Saturday, January 18, 2014

January 18, 2014

January 18, 2014

Two things made a huge impact on me and my wife was the Northridge Earthquake and the night before purchasing our first computer, the Macintosh Classic.   As a couple or even as an individual we never spent so much money on an object such as the home computer.  At the time I didn't even know its full use.  I was thinking of it as a typing machine with a screen.  But we went to the local electronic shop, purchased the computer after talking to everyone for some sort of advice, and we settled on the Apple computer. The other computer brand seemed too macho or nerdy, I just wanted to turn it on and do its magic for us.  I remember at the electronic shop we purchased a computer game called "Alice" illustrated by Kuniyoshi Kaneko, whose illustrations reminded me of paintings by  Balthus.  

We set the computer up no time, did the registration thing, and added the "Alice" game into the computer.  The game itself bored me (all games bore me) but the images were so great.  My wife and I were thrilled to have "Alice" as well as having a computer.   We went to bed that night happy and content.

Around 4:30 in the morning I felt a dropping sensation as well as a roar that seemed to come from the gates of Satan's home.  They said the earthquake lasted for seconds, but it seemed longer to me.  Without a doubt I knew instantly that this was a major incident that was taking place, that may kill us as well.   The odd part was the quietness after the quake, maybe a second, and then the car alarms went off.  It was almost a musique concrete piece because there were so many alarms being set off at the same time.

It was pitch dark, and we just stayed in bed.  I remember trying to fall asleep but that was impossible.  Once daylight broke out I got out and surveyed the damage.  The first thing we thought of, more than lost life or what happened outside the house was our computer.  I went into the office area and books from the shelves were dumped on the floor, but standing perfectly proud on the table was our computer.  Nothing but chaos around the computer, but there was something almost spiritual about it not being harmed during the quake.

The worst thing about the quake was the aftershocks.  I remember for at least a month I had a deep fear of walking down the street, thinking an aftershock will happen any moment.  Therefore I avoided walking by brick walls as well as telephone poles with wires up above.  I imagine if a quake happened the wires would land on me and of course I would die a painful death from electrocution.  Odd enough that didn't happen.

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