I was home alone Sunday night when the earthquake hit. I was bundled up on the sofa, computer on my lap, in the middle of You've Got Mail for what had to be the thirty-eighth time, when there was a loud thud above me as if our upstairs neighbors had just dropped a Dodge on their living room floor.
Stupidly, I looked around and waited as my heart kicked up it's rhythm in my chest. After what felt like a full sixty seconds, but was really just a fraction of one, the shaking started. I stood up, laptop in hand, looking around while Luke bolted from the room. The brief thought that the little bastard should have warned me crossed my mind as I tried to figure out where to stand, what to do.
Are you supposed to get under the desk or just next to it? And if it's under, then I'm shit out of luck as it'd take more time clearing the junk out from underneath as it would to just stand there like an idiot and ride it out. WHICH IS WHAT I DID.
After the shaking stopped, I could hear my neighbors, those above and those to the left, laughing and asking if each other was okay. I stood there for a moment thinking I am so unprepared for this, then slowly walked back through our apartment to make sure everything was as it should be.
Earthquakes scare me. The unpredictability of them terrifies me. I hate not knowing how strong they'll be, how long they'll last, how much damage they'll cause. The Husband hates earthquakes, too, but will dance naked in the streets during a tornado. Go figure.
You get no warning with earthquakes. At least you know when a tornado is coming. At least you have time to prepare yourself. You know a tornado isn't going to randomly land on your head and suddenly take you for a windy ride Dorothy-style. Except worse 'cause there'd be no munchkins or ruby slippers. And, you know, you'd die.
I'll tell you this, though. I was really disappointed to realize that my cats will be absolutely no help in this situation if and, unfortunately, when it happens again. I'm not really sure what I expected. I mean, I sort of hoped they'd, I don't know, stand up and say something along the lines of, "Excuse me, Steph, but we're sensing a 4.7 earthquake to hit in the next three minutes. Everything will be fine, so just go ahead and continue your movie. Oh, here, let me get you some more chocolate as I see you're running low."
To which I'd reply, "Why, thank you, Luke. More chocolate would be lovely."
'Cause, you know, more chocolate would be lovely.
So, what natural force of nature scares the doodie out of you?