Tuesday, April 21, 2009

What I fear most in this life in Glendale.

Earthquakes.

I've been through a few of them. The first (terrifying) time, I was at Glendale High School, and I literally saw the Earth wave with waves that you usually see in Water. The earthquake hit, and they brought us all out to the field, the football field. And then, there was another quake. And I saw, we all saw, nature turn on "her" head and the entire field of grass--there's no name for it--wave like as if it were water. Imagine what its like when you dip your finger in a glass of water, and imagine how it would look like as if it were a field of grass. Waves flowing across a football field.

Then the next time it was at Pasadena City College. And this was the--truly--horrifying experience, because it didn't involve nature, but--people: We were in class; I was a stupid Armenian hick in philosophy class, discussing philosophical issues. I think the class was about "Ethics." Yeah, right. Laugh your ass off.

But, then, an earthquake hit. If it were a movie, it would have hit right in the middle of a discussion about Plato's justified lies. Except it wasn't, and it hit right in the middle of an idiot expressing a completely idiotic thought, which is what 99% of what the American university experience is about. In other words, there was no beauty to to it. But, whatever.

Then the ground shook. Not in the way that you would expect it, however. It shook in long, slow waves. Long and slow, like a merciful lover. We all thought that we were going to die. I remember looking at the ring hanging at the end of a string, attached to the the pull-down projection screen, waving back and forth, real slowly. Back... and forth. I remember the look of panic in the teacher's face, and I remember all of us ducking under our desks, as if the gazillion pounds of concrete that would rain down on us would be stopped by by the one-inch thick surface our desks. Ridiculous. I remember looking at my classmates with that cowardly expression of an animal about to die. There was no courage there. There was no character there. It was just middle-class people shitting their pants. That was it. It was a very clear look at who we were, and who we were was scared shitless nobodies. But that's a different story.

I remember us leaving the classroom, and "calmly" exiting the building. And that is the truly horrifying part. People "calmly" exiting the building. Because, truth be told, nobody was "calm." Everybody was terrified. You had to make a choice at that moment about whether you were a frightened animal, willing to step over other animals, or whether you were a human being, trying to be calm. That's a tough choice. I made mine, and I don't want to again.

So, what I fear most in this life in Glendale is an earthquake. Not the mafia.

The mafia, or let's call it by its real name, the akhperutiun, does things for a reason, but an earthquake happens for--no--reason, whatsoever. An "akhper" will antagonize you for a reason, but an earthquake will happen for absolutely no reason. So, in that sense, there is something WAY tougher than the mafia in Glendale: Earthquakes.

Irrational death sentences. What does the akhperutiun have to compare to that?

3 comments:

antifa said...

experienced the 1988 earthquake and its aftershocks ( for about 5 months). I like comparing an earthquake to a sleeping nature which from time to time shows that who is the real master. Humans are just small bugs who have big opinions about themselves. Humans are not even cockroaches. cockroaches can be resilient and charming in comparison to human creatures.
In this same way i tend to think that the global warming is just a bullshit. The nature will just spit humans away and regenerate itself. with all this emissions and so on we are just destroying ourselves. after we are gon in 10-14 years the nature will re-establish itself. Look at the Chernobil after humans destroyed themselves the animals and plants never seen in the area before just appear from nowhere. the same is true with the iron curtain boarder area.
As for the akhperutyun, they can eat your shit. When real time comes they are the first who shit in their pants. Seen that.

bsw-am said...

dzer tner' steghi nman "kordonic" chen? Amusins djainatsats patin ujegh xbec, vor gisherva mekin skripka chsovoren nvagel, pat' ghardvec, mets tsak a lol qich er mnum iranc tun mtner dzerq'...

Armen Filadelfiatsi said...

bsw,

Yeah, where I'm staying at the moment the walls are made out of drywall; you can hear an ant fart on the other side. I've put a few holes in those types of walls, myself. I've victimized doors and chairs, too.

But, anyway, the building probably wouldn't collapse during an earthquake, but the fear is irrational, born out of watching people panic.