Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Oddly, what first occurred to me when the room shook and blurred and I heard a grinding metal noise that wrenched my guts, was that it was akin to the first time Baby moved in my belly. While it was happening to me, I had no control. Unlike indigestion, which is irritating but clearly belongs there because of the fried chicken or whatnot. I felt I was being tossed and rolled by something alien. Which I suppose I was.

Having finished (at least as much as I can for now, which is a boring story) the article I've been laboring over for the last week, I was sitting there happily kicking papers and shoes around the floor and  listening to Clannad's first album, which someone had uploaded for downloading -- it's not available on Itunes, which starts at Clannad 2 and is impossible to find in music stores. (Music stores? What are those?).

Clannad plays/sings haunting weird Irish stuff, which I might remind ya'll that I am not, despite the name.  There was a particular song that I recalled from this album, Nil Se Ina La. A lovely thing. You can find other, not so wonderful, versions on youtube. And then the room moved.

I flew down the stairs and out the front door, thankful for once that the The Prince has again neglected to lock it when he left this morning, leaving me vulnerable to thievery and rape and so forth. A flash of the birds swinging in their cage off the office fIew in and out of my head. They have better equilibrium than I, I decided.

The neighbors were out as fast as I was, congregating, for some reason, in front of our house. Was it a bomb? A gas line exploding? We're all easterner's here. An earthquake? In Washington, DC? Even the frequently nasty, crumbled old lady from across the street who's been a crumbled old  lady, and frequently nasty, for as long as we've lived here shuffled her way into the little crowd. "I've never felt anything like it," she toothlessly mumbled.  Pat turned on the radio in her VW, since none of us wanted to go back inside.

It's such an extraordinarily beautiful day too. Scarcely 80 degrees, I'd say, and blue skied with cotton candy cloud puffs overhead. The kind of weather called, rightly, sparkling.

After a while I snuck back into the house, grabbed my bag, and headed out to Eastern Market as much for scuttlebutt as for dinner. At Market Poultry, young Mel said the ceiling had been swaying, "But it wasn't the big one today," he told me, then added something I didn't listen to about air pressure and doors swelling shut and being stuck there for days maybe. "I figure we'd have plenty to eat for a long while," he said, wrapping up the chicken legs.

When I got home I checked my email. Susan sent the left coast's sensitive response to our Big Event:

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