Earthquake Life Shuffle
So…I was in the middle of writing another post yesterday morning when the earth moved.
Actually, my wise friend said it yawned. I love that.
Just don’t swallow my house, will ya?
It’s all good.
The dogs got a bit jittery, one picture fell but didn’t break.
I say: No big whoop.
I couldn’t go back to my previous thought though, and continue writing the post.
I kept being reminded, for some reason of the 1994 earthquake.
This mornings was just a poor imititation.
January 1994 was as close to “The Big One” as I’ve ever been, and ever want to be.
Of the things that came to mind, several were kinda mystical, and some started me on the road to retrieving my sanity. I know, pretty dramatic, cut me a break here!
Back in 1994 I lived in a high rise in “mid city” as they call it. So as not to be confused with downtown or the west side.
It was dark o’clock. Just after four in the morning.
I remember waking up to pee and feeling a deep sense of calm and well being.
I distinctly remember those feelings because:
1) They were an anomaly. I was not having a good time. I was suffering horrible anxiety attacks and living on Xanax just to cope. (Read my We Have An Agreement posts. There are four, sorry)
2) The timing. It was like a warm hug of reassurance before all hell broke loose.
I won’t get into too much detail. Suffice it to say, the damage was extensive.
Every window shattered, my walls cracked open so wide you could pass the Grey Poupon into the next room.
The first mystical experiences I had, were part of my post quake hysteria.
I just wanted to get the hell out of my building.
The swaying from the initial quake and subsequent aftershocks was making me sea sick.
I grabbed my purse with my car keys and began my adrenalin fueled sprint down nine flights of stairs.
When I reached the covered garage, I pulled my car out for safety and sat shaking violently listening for any news on the radio.
Then my eyesight went.
Just like that.
It was perfect until the adrenalin wore off. Then I went back to being blind as a bat.
In my haste to escape, I forgot to put in my contacts or grab my glasses.
If I was going to drive or basically function at all that day, I had to run back up and get my glasses. Shit.
I thought it might be a good idea to brush my teeth while I was at it. If I was going to venture out on the mean streets of “mid city” to forage for food and shelter, morning breath wouldn’t be an asset.
I was terrified to go back up, but I had no choice. When I got to my apartment ( I had left the door wide open) there were neighbors still wearing jammies in the hall. One of the men grabbed me by the arm to stop me from running back inside. He pointed at all the broken glass and then looked down at my bare feet.
He was nice enough with his flashlight (no electricity) and slippers to go inside and get me my glasses and a pair of flip flops. You could hear every tentative step, marked by the crunching of broken glass.
How the hell had I gotten out of there without a single cut on my feet?
Forget brushing my teeth, no water. Gum would have to suffice.
By the way, the neighbors on the opposite side of the hall from me, had much less significant damage. None of their windows were broken. They could not believe the extant of the damage to the apartments that faced northwest.
Earthquakes are similar to tornados in the randomness of their destruction.
Either it’s your lucky day…or it’s not.
My kitchen was a freakin’ disaster. It seemed every cabinet had opened and thrown its contents against the opposite wall. Not to be outdone, the refrigerator and freezer had gotten into the act as well. There was a ginormous pile of china, food and glass with a booze chaser on the floor.
Here’s where the mystical part comes in.
EVERY piece of crystal, china, and ceramics from my marriage was PULVERIZED.
Like the aftermath of a wild, drunken Greek wedding on steroids.
They weren’t just broken, they had reverted back into sand.
During clean up; there was NO salvage; my shaman friend pointed out that the cabinet just next to the “wedding stuff” had remained closed and everything inside was safe. It appeared that anything fragile that I had purchased in the ten years since the divorce was okay to stay. Anything from before that, was a total loss.
He reminded me that crystal holds energy, it holds memories, and THAT just needed to go.
As you can imagine I had to move. I chose a cute little ground floor garden apartment, all wood floors and bookcases. SO much better for my energy to be around wood.
The steel and glass of the high rise had been messing with me.
I started to feel better almost immediately.
That was part one of my sanity recovery.
Part two was the fact that I was no longer alone in my neurosis. EVERYONE was a nervous wreak.
I mean it.
EVERYONE in the city had a story to tell. Men told me how they couldn’t stop shaking. Women were all red eyed from not sleeping. They should have put Valium in the water, almost everyone I talked to was taking them like candy to navigate the daily aftershocks.
It was freakin’ awesome!
Misery truly does love company I’m ashamed to say.
If EVERYONE is freaking out and you’re suffering panic attacks, you look downright normal.
Okay, one last mystical story.
Fast forward a couple of months.
I’m feeling better, I’m in the shower getting ready to go to a Buddhist chanting,
and “that” voice says: You’re okay, you’re fine.
Me: yes; yes I am.
Voice: You’re okay, you’re fine.
Me: Um…thanks…good to know.
Voice: You’re okay, you’re fine.
Then it started. Very slooooowly. I actually heard it before I felt it.
Earthquake….In the shower…No!
One of my top ten worst fears realized.
But, of course I was okay, I was fine.