Old news, I know, but I couldn’t resist sharing what some of my friends had to say about the recent earthquake hitting Indiana. Last Friday, I woke up shaking. I can do a pretty good imitation of it, if you’re interested in seeing me re-enact it. My husband thinks I look more like I’m being electrocuted, as if the hairdryer has fallen into my bubble bath. He’s just jealous.
It was the weirdest sensation to be awoken with the shakes. But when I heard the windows rattling, I knew it was an earthquake. It felt just like the earthquake I experienced in San Francisco years ago while laying in a hotel bed.
My husband was already at work so I called him to get his take. He, too, figured it was an earthquake. No exciting stories from us. But when I got to the boys’ school, I heard some good ones.
One friend said, “First I thought it was a bear under our bed.”
“Yes,” I replied. “…because bears are so prevalent here in Indiana, especially inside your bedroom.”
She laughed and told me she was in that weird dreamy state which made it a little more understandable. But then she added: “My second thought was that the meteor they keep talking about on the news had finally hit Kokomo… and I just worried about all those poor people obliterated.”
She wins the prize! No one else had stories quite as elaborate or, uh, creative. The others were pretty predictable. Someone told me they thought there was a bulldozer nearby (at 5:40 am). I suppose that’s a little more interesting than a semi.
Another person thought it was the tall tree in their yard, finally falling on the roof (as if she is just waiting for the day it will happen). One of my more thoughtful friends ran into her kids’ room to make sure nothing on their shelves would fall onto their heads. Seriously, she must be Flash Lightening in disguise because the thing didn’t really last that long.
As I listened to these stories and first impressions of our Indiana earthquake, it occurred to me that we have no frame of reference for earthquakes. We’re full of trite answers for the sound a tornado makes. Or the way our animals act before a thunderstorm. But when it’s an earthquake, we have no idea what is happening as we shake, rattle and roll.
It is this element of surprise that makes our imaginations churn up some of the most interesting tales. If you have a good one, I’d love to hear what you thought was under YOUR bed.