©2018 Meg Bashwiner
There was an earthquake my first night here. I woke up and felt the world shaking, but then it stopped and I fell right back to sleep. I had forgotten it happened until someone said “Hey a couple nights ago there was that earthquake.” and I remembered, I remembered that it wasn’t just a dream, it was real, it wasn’t just a tremor in the misty jet lagged fueled weird sleep of hemisphere hopping.
People in LA are dismissive of earthquakes, they are all just like “Oh yeah, I don’t even notice them anymore. haha. Have you been to the Museum of Jurassic Technology yet? Let’s get tacos and talk about my spec script. haha.” but I know they do notice the earthquakes, they must. It has to be something they are just saying. It just has to be. The world shaking cannot just be commonplace. My husband tells me there were 44 earthquakes in the past week in LA.
17 Children and faculty were murdered in their school last week. People from the US just say “Yeah, I don’t even notice mass shootings anymore. haha. Have you seen Trump’s twitter? Let’s eat processed corn and talk about Kylie Jenner. haha.” But that’s just something people are saying these days. It has to be. They are just trying to sound cool, to sound tough, to sound like those LA people. The world shaking cannot just be commonplace. There were 346 mass shootings in the past year in the US.
They say go to a place where nothing can fall on you. They say hide under something heavy. They say run for your life.
They say lock the door. They say turn off the lights and be quiet. They say run for your life.
Everyone’s paintings and picture frames are always a little crooked in LA. The shifting ground is moving your art and your memories around and there is nothing you can do to keep them steady.
Everyone’s heart is a little crooked in the US. The shifting blah blah blahs of politics and social division move our feelings and actions around and there is something we can do to keep them steady. We just don’t know how.
Or we do know how we just don’t believe that we can actually do it. The kids believe. They believe we are lazy/jaded/ignorant/chasing our own tail. And they are right. The survivors from that school have organized they are saying enough is enough. And they are right. Enough is already too much. Is it possible that this time it’s different? That we all felt it and we all will say out loud that we felt it and that we are scared and we have been scared every time. Scared that the ground won’t stop shaking and we won’t stop shaking and our country won’t stop shaking.
There was another earthquake the other day. I was standing in the kitchen and my husband said “Hey is the washer on?” I said no. He said “The floor is moving.” I didn’t even notice.