All Shook Up

M. shares her thoughts on today’s earthquake.

Today’s earthquake didn’t quite scare me. Neither am I rattled by the thought of an earthquake hitting New York.

The whole thing only surprised me. There we were, regaled by near-fall weather, a lot of Sun mingled with the perfect breeze, the sky cloudless, the humidity gone, and only a small fan whirring in the room.

And then, the ground shook. At first, I thought the neighbor’s baby was thumping on the floor. Within seconds, the shaking seemed to grow into something more than a baby thump. I felt a little jolt under my feet as I was sitting on a chair, working on my laptop.

T. screamed, “It’s an earthquake!” I nonchalantly dismissed her proposition. There can’t be an earthquake in Brooklyn (though three years ago, a tornado barreled along across from our apartment), I thought. Nonetheless, in my incredulity, I followed T. down the stairs and out into the street, half hoping to go back up again soon.

People had gathered outside. That was the earthquake protocol: to get out of the house, the office, and stand under the naked sky, lest a building fall on us and pulverize our bones. After a while, we went back up again, but T. was visibly shaken. I desperately wished I was shaken too, so I could join her in the feeling, but I honestly didn’t feel a strand of fear on me.

What to do? Sometimes the proper feeling simply, eludes us.

Lastly, T. and I both got busy checking for media updates on the mild quake that spooked had millions. Now, there’s talk of an aftershock, which like Godot, might never come.


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