|The Northridge Quake|
At 04:31 On 17 January 1994, as I lay asleep in my bedroom in Sherman Oaks, I heard a massive rumble coming from the north. Before I even woke up, I found myself across the room and standing in the doorway. As the room began to shake, inexplicable flashes of bright light, like lightning, cut through the thunderous noise, noise like a New York subway running through my bedroom. In the tumult, I was whipped back and forth in the doorway, smashing against the doorposts, as would be evidenced by the bruises up and down my body that were to emerge over the next several hours. Phone books from the adjacent hall closet pummeled my head as I let out a genetically primitive scream.
When the shaking finally stopped, I was completely disoriented. I knew I had to get back to my bed to retrieve my eyeglasses, but with the electricity out I couldn't see a thing, and had lost all sense of orientation. Feeling around barely helped, because nothing was where it should have been. Books were strewn everywhere, furniture that had been set against the wall was now tumbled down across the floor. On my hands and knees, I managed to feel my way back to my nighttable, and there, mercifully, I succesfully scrounged for my glasses, which were fully intact.
Already, the stench of Chinese vinegar was everywhere, since virtually everything in my kitchen was smashed and strewn about. A jar of pickles that had been in the refrigerator ended up halfway across the front room. I slowly and very carefully stepped over the broken glass, the debris, the fallen furniture, and somehow made it safely to the front door with nary a cut on my feet. to be contunued...)