Sunday, August 14, 2011
Each time I sit down in my apartment, in any chair, I sit waiting to feel movement. And when I do feel a rumble under my rump, I jump up, scared shitless, and then hurry to my nearest internet device to check on the location of the epicenter, the magnitude of the quake, and how severe my location felt it.
Before March 11th, earthquakes were kind of cool. They were little jolts that reminded me that I lived in Japan. They were small, insignificant and almost fun. But now, things have changed. Obviously! Now, with each small quake, my mind immediately rushes to the events that occurred on March 11th. I remember the terror I felt as Jude and I sat under our dining room table, listening to the walls around us shake, watching as pictures fell and as our building swayed and jolted. I remember the fear in my son's eyes as he cried hysterically, asking me if we were going to die. I remember our mad dash down 5 stories, holding on to the railings, trying not to get separated as others in our building fled, wondering if our building was going to collapse around us. All of that flashes through my mind when I feel the slightest movement under me.
I know for some people around me, the March 11 earthquake was a non-event--a short shaking sensation they felt before they quickly darted out of their homes or office buildings. But for Jude and I and countless others who were in high rise buildings at the time, we had a completely different experience. Completely different!
My Japanese friends tell me that I'll eventually get used to the shaking. They keep assuring me that it will become a normal part of life in Tokyo, Japan. Maybe for them this is normal, but for a midget, Mexican momma from Texas, this will never be normal! Never!