Archive for Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Earthquake tremors cause ‘one weird night’

December 14, 2011

I have been told that my old house is haunted. I have experienced an apparition from time to time. It could be Pat Sheley’s Aunt Sadie; she lived here for a time. It could be a descendant of the Alden’s, who were the longest residents of the old house.

I haven’t determined exactly who she is. I just detect her perfume from time to time.

I only tell you this because it has to do with my reaction to the earthquake in Oklahoma, which many here felt but didn’t know what it was.

On that particular night I was reading a book, given to me, by the way, by the woman who snoockered me into buying the old house to begin with. I don’t know why she gave me this particular book titled, “The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake,” by Aimee Bender. It’s about a 9-year-old girl, who discovers, while eating a piece of lemon cake, that she can detect the emotions in food. The story line gets really complicated.

At some point in the book — and this is what I was reading when the bed shook and the closet door began banging — the girl’s brother has left home and is living alone in a one-room apartment. The girl goes to find him. She is standing in the door of his room when he disappears — into the leg of the chair upon which he was sitting!

Well, that is weird, I was thinking. The bed shook and the lamp next to my bed quavered.

I thought it was my imagination, so I continued reading. Then the house shook. I was thinking my old nemesis is outside my house, drilling the foundation. Then I figured that was stupid, because I couldn’t hear a drill.

I was trying to figure out how, even with the stretch of imagination, a boy could disappear in the leg of a chair, when the closet door began banging. OK, I said. Whatever you want, it’s going to be OK. I was thinking it was Sadie or the Alden ghost prowling around.

The bed literally moved at this point. I closed the book, got out of bed, looked under it, slammed the closet door shut and got back in bed. It then occurred to me that I had had a similar experience — shaking, banging, and lamps quavering — when I was in San Francisco and there had been an earthquake. Just a dumb earthquake. You are supposed to stand under a doorframe or something.

I was too tired to get out of bed again, and I was determined to finish the book. I am not going to tell you how the book ends, except to say the boy comes and goes in odd ways and at odd times; the girl continues to detect emotions in food.

And for me? It was just one weird night.

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