Saturday, April 19, 2008


Enough about the earthquake already. Okay, fine. The earthquake, it woke me up. 4am something. I was having a bad dream and I thought the bed shaking was just -- I don't know -- my heart? I got out of bed to feel the floor but it had stopped. Then I thought my bed was broken. Then I went back to sleep in my now non-moving bed. It didn't occur to me it was an earthquake until I read it in the news. Drrrr.

My IKEA bookcase didn't fall down. It survived an earthquake. I can't believe it. To crib a line from Joe Versus The Volcano: Wherever I go, whatever I do, I'm gonna take this bookcase with me!

Big news in the Midwest. Threw that "wild cougar roaming Chicago" B.S. right off the front pages. The misplaced West Coasters today were all, I've blasted farts shook the place worse than that 'earthquake.'

Cougar. Earthquake. What's next? Bring it, nature!

What seems dangerous often is not--black snakes, for example, or clear-air turbulence. While things that just lie there, like the beach, are loaded with jeopardy. A yellow dust rising from the ground, the heat that ripens melons overnight--this is earthquake weather. You can sit here braiding the fringe on your towel and the sand will all of a sudden suck down like an hourglass. The air roars. In the cheap apartments on-shore, bathtubs fill themselves and gardens roll up and over like green waves. If nothing happens, the dust will drift and the heat deepen till fear turns to desire. Nerves like that are only bought off by catastrophe.

-Amy Hempel, from In The Cemetery Where Al Jolson Is Buried