This week, I was awakened by an earthquake. Having experienced plenty of them before on my rock, I simply braced myself and started taking the steps I have in place for such occasions. Though this one only lasted 8 seconds, so by the time I had put my flip flops on, it was over.
Not wanting to be unprepared in the event of a second, larger quake, I continued with my safety plans. I went out onto the street, expecting to exchange stories of the experience with my neighbors, but no one came out. Was I missing something? Where was everyone? I didn’t want to wake them up (my roommate was away that night), but I needed to confirm what had just happened… it was an earthquake, right? I resorted to social media for my confirmation: a 4.9 on the Richter scale.
Luckily, nothing further happened. There was no damage, no smaller aftershocks that day, and yet, I felt a little on edge. Even the spin cycle on the washer made me jump. Our house it built on stilts, so things tend to shake a lot – not the best scenario for a woman with mild post-quake anxiety…
A few days passed and my roommate returned. Come Saturday night, she was headed out to party. I, on the other hand, visited with the neighbors until 9 pm, then tucked myself into bed to enjoy an episode or two of the latest Netflix series that I’ve been watching. This seemed like a perfect Saturday night to me (a women of a certain age), happily dozing off thinking of the episode I had just watched.
Around 3 am, I roused for my mid-sleep trip to the toilet. I checked the clock and reveled in the fact that the time I guessed was only 10 minutes from the actual time. Small victories.
I got back into bed only to hear my roomie return home. (My room is on the lower level, hers is on the upper. This information might be helpful to you later.) I could hear her talking but I couldn’t hear anyone respond, so I just assumed she was on the phone.
I rolled over and fell back asleep. Suddenly, I felt some shaking. With earthquakes still fresh in my mind, I jumped up and paused in the dark, trying to identify the feeling. It was hard to put my finger on this one. It seemed rhythmic… Perhaps the spin cycle on the washer again? Not very considerate of her to do laundry in the middle of the night. I’m going to have to talk to her about that…
Shaking my head, I laid down and tried to go back to sleep. A few more similar tremors followed, thumps I assumed to be the subsequent cycles of the wash. Then came the big one.
Oh crap! This is it! I was wrong!
I was on my feet again in a flash. It couldn’t be the washer. The shaking was now much more intense. I grabbed the gown I had slung over my headboard and ran out the door in full earthquake mode. On my way out, I paused when I heard a woman’s voice, what sounded like a scream. I turned, ready to come to my roomie’s rescue but paused again when the scream became more of a moan – a man’s moan. “Ohh yes, yes,yes…”
And that’s when I finally put the shakes together – and just about buckled over in *silent* laughter.
No, it wasn’t an earthquake after all. Just my roommate and her new boyfriend rattling our little stilt house together. Rhythmically, of course.