I was standing on my porch watching a large bug trapped in our swimming pool. It was a few minutes past midnight. I was watching how every so often it would flutter and then remain still.
I gripped the railing of the small balcony and was looking at the bug flap flap flapping its wings and thinking about how the pool man would find it there in the morning and how maybe I should save it, when suddenly the whole apartment complex shook. An earthquake. A minor one. But I remember the last time this happened and how I thought it wasn’t really happening, and because here again I was smoking a joint and then out of the depths of the earth comes this shudder.
I could feel it in my fillings. A yawning backwards. But never more than once. When it’s more than once, then you get worried.
Still, my fate was better than that of the poor doves who roost in the tree that shades our pool and courtyard. I remember now, reading something about how birds get all crufted up during earthquakes. Maybe they were sleeping? And it’s like waking up to a black bag on your head. Because all was quiet, besides the bug, and then just as the shock hit the two birds flew straight out of the tree like barfly’s scattered from their watering holes at closing time, veering and careening, their occipital lobes scattered in an electric seizure. I just hung there watching, as he/she (I’m guessing it was the guy) flew straight into the side of the apartment building, before falling to the ground with a fat thud, while his partner hovered a moment before taking off into the skies. her too bumping the side of the building on her way out. The flapping of his wings came a few seconds later.
The pool is quiet again. Okay, good night world. Don’t fall apart.
b.t.b | 09.05.2010