Thursday, September 16, 2004


I usually experience odd bits of "sleep-activity" (not just sleepwalking, but also sleep-trashing-the-snake-in-the-bed, sleep-piling-up-the-pillows-against-floodwaters, and other things my long-suffering wife will tell you).

Which is why, when I woke up being shaken around in the wee hours of the morning, I was convinced that I had dreamed up an earthquake.

It lasted quite a bit, because I remember keeping myself as still as possible and I felt like I was in a boat at sea.

Then I began to get angry. I hate the thought of earthquakes because basically there is nothing you can do especially at the 36th floor of a building in your underwear before the dawn. You can run away from fires or attempt to hose it down. You can evacuate from the path of a hurricane. You can be intelligent and not run around in the open during a lightning storm.

But there is practically nothing you can do against an earthquake. Next to nothing, preventive-wise (even if you have an oriental earthquake predictor device in the shape of a dragon with a pearl in its mouth). Next to nothing when it happens.

It is the sense of utter helplessness that I abominate (if you want to crush me, just place me in a situation where fierce intelligence and self-determination are worthless).

I remember feeling angry and frightened, then resigned. I thought about my wife, my daughter and all the things I haven't done. Then I remembered that I'm paid up, insurance-wise. Then I realized I didn't know if I had an earthquake rider. Then I got angrier. Grrr.

By the time I got back to sleep, the temblor was done but I was still angry, and ended up dreaming in violent red, black and white.


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