Was That The Earth Moving Or A Big Truck?

Last Saturday evening, I started signing up for my free month of Netflix (yeah, yeah, that’s pathetic, go ahead, make fun of me) when I lost cable internet and tv service for what would be twelve hours. I noted it was a sign of the times that I was pretty nervous – what if something terrible had happened, like a bomb or a nuclear meltdown or whatever it is that disrupts cable service, and how would I know about it, being informationally stranded? I understand cable phone was out, too, but luckily I haven’t bought into the whole “bundling” idea so I called someone and was reassured nothing major was afoot; I spent a pleasant evening reading and note-taking for later blog posts (leaving research for later) and in the morning all was back to normal.

Last night I finally (four days later) got around to finishing my signup and actually watching something on Netflix (no, I won’t say what – there’s a limit to how pathetic I’ll publicly prove myself to be) when something odd happened. I had my headphones on, so I wasn’t clear exactly what it was: it felt like someone stomping on the floor behind me, hard enough to shake my chair and rumble the hardwood. My cat doesn’t weigh enough to cause that kind of vibration, and I was the only one in the apartment, so I turned around, startled, to check for… I’m not sure what. Nothing was there, of course. Angela and Rayanne re-demanded my attention (ok, maybe I will humiliate myself, but only for those lame enough to get the reference) so I chalked it up to the new neighbor next door moving furniture, or the guy sharing custody of his four-year-old upstairs letting the little kid run through the place again, and went back to high school.

I ignored an earthquake.

Ok, so it wasn’t much of an earthquake. It was, as they say, “light.” 4.0, no damage, no injuries (though one store was checking lightbulbs because here in Maine you can’t tell if a lightbulb has broken unless you listen to it carefully). But one that most people feel, especially indoors. It was centered 40 miles to my west, and was felt all over New England and upstate New York, presumably into Canada, because on the East Coast, earthquakes travel like that, seeing as our crust is “older, colder, and denser” than the tectonically-active West Coast. Wouldn’t you know.

I want a do-over. Because I kind of missed it. I realized what it was 45 minutes later when I moved from computer to TV and saw a news crawl while watching debate prep on MSNBC. And I nearly missed that, too, since I don’t read those news crawls any more, but the words “Maine earthquake” jumped out at me.

That’s me. I had to see on TV that I’d been in an earthquake.

Today someone asked me if my cat was acting funny beforehand, since animals are supposed to sense impending earthquakes. My cat can’t sense her food dish sometimes, so I doubt it, but who knows. All I know is she wasn’t running around screaming or clawing at me. Sorry, Lucy.

Hey, come on, I live a block away from what passes for Downtown Portland, and my living room window overlooks a parking lot. Sometimes it’s noisy. Sometimes 747s headed for the Jetport fly low overhead. Twice a week, when the street-cleaning trucks or snowplows go by around midnight, it always reminds me of that scene in The Killing Fields where the Khmer Rouge tanks drove through the city. So a little rumbling, what’s the big deal.

I missed an earthquake. There’s something sad about that.

And I’m wondering if Netflix is cursed. I’ll give it one more try, probably tonight. So be ready, Northern New England. Who knows what will happen this time.

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2 responses to “Was That The Earth Moving Or A Big Truck?

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