Wednesday, August 24, 2011

I (how to put this delicately) was indisposed during an earthquake

Never Done: I (how to put this delicately) was indisposed during an earthquake

I'm warning you now. This post will be full of euphemisms and metaphors. It's also going to refer back to a post I already wrote in this blog. So much informed consent, and we've barely even begun. Those of you on the East coast probably noticed we had an earthquake today. I've been in a lot of them, because I used to live in Oregon, although the first one I remember was when I lived in Massachusetts, and the quake rattled some plates off the table and onto the floor. They broke. The next one I remember was pretty much exactly the same, only in Maine. The first Oregon earthquake though was a big one. All I remember is that it was 1993, and it was very early morning, and I was in bed with my girlfriend, and a violent shaking woke us up, and the next thing I knew, she had thrown herself across me, declaring clearly, "It's an earthquake!" She grew up in California. She knew from big earthquakes. I just looked it up, and it had a name: the Scotts Mills Earthquake.

The next earthquake I was in was the one I wrote about before here. About the time I was in the middle of an acupuncture treatment, when the entire building started to creak and shake, while I lay on the acupuncturist's table with needles in my back, praying that no ceiling would fall on me and ... well, you probably don't want to think about that. This time around, it was sort of like that, only different. I was seeing a doctor. I was wearing a gown, open to the back. I was ... the doctor was ... well the doctor had to do a quick exam where the sun don't shine. And the next thing I knew, the whole building started to shake. Boy, I thought. It never felt like that before.

The doctor finished the exam, and we both went out into the hallway. The receptionist started looking for information about the quake. Some of the staff didn't notice it, and one of them was flipping out. I later found out that that's pretty much what happened at my office too. After I was all dressed again, the doctor and I went out on the balcony to see that a bunch of buildings on the other side of the street had evacuated. It hadn't even occurred to us. I got outside, and I called Josh and I texted Jesse. I called Josh's mom, who lives much closer to the epicenter, and had slept through it. It's interesting to notice who feels like family in these moments. I also dashed an email to one of my co-workers, because I wanted her to know I was fine and already on my way back to work. It seems that in 7 short weeks, I've started to think of my co-workers as family, and wanted to know that they were all OK too. (They were.)

Now if a large natural disaster would strike, I would not want to be in New York City. I have always felt safer without tall buildings around that could fall on my head. But I live here now, and I made through this non-disaster just fine, so I think I will just be happy about that instead of worried about some future disaster that will probably never happen. How's that for a disaster readiness plan?

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