On Tuesday, September 13, 2016, at 12:50 a.m., I was literally I AM USING THAT WORD CORRECTLY PAY ATTENTION MILLENNIALS jolted by a 3.5 earthquake. The United States Geographical Survey, which one becomes familiar with when one moves to Northern California, rated it a 3.5. Within seconds, dozens of my neighbors were online. Everyone said it felt stronger than a 3.5.
My address is 37.7584°N, 122.1613°W.
The address of the epicenter was 37.805°N, 122.198°W.
It was fucking STRONG. And it jolted, rather than rolled. It did not feel like the gently rolling earthquake that, for example, rolled you gently in the bed of a six-foot-two bisexual 38-year-old with four degrees (BS, MS, MS, Ph.D.) who slept soundly beside you, his Moroccan rug rolling gently on the floor below you, the entire room swaying with the sounds of WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING HE JUST WANTS TO SLEEP WITH SOMEONE BEFORE HE SEES HIS EX-GIRLFRIEND FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE THEY BROKE UP SIX MONTHS AGO YOU’RE LETTING YOURSELF BE USED BECAUSE HIS ONLINE NAME WAS A CHARACTER FROM A VIRGINIA WOOLF NOVEL.
Here’s the funny thing about this most recent earthquake: I was awake. I am never awake at 12:50 a.m. I’m too fucking tired, too fucking busy, and too fucking old to be awake at 12:50 a.m. But I was. And this is what I was doing: I was sitting on my couch, drinking wine out of a can, and watching Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. Then the earthquake started, and I literally “LITERALLY” MEANS “REALLY” OR “ACTUALLY” THAT’S ALL IT MEANS IT’S HARD TO SCREW UP WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT IT said, “No, no, no, no, no,” grabbed the kittens I was fostering, and willed the jolting to stop/feared for my life.
Across the Bay, NO ONE in San Francisco felt a thing.
This made me think of two things: Even though I lived on the San Andreas fault for 14 years and I’ve lived on the Hayward fault for four years, I do not have an earthquake-preparedness kit. I do have six dollars in cash I won at Golden Gate Fields hidden in a fake book. True story (both that I won it and that it’s the entirety of my earthquake-preparedness kit): On my one and only trip to the horse track, on Dollar Day, I ran into the stadium, paid for parking ($1), bought a program ($1), bought a beer ($1), bet a dollar on a horse because its stable blanket was purple (the color of my undergraduate alma mater–go, Cats!), WON I FUCKING WON, and walked back to my car with $6, all in a half hour. But I don’t have water or canned goods, although I do have three and a half pounds of pasta, 200 glass jars, and a corkboard I recently made from 300 corks from 300 bottles of wine I’ve drunk over the past two years. (Think I’m joking? I am not. Is that lacquered? Yes, it is.)
Also, it reminded me of another earthquake. Back in early 2000-something, I was an editor at a commercial lesbian magazine that will remain nameless because the editor/owner was a FUCKING COO-COO BIRD. She also owned a historic lesbian porn magazine, and we shared the same small office. I occasionally reviewed sex toys for the lesbian porn magazine, and the office was FILLED with bondage mags and dirty, nasty, filthy videos. And one of those dirty, nasty, filthy videos had been sitting on an editor’s desk for weeks, and although I was BURNING UP INSIDE to look at the dirty, nasty, filthy pictures on it, I hadn’t built up the cajones.
One day, I was in the office alone. It must have been on a weekend. It was just me and the boxtop. I walked around the entire office, doing editor-type things, avoiding the boxtop. I did this for an hour. Then, logic crept in: I’m alone in the office! No one will know! Nobody cares! It’s just a dirty, nasty, filthy boxtop. I’ll wander over, hang out for a second, and pick up the boxtop and look at the
EARTHQUAKE SO STRONG THE VENETIAN BLINDS ON THE DOOR ACROSS THE ROOM WHAP-WHAP-WHAPPED AGAINST THE GLASS GOD IS WATCHING US GOD IS WATCHING US GOD IS WATCHING US FROM A DISTANCE
The thing about earthquakes is they’re not in our control. They’re not in our control to avoid, either, unless one decides not to live directly on top of the Hayward fault (and why would one do that?). So many things, in fact, are not in our control. And the things that are currently jolting you are not jolting everyone else. So most days, possums, you just have to roll with it.
(Oh, you didn’t come here for some cryptic life advice? Feck off. Make these tacos.)
- 1-2 corn tortillas
- 2 TB butter, olive oil, or coconut oil
- 1 zucchini, chopped
- 1/2 small onion, chopped
- 1 mostly mushy yellow heirloom tomato
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 avocado, chopped
- Bit of cotija cheese
- 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
You need to:
- Put 1 TB of butter, olive oil, or coconut oil in a pan and sauté the onion and zucchini.
- Cut the mushy part off the tomato and throw the rest into the pan with the onion and zucchini.
- Put 1 TB of butter, olive oil, or coconut oil in a separate pan because what else do you have to do besides wash dishes. Crack the eggs and scramble them. Or fry them. Who cares.
- Heat up a cast-iron skillet (pan No. 3) and heat up tortillas.
- Layer eggs, zucchini, onion, and tomato on tortillas on a plate and top with avocado and cilantro. Just slice the cotija cheese. Don’t crumble it. In the end, it doesn’t matter.