Terrors of Pleasure

Hana B.

I was a junior in high school in San Mateo, and on the Aragon High School swim team. Because of this, I ate four square meals per day. So around 4:45pm, I heated up a large slice of lasagna (which was not yet my dinner) in our first-ever microwave oven, popped in a tape of Spalding Gray’s Terrors of Pleasure in our Betamax, pulled the wired remote control across the dining table and sat down to my snack. My dog (a black lab) wandered around hoping for scraps.

At 5:04 pm I heard, and then felt, a strong rumbling with some vertical jerks, by far the strongest earthquake I had ever felt in my 16 years. I quickly ducked under our hefty table, grabbed the dog and sat him next to me, and remembering that my mother said that a falling TV can explode, reached up and switched it off.

The earthquake seemed to keep going for so long. At the other side of the house, my mother was trying to save her master’s thesis on our Macintosh SE before the power went out.

I have no idea what I had for dinner later.