” I shouted with glee! What fun!
Before the true gravity of the situation could sink in to spoil my boyish sense of wonder, though, it was over. And, since then, no tremor has occurred that would even moderately compare. I should thank my lucky stars I wasn’t here for Northridge, but I can’t help but feel like I missed out on not feeling yesterday’s little shimmy shake. I still don’t know why I didn’t feel a thing, though, but I guess some people just didn’t.
Ah, science. I should just enjoy the day and be glad our aquarium didn’t explode.