It was a Saturday night like any other. I was bemoaning the fact that I had yet to find a social life in my six months in Puerto Rico and as a matter had used my Facebook status to whine about just that very fact earlier in the evening.
In a classic case of ‘be careful what you wish for’ my evening turned into a story to tell. After tiring of flipping TV channels and not finding anything worth watching, I decided to catch up on the shows I missed during the week via Hulu. I was lying in bed, ear phones on and in the middle of watching The Office when all of a sudden I felt my bed vibrating. I ignored it at first thinking that it was probably a heavy truck passing by that had caused the vibration. That’s not possible here with the sturdy structure of these houses, but as I was accustomed to passing trucks causing a vibrating apartment in Chicago, it was a natural assumption. I turned back to the show when the vibrating turned into a full on shake. I took off the ear phones and looked around trying to find the cause of the shake, and just as quickly as it had begun it was over.
I got out of bed, opened the bedroom door to check if my Dad and stepmom were awake, they weren’t. I walked out of the room and went to the front door to see if the neighbors were outside, they weren’t. I walked back to my room confused and thought, “No one else is up, maybe I imagined it.” I sat in a daze for a minute, walked out of my room again, looked outside and still…no one. I came back to my room, turned on the TV looking for some news in both Spanish and English language channels…nothing. I searched the sites for the Puerto Rican newspapers…nothing. I googled…nothing. I can’t begin to tell you how frightful an event like that becomes when you feel like you’re the only one who experienced it. For a minute I even had myself convinced that it was spirits, and I don’t even believe in spirits. It wasn’t until about 10 minutes into my search that I finally found some confirmation…on Twitter of all places. Yay, I wasn’t crazy!!
So now, a day and a half after the tremor, I think about my reaction and it worries me. How did I react so nonchalantly? How did I not jump out of bed screaming and wake up everyone else in the house? Maybe it’s the fact that I didn’t recognize what was happening, but that should actually have made me even more afraid, shouldn’t it? Granted, once I realized what happened it took about three hours for my heart to stop racing, but the fear came late.
Is that good or bad? Will it come too late if there’s a next time? According to all the bible verses that people are now using as relevant reference (that’s a long post for another day), there will be a repeat and all I know is that I will work on being prepared but I refuse to live in fear.