Out here in earthquake land, we're having plenty of nervous moments as we watch the "forecasted" disasters of hurricanes demolishing the Atlantic side of the country. Not because we are actively concerned about landfall in our corner of the planet, but because we worry about falling land. It reminds me of the sliding down a fifty foot razor blade versus eating a bucket of boogers quandary. Not a choice I hope or expect to be making, but hurricanes and earthquakes exist in some quadrants as a double-dip opportunity. You could have your boogers and a slice of a banister slide in some regions.
In a word, "Nothankyou."
Instead, we await the eventual crush of reality out here on the left edge of the country with the worst possible game of Wait and See imaginable. And what do we do in the meantime? We send our first responders to trouble spots and donate money and plasma while the forests around us burst into flame. And we wish for a tiny portion of that rain to land here on the scorched earth that is the West.
And we wait.
Science has been telling us for decades that The Big One will be here any day. When we read the news of tremors in Japan, in Mexico, in Oklahoma, we wonder ever-so-briefly if living in a place where no one can afford insurance that would allow us to keep living here if some or all of California slid off into the ocean. Like the lack of flood insurance in Texas, the cost of living is prohibitive when the cost of staying alive is ridiculous.
Everyday disasters like exploding water heaters or home invasions might be enough to get some of us to give up hearth and home to retreat to a calmer, safer locale.
And where might that be?
There is a scene in the film version of The World According to Garp in which Garp and his new wife are out shopping for a home. While they are standing there, looking up from the front yard, a small plane crashes into the upper floor. Garp's reaction to this catastrophe? "We'll take it." The house is pre-disastered. The chances of something like that happening again are a billion to one. A pretty clever notion, but if you know the story of T.S. Garp, you know that disaster doesn't always conform to statistical prognostication. Bad news has a way of finding its way into the picture. So what do we do?