Thursday, 24 June 2010

Shaken - and stirred

Yep.  There was an earthquake yesterday.  And not a ‘Hmm, I wonder what this is’ earthquake, either.  More of a ‘Holy shit what the eff is happening?!” type of earthquake.

People keep asking: “Did you feel it?”

What do you mean ‘Did I feel it?!’  Of course I friggin felt it!

I was in my office.  On the top floor.  The 21st floor.  At first, I could just hear it.  I thought maybe people were working on the roof.  ‘Cmon guys’, I thought.  ‘It’s the middle of the day.  Cut it out.’

And then it kept going.

And it wasn’t just loud.  It was SHAKING.  Really wobbling.  Literally quaking beneath my feet.

I jumped from my desk and stood in the opening of my cubical (as if the cubical walls could be considered a safe door frame – idiot).  I just stood there, knees slightly bent, staring at my colleagues.  They were just staring back.

“What’s happening?!” I said a couple times, almost shouting.  “What’s going on?!”

They were all just staring back.  They didn’t know either.

Did something explode?  Had something hit the building?  Is it collapsing beneath us?  This can't be an earthquake… we don’t get those here.

Then a nearby co-worker (who was on the phone with someone in another city) confirmed it:  “It’s happening there too” he told us.

I started to kind of panic. What do we do? How are we going to get out? We can’t take the elevator. But it’s 21 stories down. Can we get to the roof? No, bad idea. Should we hide under the desk? Should we wait for an emergency announcement? Or get the eff out of here now? I’m trapped. I'm exposed, and I am trapped.

My phone rang and I knew it was Hubby.  I reached over to my desk and grabbed the receiver.  “I know!” I said as I picked it up.  We were both almost laughing.  I don’t remember the conversation.  The building was still shaking when I hung up.

All this in a matter of 30 seconds.  The shaking subsided (after what seemed like 5 minutes).  It’s amazing how many thoughts you can have in a few seconds when your heart and mind are racing.

“I’m going to puke” I said.  “Or cry. …Or pee my pants”.  Then I giggled.  Surreal.

I started packing up my purse to evacuate, but I wasn’t sure we should.  We did anyway.

My legs shook the whole way down the stairs - adrenalin rush.

We sat on the grass (not really far enough away from the building) and ate strawberries.  Fire trucks were around.  And people were everywhere.  Some had fluorescent vests and megaphones.  Everyone was all hopped up.  Almost giddy.

Eventually people started making their way home.

But everything was fine.  Even politicians were making jokes… “You know, when the Liberals were in power, there were no earthquakes!” “Yeah, we like to shake things up”.

Yeah.  Fair enough.  I guess it was pretty funny in the end.  Who knew that such an event could be so friggin hilarious?  And despite my still-shaky knees, in hindsight, I think the whole thing was a goddam crack-up.  (Except for my calves - my calves are sore from the 21 flights of stairs.) 

Check this out. 

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