I'm sure everyone is aware by now of the earthquake we experienced here in the Pacific Northwest. Although the epicentre was just outside of Olympia, WA, we were able to feel it all the way up here in Vancouver.
Some of us were, anyway. There were people on the ground who weren't even aware of it. But my apartment is on the third floor, so when it hit just before 11 A.M., it felt as if a huge pair of hands had grabbed the entire building and was gently shaking it back and forth.
I was watching TV at the time (it was a day off for me), and when I felt the movement it only took me a couple of seconds to realize what was happening. Vancouver has been through some minor quakes in my lifetime, but I couldn't recall any of them being as strong as this one.
I held my breath, wondering if it was going to get any worse, afraid that maybe this was "The Big One" that we've all been told to expect some day. The leaves on my lone houseplant swayed perceptibly for about twenty seconds, and the shaking came to a halt.
"Did you feel that?!" I shouted to no one in particular.
It wasn't proper for me to feel what I felt. Minutes later, all the Seattle-based TV stations and CNN were covering the quake, and I could see that it was much more violent and caused far more damage in Seattle than what we felt in Vancouver. Cameras that happened to be rolling at the time it hit showed scenes of ceiling tiles falling, and people running and diving under furniture. The glass windows of the control tower at Sea-Tac airport had shattered. Although people seemed to handle it remarkably well, there were some genuinely frightening moments.
And I felt a strange sense of...exhilaration.
I'm not an Adrenalin junkie by any means. I know we were lucky this time. Had the epicentre been located closer to the earth's surface, there would have been far more damage, and more casualties. I should have felt relief. I did, but I also felt as if I'd just gotten off a ride at an amusement park.
I was in a strange mood all day after that. I can't really describe it. Strange things were happening all around me, too. When I went out a few hours later, I found that the Oak Street bus lines had lost power, leaving passengers stranded. I took another route instead, and when I got off the bus to transfer to another one, a car making a left turn into a gas station collided with an oncoming vehicle, about five metres in front of me. And I didn't even see it coming.
I donated blood in the evening. I'd been planning to do it before any of this happened, but for some reason it now seemed all the more important that I make the trip to the clinic.
I'm not sure what any of this means. I'm skeptical of anything having a significance greater than what is immediately apparent. The earthquake, the buses breaking down, the car accident. They were all ramdom occurrences, having nothing to do with each other. But I can't deny that I feel different somehow. I feel more...alive. What I do know is that I want the feeling to last beyond this strange day.
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