6:25 a.m., L.A. time, St. Patty's day morning and our bed was shaking like a scene from The Exorcist!
Suddenly it's like I'm the Jewish Linda Blair!
(You're not old enough to remember The Exorcist? Google it, will ya!)
Woowee, fun in L.A. near the epicenter of an earthquake!
What could I do but hold hands with my GF and hope the hotel was made of sturdy stuff?
After things calmed down, I called the operator.
"Was that an earthquake?"
Operator -- sounding bored, "Yes m'am."
"Is the hotel okay?"
"Well, um, thanks!"
"Will there be anything else m'am?"
It was like I was calling down to ask for a tube of toothpaste.
I guess every city has their stuff.
In N.Y.C. we survived taking in about 15 feet of water in my building during hurricane Sandy. A little bed shaking didn't seem like much after that, but when you're on the 16th floor, you do feel a tad vulnerable!
"That's why firefighters never stay higher then the fourth floor," came the text from my L.A. gal pal, Mel. Yes, Mel, but the view, the view!
I tried to go back to sleep after the shaking stopped, but couldn't help tormenting myself by thinking of the seemingly impossible, but suddenly possible, moments I have experienced.
Watching the east river flow over Avenue C and down my block Sandy style is permanently etched in my mental filing cabinet. Watching the towers of the World Trade Center implode fills most of the rest of my inner filing cabinet's capacity, especially in the files marked T for terror, but also H for hope.
It's all okay today!
The hotel staff is already laughing it off.
Tourists around the breakfast table were busily Facebooking their three second ordeal. But it got me thinking about how fragile our lives really are.
Sometimes I feel like a powerful creature, walking around with loads of attitude, nothing can slow me down. I got a chip like a boulder on my shoulder. Yeah, man! I lived in Crown Heights in 1981! Forgetabouit!
But then Mama nature comes calling. Or maybe it's an accident or a crime. In a fleeting second, everything we hold dear can be taken from us. Even our "us" can be taken from us.
In this early morning earthquake, I began to think about all the friends I have lost touch with. I thought of all the people in my life who need my help and all the places I have never been. My partner is dying to go to Italy the country of her ancestry and we keep putting it off for a rainy day. We had like six snowstorms in this endless winter of N.Y.C.! Doesn't that count as rain? You know frozen rain?
And okay, I was also thinking this morning that I hope I have time to brush my teeth, fix my hair and use the bathroom before we evacuate.
Okay, okay! I am not a Jewish Mother Theresa! What can I say! But work in progress, work in progress...
Anyway dears, here's to not postponing life for a rainy day! Even if the rain is snow.