So at first I feel the building sway, and I'm thinking "wheee!" We get little tremors from time to time, it's no big deal. But then it doesn't stop. The building starts to really sway. There's a metallic pinging sound, like a radiator warming up, only from every direction at once. Then I feel the up-and-down shake. And it just doesn't stop.
Quickly I go from "Wheee!" to "This is now how I want to die." (For the record, I either want to be downed in an airplane flying over a volcano eruption and then attacked by sharks...or smothered by boobies.) I don't want to worry about dying at work on a Wednesday. Facing mortality in such a quotidian way is just not fun.
It went on. It felt like a long time, but in reality it was only a couple of minutes. Long enough for friends online to IM me about it, for comments on facebook to pop up. And then it kind of hit me...the power was still on, we were still connected to the internet, business was going on as usual. I considered evacuating the building...getting stuck on the 13th floor would be no fun. But everything was working. So then it was over and we went about our business.
This morning I was thinking about how hard to stop we humans are. We are ineradicable. We build things that just tick along untroubled by even the earth trying to shake us off. We are, in the best possible way, vermin. A field-biologist friend once said, "I have a lot of respect for vermin. In the worst possible conditions, they thrive. They're tough, they're ingenious, they're amazing." And that's us, man.
For good or for ill, the earth just can't shake us off.