aqua fortis

Monday, March 21, 2005

Duck and Cover

I'm taking a break from revising an article I'm planning to pitch (again) to Poets & Writers. So I'm folding laundry and half watching a truly god-awful movie called 10.5 that's being replayed on USA. It's about California suffering a series of horrendous earthquakes that destroy the coast. The movie is about five hours long, I think, and I happened to catch the part where a 9.2 quake hits San Francisco and causes the Golden Gate Bridge to crash into the Bay, proving the plucky scientist lady right and the disbelieving politico wrong.

Anyway, it reminded me of all the times I've been caught in traffic on either the Golden Gate or, more usually, the Bay Bridge, and had to resolutely NOT think about earthquakes, or even natural disasters of a less drastic nature such as slippery sleet or sudden gale-force winds. I did this on a regular basis each business day for about two years; three if you count the year I was going to SFAI. That year, though, I spent a lot of time on Bart and the bus, which present a whole new set of earthquake-related fears. Actually, one time there was a huge power outage in the Bay Area and my Bart train had just gotten into the Montgomery station--the second stop in SF--when the system came to a grinding halt. Boy was I glad I didn't stop UNDER the bay. As it was, there were no buses to be seen by the time I got out, so I hoofed it from Montgomery to the Art Institute in order to make my appointment with my Graduate Tutorial advisor. That wasn't a good day.