6 Degrees of Removal

What it sounded like the first time, what it felt like, was a semi had dumped off the 8 for a midnight run down Main Street. Then, in a double dose of daring 1, the driver had tried to turn where Main segues into Murray, but instead had sailed through the roundabout and slammed into my apartment complex just behind the stand of queen palms on the corner of Blackthorne.

That was my first grab at an explanation for why I was on my hands and knees on the floor instead of alseep in my waterbed.

After another 30 long rumbling seconds, during which the semi apparently backed up and rammed the building several more times, though in lessening strength each time – I assume the tranny had to be nearly shot –  the world quit shaking and I stood up. The luminous dials on the bedside clock-radio gleamed 3:23 AM 2. I saw no semi outside the sliding glass doors, no pickup, not even one of SoCal’s ubiquitous Honda’s smashed against the complex.

Passing strange; I had smoked a blunt before bed, but it wasn’t that good.

Adrenaline was still coursing through my system, I wasn’t headed back to sleep anytime soon without assistance, so I fired up a roach and flipped on the radio to mellow out some. Immediately the hippy dippy voice of the overnight DJ for KGB grooved:

“And for all of you brothers and sisters new to SoCal, welcome to your first earthquake. Now here’s Robin Trower – Too Rolling Stoned, canya dig it?”

That was the Imperial Valley quake of ’79, Mw 6.something.

– – – – – >

As the temblor flows, it’s a little over 300 miles from Sparks, OK, to Kansas City.

Reports put last nights’ 5.6 event at 9:53 PM CDT. At (approximately) 9:55 PM CDT 3, right as I started channel surfing to find something as amusing as the just finished K-State game, the wave passed through the Charles estate in Brookside.

The first tremor felt like a gentle torando had suddenly pushed against the southern exposure of the house. The second pulse? That one was more of a queasy reminder that our existence is predicated upon unseen forces we as yet fully understand, much less have the capability to direct or control.

The whole Brookside event lasted 5 seconds or so, just enough time for me to think about finding a doorway frame, then was done.

From the office PC I could hear Carol King’s “I Feel The Earth Move.” 

Silly rabbit.


Show 3 footnotes

  1. The El Cajon cops were death on big rigs running surface streets.
  2. It’s true what they say; you never forget your first.
  3. As measured by an old, hand-wind mantelpiece handed down through 4 generations.

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