After the Quake (When is That Exactly Anyway?)

I really couldn’t stand the earthquake dizziness anymore, so yesterday I went to spend the evening at my parent’s, where they’re not having an aftershock every ten minutes, or they’re having it but at a distance so my inner ear cannot perceive it. It worked, I came back feeling ok. After nine hours of solid sleep I woke up dizzy again, and in a very unreal atmosphere of complete silence. No one was mowing the lawn, no one was vacuuming the garage, no one was cutting down anything, sawing anything, drilling anything. The birds were so surprised by the lack of usual noisy destruction, that they were silent for a while, then they started chirping quietly, maybe because they could be heard without shouting for once.

I opened the windows to discover that everybody was gone. The doors and windows were closed, there were no cars parked in the street. I guess everybody’s gone to visit parents and friends somewhere, or maybe to the seaside, where nothing’s wrong.

I took the bike, cycled the deserted track along the creek, in the damp hair and sun, and went to the animal shelter to bring some food and things. There I found a lot of people, working so hard the shelter was spotless clean, smelling of soap. The cats and dogs seemed relaxed, basking in the sun. Then I went to the local vintage shop and had a chat with the owner, she believes in a conspiracy theory about the earthquake being caused by fracking to worsen the economic crisis and allow the government to impose new taxes and destroy civil rights and especially labor rights. She decided to keep the shop open despite being Republic Day, as a protest. Logan bought a cool pair of vintage Levis.

Tonight a couple of friends are coming over. They live where the epicentre is. Their house is ok but they’re sleeping in their own tent in their own garden, just in case. They want too keep an eye on the house to prevent robbery, take care of their cats, and also they don’t want to be sent to a  Civil Protection rescue camp, in any case. We’ll have a pizza and play with Rafael the cat, which should cheer them up hopefully.

Now. I refuse to panic. I own an excellent Ferrino tent and lots of camping equipment. Once we camped in the Canadian back country for two weeks. With black bears you know. I can ride a horse, skate on a frozen lake, land a nice toe-loop, play pool, play chess, watch Arte in German (I don’t advise watching Warum Stranden Wale when you’re already in some kind of distress), I’m a decent swimmer and once I tried paragliding in the Alps. You’re not going to see me panic. In between aftershocks I’m reading the Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay. Absolutely loving it. I’m watching Fresh Hell, Brent Spiner’s sit-trag which I had neglected so far, but then I listened to this hilarious podcast and felt so guilty, like I promised Brent Spiner something long ago, maybe already during the first season of TNG, and was not keeping my promise. I’m listening to the original Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Secondary Phase. To Neil Young’s new album. I’m listening to Cabin Pressure, my new cumberobsession. You really need to know Cabin Pressure is a great radio series. Excellent writing. Maybe I like it so much because my father used to be a pilot so I spent a lot of time in small flight decks at local airfields as a kid. Maybe it’s because it’s some sort of sit-trag as well. Martin Crieff may live in the attic of a shared house where he’s the only grown up and all the others are students of the agricultural college, but he surely sleeps under a nice roof window overlooking the starry starry night sky (or at least that’s what fanart is suggesting), while I work in an office with no windows except for a skylight with matt glasses so all that comes through is a vague halo of doom.

Anyway. In Paris Nadal is playing next.

V's new iPod Nano (I accidentally electrocuted her old one)

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