Crumbs From the Corner: Adventures in Woolgathering

Friday, January 8, 2010

Time Flies



I experienced my first hint of an earthquake this week. Thinking, at first, that several persons were trying to force their way into the apartment by hammering soundly on the walls, I was briefly irritated, until I questioned why and how they would also be rattling the ceiling. How long it continued, I can hardly say: perhaps five seconds, or it might have been fifteen- but in the off-kilter way that time has of playing tricks on us, it felt like several minutes.
It was rather more distressing for my poor mother: she was on the other end of the telephone on the other side of the world, decidedly one of the more horrifying positions to be in during such an event. I was forced to interrupt the routine morning discussion and advise Mater to hold the line so that I might glance outside and see what was what, and I said I had high suspicions that it was an earthquake.
To Mater, her ear frantically tuned to silence while I investigated, it must have seemed whole hours before my return. I announced that an earthquake had certainly struck, and that a significant crowd was congregating outside, but, I assured her, apart from a few ruffled feathers, nobody seemed to be troubled.
For Mater and I both, our sense of time was askew: seconds were minutes and minutes were hours and the entire happening was, conversely, both extraordinarily quick and supernaturally slow.
Later I examined the apartment, moving from room to room to ensure that nothing had smashed. The kitchen clock, in the shape of a fat black cat, had tumbled, landed on its cat face. I straightened it up, set it to rights again.
Later still I told my cousin that the clock had been one of the few household items to lose balance. Quick as a flash he replied, "ah, yes. Time flies."
Ah, yes. And on other occasions it puffs along like an old, battered locomotive.

4 comments:

Pauline said...

Gosh, I think I'd prefer time to fly during an earthquake! Poor Mater! Glad that everything is ok.

Molly said...

Yours must have been the precursor---daughter reports there's been a 6.5 one near her! No serious damage fortunately. Hope you all stay safe out there!

The Texican said...

Heard about those quakes in CA. I experienced a few small ones while working in L.A. for a few weeks. For your redneck readers, that's Los Angeles not Lower Alabama. Glad it was minor. Send my New Year's greeting to Mater.

TheElementary said...

Pauline, yes, everything is okay- got to keep getting on with everything and trying to be prepared at the same time.

Molly, yes, I was horrified to hear about that one too- read of it first on your comment and then went to read the news.

Texican, Mater passes on her New year's best to you. She told me that on the phone today, and this time no quakes interrupted us.

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