I probably shouldn’t tell this story on myself, but then there are a lot of things I probably shouldn’t do — most of them, alas, involving the ingestion of calories.
Anyway, my wife and I were asleep in a hotel in Jacksonville, Illinois. We had just arrived that evening in response to a crisis involving my mother (and, yes, this constitutes my latest excuse for missing several days of posting). I was fast asleep — in the middle of a dream, I believe — when I was awakened by the sensation of the bed rocking back and forth. It was really quite a violent shaking, although it subsided within a second of my taking note of it.
Now, my wife is an infamous leg shaker, so although I’d never experienced anything quite this dramatic before, I wrote the experience off to one of her unintentional nocturnal exercise sessions and — as those of us with 53 year old bladders are want to do when awaken after 4:00 A.M. — headed off to the bathroom.
When I returned, however, I was surprised to find myself accused, by my wife, of being the one who had shaken the bed. She guaranteed me it had not been her doing.
Well — and here’s the part I probably shouldn’t tell on myself — I started worrying about it. In my entire life, I can never recall an occasion when, at least while asleep, I have done anything to cause a bed to shake, let alone to cause it to shake like a son of a bitch.
By the time I got up the next morning, I had myself convinced that I’d suffered a seizure during the night. I wondered whether I could safely drive the family home (our two young sons had come alone on the trip). And I’ll admit to worrying at least a little about all of the awful things a seizure could mean in terms of my health.
Still, I dutifully got up and drove the family to Mom’s. Along the way, at my wife’s insistence, we stopped at a shop to buy flowers for the boys to give to their grandmother.
“Hey, did you feel the earthquake last night?” the clerk inquired.
“Yeah, we had a fairly strong quake last night.”
Suddenly, the full implication of her words hit me. “What time was it?”
“Oh, a little after four in the morning.”
And so it was, with considerable relief and a slight twinge of embarrassment, that I realized that my “seizure” had actually been last Friday’s Southern Illinois earthquake.
Like I said, I probably should have kept this to myself. But some bits of self-humiliation are just too good not to share.