Precita Eyes

Niki Magtoto

I was taking an art class at Precita Eyes and Mom and I had just walked to the car down the block to pack up art I had just made, so I was skipping down the street like any 6 year old might. Monica, my little sister, was KO’d in a ratty old armchair at my grandparents’ antique store (read: junk shop), Flying Machine Antiques on Church Street.  (At 2, Mony was a big snorer then- don’t tell her I said that. Though she might volunteer that info. Either way, she could sleep through anything, that’s how hard of a sleeper she was.)

As we headed back to the studio, Mom noticed the buildings wobbling a little bit, but it didn’t dawn on her what was happening because she was more concerned with everyone running out of Precita Eyes into the park so she figured some crack head (because it was a super cracky park then) or crazy homeless person had come in and created a scene because neither she nor really felt the ground moving. We walked over to the open field and sat there a while with all the other Precita kids and artists and random park people.

Though Mony was asleep, and the chair she was using as a bed was in the very center of the store (right under a support beam, probably the safest spot in the store), she apparently woke up and said to no one in particular, “Whoa, that was a big one!”

The rest of the afternoon and into the evening I remember being fascinated by the idea that if a power line was down we were supposed to jump on a car, and worrying about how Dad would get home from the UPS building.  For the next 6 years I knew I’d be judged by the kind of granola bar in my earthquake kit. Them green Natures Valley bars were highly coveted even tho they are dry as shit.