From ages 12 - 14 I lived with a near-constant irrational fear of earthquakes. (It all began when my 8th grade science teacher brought a geologist to one of those “end of the school year so we’re giving the fuck up” type assemblies. She showed us a huge topographical map of our city on which she pointed out a fault line running DIRECTLY UNDER OUR MIDDLE SCHOOL.) I would have these secret panic attacks where I’d imagine the floor of whatever room I was in opening up and swallowing me whole.
People said I was crazy for wanting to move to an area so prone to earthquakes due to their own irrational fears, but seriously, they had NO idea.
At 3:20am on Sunday I was jostled awake, and it took me a moment to realize it wasn’t a dream, the entire apartment was rocking back and forth. Once I did I sat up in bed, let the reality sink in and my eyes adjust. Forrest then sat up and said “whoa.” We sat in silence for another couple seconds before I remarked “this is long!”
The squeaking of joists and clinking of glasses gave the moment an otherworldly melody. I was not expecting an earthquake to sound so much like wind chimes.
Then everything stopped moving just as suddenly as the shaking had begun. I hopped out of bed, checked that everything was still securely fastened to our walls, and stuck my head out the window to see all was quiet outside: swaying Muni lines had already settled, cars were driving along (what’s THAT experience like?) and the city skyline was unscathed.
I hopped back in bed, took the opportunity to level up in Kim Kardashian: Hollywood, then deposited my cellphone onto the nightstand and drifted back to sleep.
So, there it is- the story of my first big earthquake. I’m actually surprised, given my history, by how much I enjoyed the experience.