Friday, November 12, 2004

"I feel the earth move under my feet..."

And it's pissing me off!

Okay, I live in a dump. The town is cute, but I live in the worst part of it for cheap rent in a 400-500 sq ft. one-bedroom apartment. (Well, I do have great non-nosy landlords who let me be and have never raised my what-was-once-a-deal-rent is now IMPOSSIBLY cheap rent so much so that I never want to give it up -- it's cheaper than a storage space!)

However, I also live about 100 ft from the Golden State Freeway and they recently tore down these beautiful eucalpytus trees to put up -- a sound wall? A SOUND WALL? Who are they kidding? Like 8 feet of brick is really gonna keep the racket from the freeway out -- ARGH! They cut these poor trees down slowly... they opened them up and I was shocked to see that the threes were still pink inside... you know, the trunks was had NEW GROWTH... it was so god-awful sad, it still makes me ILL to think about it. One day there, one day not.

But that was six months ago and they're now building this sound wall. It just happens that today I actually have been up at 7:30 am the right way -- which means I went to bed last night and GOT UP instead of falling asleep at that time, my "normal" routine. I have never been awake when they're working... and AAARGH, it's happening again! Right this second!

Every 10 minutes or so all the big, hairy machines are working and makes my whole apartment shake -- a mean-ass shakin', not a sweet polite little "quiver." And if you live in southern California, the first two seconds you're go, "Uh... is that...?" and most of the time you're relieved it's just an 18-wheeler driving by or an asshole with a (insert big loud thunderous car).

But hey, I was around for that Northridge earthquake when freeways were falling in on themselves and that was f*cking SCARY. At 4:30 am you don't have your wits about you... well, I didn't, I was sound asleep and thought Tyler (my sheltie) was bouncing around on the bed. For a half a second. Then I shot up and begged:

"Please God, FORGIVE ME!"

Because it was The End of the World. Seriously. I thought that was it. The End. And all of a sudden I was a three-year old Catholic again. (Although I don't think I had much to confess when I was three.)

Thirty seconds of incredible shaking (like you're on a roller coaster or a plane dropping but you don't know where the f*ck the bottom is) and an hour of mini-after shocks... well, after that, you just have this "earthquake sense" about you and you start looking for door jambs or getaway places (indoor or out) where shit won't fall on your head or shatter in your face.

[One time when the big one hit in San Francisco (during the World Series I think), I was working on the 42nd floor of the Century Park West double towers that are shaped like a triangle and are supposedly on wheels to absorb the shock -- it waas so strong we actually thought the epicenter was in Los Angeles and in our office we had already gotten under our desks! YIKES!]

And yet I stay. If it's not earthquakes, it's something else, right? At least I know it's about quaking and shaking, not the earth swallowing me up as I thought when I was a kid (and I've had enough earthquake training classes around here to know I'll never live at the beach where you might as well be living on quicksand.)

Earthquakes I can live through. But construction work -- I might have to take my Uzzi for a walk.