Monday, May 18, 2009
I Really Need to Learn How to Indentify an Earthquake
Yesterday evening I was in Long Beach, with my friend Alexis and a new acquaintance whose name I've already forgotten.
We were leaving a bar, and heading towards my car, because it was time for me to head back to Los Angeles. We were walking on a sidewalk on Broadway, a main street of Long Beach, and yet a very quiet one, once the sun sets.
As we were walking, I saw a beauty salon, and admired its name, "Flaunt Salon". I thought that was a great name for a beauty salon; I liked it. Just then, the locked double doors of the closed salon started rattling. Then they started to shake. They were glass doors, so the shaking made a lot of noise. We stopped in our tracks just as were were in front of the doors.
It's amazing how many thoughts can pass through your head in just a few seconds.
At first, I thought the doors were shaking due to the wind, but there was no wind. The air was perfectly still. So then I thought that it was a poltergeist, even though I don't believe in ghosts.
I said, "Is that a poltergeist?!? Look!" and pointed at the glass doors.
Alexis said, "It's an earthquake. We having an earthquake!"
I focused on my feet, trying to discern if I could feel any trembling or shaking or rolling beneath them, but I couldn't. The concrete sidewalk seemed solidly still to me.
The three of us just stood there, watching the glass double doors of the salon until they stopped shaking.
"It's over" Alexis said, and I noticed that the three of us had big smiles on our faces... not smiles of nervousness, but smiles of excitement.
We started chatting about it... "Did you feel it?" "I didn't feel anything." "I felt a little." "Did you see the way the doors were shaking?" etc.
"I thought it was a ghost", I said, "what a relief that it was just a quake."
After walking another block, we saw a woman on the sidewalk who was holding a little girl in her arms. The little girl was wearing pink pajamas and had her blond hair tied back in a pony tail. She was resting her head on the woman's shoulder. She looked upset.
We asked the woman if they were on the sidewalk because of the quake. She said that inside her house, the quake felt very strong, that the house was shaking and things were rattling on their shelves. She had taken her little daughter outside because she was afraid to be in the house now.
"Awww, it's okay, nothing happened," we told the child soothingly, " it's all over now. You're gonna be just fine."
And we kept walking. I thought to myself how mean it would have been had I told the little girl, "Awww, don't worry. Your house wasn't shaking because of an earthquake. It was just a ghost. An angry ghost. Your house is just haunted, that's all."
As we crossed the next block, we saw a man out on the sidewalk, and he told us the same thing, that inside the house, it felt very strong.
I said to him, "Not outside. I didn't feel it at all. If it hadn't been for the doors of that Flaunt salon shaking, I wouldn't have even known it had happened."
This isn't the first time that I haven't been able to identify and earthquake.
Last July, I was in Santa Monica, at Ocean Park Casting, auditioning for a Chrysler commercial. I had lost my bar code, and had to go to the computer to print me another one. The computers are in a corner in which the walls aren't walls but windows... floor-to-ceiling windows.
So I'm sitting at the computer, and the windows next to me start shaking, and the floor was swaying. It took a few seconds for me to even realize that something unusual was happening. I asked the guy at the computer next to me why the windows were shaking, and he said, "Because it's an earthquake!" and just then, everybody started coming out of all the casting studios en-masse. We all stood around doing nothing, with bizarre smiles on our faces, just waiting for it to stop, which it did, shortly thereafter.
Well, that was my first earthquake ever, my very first. So perhaps I had an excuse not to know that it was a quake.
But what was my excuse last night? I am not a superstitious person. I do not believe in ghosts, or phantoms, or angels, or demons, or poltergeists, or haunted houses... much less haunted beauty salons.
Yet last night, when I saw those glass doors shaking, even after having seen the casting center's windows shaking during last summer's quake, what did I think?
Who am I? Carol Ann?
I have lived in Southern California for 3 & 1/2 years now. I really need to learn how to identify an earthquake.