Slice of Life: Uncomfortable Possibilities

I avoid thinking about uncomfortable things. This weekend I had to deal with the possibility and reality of two such things.

Earthquakes are something I’ve grown up with. I’ve experienced a couple bad ones, but they’ve been few and far between. If predictions are accurate, the “big one” will have a staggering impact on our area. I have one friend who moved to Arizona due to fear. The majority of us live with it, putting it in the back of our minds.

If you’re smart, you make sure you have fresh emergency supplies, some cash stashed, bookshelves secured, and no items stored up high that might go flying in the event of a big quake. There isn’t a season for earthquakes and time just slips by. I had put earthquake preparedness off. This weekend for many reasons, I made headway at home and at school in this department.

Of all the work I did, books were at the center of it.  I never seem to have enough books, yet I have so many I can’t store them properly.

I entered school with a clear plan of attack. Amusingly I thought it would be done in about three hours. It seemed easy and straightforward.

Without much thought I pulled out the boxes in a cabinet I hadn’t gone through since last year.. The boxes were stacked three high and three wide.

Pulling out the last one, I grabbed the broom to sweep up the dust bunnies and crayons that had slipped under, and I felt it.. Skittering down my leg. I didn’t see it, but I knew. Cockroach. I knew they were there.  I just conveniently forgot. I looked. He’d vanished.

I fearlessly continued, thinking I was bigger than he was.

A flash and I smacked a box down, pinning the beast; his head peeking out from underneath, his large antennae twitching. Yes, I’ve got you. I shoved the bugger into a mason jar and capped it with the box that had trapped him.

Now what? Not wanting to think about the implications of his presence, I crushed him. Done with it.

Six hours and lots of dirt and wildlife encounters later, the room is set for disaster. Nothing will tumble down on an unguarded soul. Even the cockroaches are safe.

Thanks to Two Writing Teachers for Slice of Life Tuesdays. Read more slices here11454297503_e27946e4ff_h

19 thoughts on “Slice of Life: Uncomfortable Possibilities

  1. “Nothing will tumble down on an unguarded soul. Even the cockroaches are safe.” This begs for a further story, fiction, my mind is already moving, Julieanne. Glad you fixed things that needed fixing, and your writing is simply great!

  2. Julieanne, you had me captivated in this blog. I thought you were going into the heart of an earthquake story when you turned the corner and approached a cockroach. I have been in one midl earthquake situation when in San Francisco when I was first married. My husband’s company was moving out to the West Coast but for me an East Coast girl, I just couldn’t leave all my family and friends to move to unfamiliar territory. To this day, my husband keeps on telling the story of the day that changed his life forever. Stay safe and think of us out on the East Coast freezing this weekend.

  3. Love your post! Here too, we have been warned that an earthquake can hit us anytime. Granted, they’ve been saying this for a decade, which only means that time is drawing near.
    Best of luck, and stay safe!

  4. I’m so pleased you are now organised and prepared for anything – including cockroaches. I identify completely with never having enough books (who has?) but not having enough space to store them. Or time to read them, for me! Enjoy the rest of the week. 🙂

  5. Oh, Julieanne! Such preparedness! And I was so bummed for hitting “publish” instead of “preview”. I could hear that GIANT COCKROACH skittering across the floor to hide! YUCK!

  6. Here in Wisconsin, we don’t live with the possibility of earthquakes happening very often. Such things you have to do to prepare. Here’s hoping you will never need to use those emergency supplies!

  7. I’m one of those people who’s afraid of earthquakes. We did a family vacation to San Francisco a few months ago, so it’s not a paralyzing fear. BUT, in the back of my mind, I worried about being caught in one on the highway or in our rented apartment.

  8. I love the way you kept doing back to the cockroach. I don’t love cockroaches. I can’t crush them because I am a gagger. When I lived in South America, I would pick them up in a kleenex and flush them.

  9. Living on the east coast, earthquakes are something I’ve never spent much time thinking about. I’m sure if I spent any amount of time thinking about them, I’d be afraid too. I just love how you wrote this!!! I pray you’ll never need all of these safeguards!

  10. What a perfect slice of life! You exploded the moment and had me right there with you fighting the battle of the cockroach. I’m glad you won and he did not live another day. Every day there is not an earthquake, I thank God that my son (and you too 🙂 ) is safe another day. The big one is frightening.

  11. Your Slice gave me the heebie-jeebies, Julieanne. I have goosebumps just thinking about it.

    Loved the ending – what a perfect line… “even the cockroaches.” Great Slice!

  12. Eek. I feel I am more fearful of the cockroach than the earthquakes. But happy you stayed with your pursuit of “safety” happiness — and killing a bug or two! 🙂

  13. I remember the giant cockroaches from when I lived in Texas. Everything is bigger there. That’s not always a good thing. Glad you were able to deal with your little friend. 😉

  14. I was not prepared to laugh. I totally got caught up in the disaster mood. Thanks for the entertainment. Here’s hoping all are safe. (Except maybe the cockroaches.) Around here the beast may have been a mouse. They come inside when the fields of sugarcane are burned. I haven’t had one in my classroom yet, but nearby ones have. Yikes!

  15. I just chuckled on how I would have reacted with the roach scurrying around my classroom! I don’t like those pesky little buggers, but I don’t think I could have smashed it. I think cleaning them up is worse! Hope everything turned out okay.

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