teeth on edge

August 9, 2007 | 1:49 pm

The Ruins of San Francisco

I love when people I admire have personal blogs open to the public. Sally Cruikshank, one of my fave artist/animators, has one, and I avidly read every detail about her work, her trips, her weird little mundane moments of life in SoCal. I don’t snoop a whole lot in real life, but I shore do love looking through these open doors all over the internet. Hee! Hi there!

It was with a jolt, quite literally, that I read today’s account of her experience with the earthquake that hit the Chatsworth area in the extreme wee hour of this morning.

I suddenly remembered that the same quake woke me up — I actually jangled to awareness in the middle of executing a nimble jeté over my clothes-strewn floor, before bracing myself in my bedroom doorway. It was a pretty faint quake over here but I have an insane hair-trigger response to them.

I remember sitting in a meeting in a hospital in San Francisco about 4 years ago, and a fairly good shake started up. I went into pure animal flight reflex and tried to stand, fully intending to burst out the door and sprint down the halls, hooting in terror, my tail lifted, spraying fear-musk to every corner of Kaiser French Campus. Fortunately, the others in the room, who were between me and the exit, saw the plan in my crazed eyes. One of them kept repeating “down! down! stay down!” I vaguely thought to myself “where’s the dog?” before realizing oh, he means me.

I can pinpoint the exact time as to when earthquakes ceased to be fun: October 17, 1989 at 5:04 pm — not surprisingly, the moment of the Loma Prieta earthquake in Northern California. Many many unfun things happened in those crapular few moments, including many of my possessions and much of my living area breaking and cracking, a close friend getting badly squished, and the subsequent weeks (years? decades?) of freakout! on many personal, civil, and safety levels.

I am quite proud of the instinctual Becky of one o’clock this morning, briskly taking charge and depositing the still-sleeping Becky in a doorway at the first non-normal wiggle of my bed. It could have been worse — my neighbors might have found me naked, baying, crouched next to the pool, spraying all over the new garden fairies the property manager just installed.

Tell me again why I still live in California.

Photo: The Ruins of San Francisco, originally uploaded by farlane. Thanks for letting me use it!

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