Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Shake it like a Polaroid

Over the weekend Mr. Awesome's branch moved offices, from the other side of downtown to a building less than three blocks from my office. Monday was his first day working about a two minute walk from his wife.

The next day DC was hit with the biggest earthquake it had ever experienced.

So you can imagine, dear readers, how it would feel to run out of an evacuating building and into the arms of the person you love most. Or perhaps you cannot imagine, so let me explain it to you. It feels amazing and somewhat freaky.

To be perfectly honest, despite the fact that this was 100 times stronger than the strongest earthquake I had yet felt, it wasn't all that big of a deal. No buildings fell, no one was hurt. My computer nearly tumbled into my lap and the plant next to my desk began to wobble drunkenly (no mean feat since said plant is bottom-heavy and in a thick, squat metal pot.) Oh yes, and the floor kind of felt like it was about to collapse. The point is that it didn't, so no big deal. But leaving the building seemed like a good idea anyway, so we all did.

It took a while for Mr. Awesome and I to locate each other since there are several large office buildings in the area and all of them had emptied their hundreds of occupants into the street. Oh yes, it was quite the street party round these parts. People were simultaneously laughing and repenting. I distinctly remember walking past one distraught woman declaring "O Lord, forgive me my sins! My omissions, my commissions, everything!!!" at which point she pulled out a smart phone and began furiously pushing buttons. I can only suppose she was friending Jesus on facebook.

Meanwhile, up ahead I spotted a familiar blond head atop the black button-up shirt I had squeezed goodbye that morning. I immediately rushed forward and squeezed it again. It squeezed me back and we both laughed at the melodrama of it all. There we were, in the panic and adrenaline of an earthquake, rushing into each others arms like Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan (if Meg were a few inches taller and Hank a strapping blond with magnificent blue eyes). It was all very cinematic.

So anyway, we found each other. And of course, since no real damage had been done, they eventually let us back into our respective buildings. We met up again about an hour later to walk home together (going underground to the extremely crowded metro station to wait for trains that had been slowed to a 15mph maximum speed seemed a bad itinerary at the time), and again I skipped up to his Awesomeness and squeezed him for good measure. Traffic being at a standstill around us, a taxi driver leaned out of his window grinning and shouted "Hey, she's alive! He's alive! Break it up, love-birds!"

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