A vision of an earthquake in California

- 3 - them said: ‘ Let’s get out of here and go back East.’ He seemed surprised. It was as if the sidewalks trembled, but one could not see it, at least not with one’s eyes. An old lady had a small white dog with her, she scooped it up in her arms and said: ‘Let’s go home, Mama will take you home.’ This poor old lady doted on her dog. I now became afraid, genuinely afraid. I remembered the girl, but she was way down the block. I began to run and the ground began to shake. I couldn’t feel it, but I knew that it did. Everybody looked afraid, they all looked terrible. One young lady simply sat on the sidewalk doubled up in a laughing fit and said over again: ‘It is the earthquake, it is the earthquake’, but I couldn’t recognise that anything had changed. And then it came, and how it came, like nothing in God’s world, like nothing. It was like the wailing of a siren, long and deep, or like the scream of a woman giving birth that I had heard as a child. It was terrible, it was as if a monster lifted up the sidewalk. One could feel it long before one could see it. The sidewalks were no longer solid. I looked at the cars, they blew their horns, they kept moving as if they were still not aware that something was happening. A small white car appeared, it was half the size of a baby and it rocketed from the centreline directly at the curb. The girl driving it simply sat there, she sat there and stared with open eyes, she couldn’t move. She whimpered like a little girl and she made strange noises. I observed her and I thought about the other girl. I told myself that it was just a dream and that I would wake up from it, but I didn’t wake up. The shaking had started again, but differently this time. A nice shaking, like the movement of a cradle, and then I saw it – it seemed as if the middle of the Boulevard was breaking in two. The concrete looked as if a huge shovel had lifted it upwards. It broke in two and this is why the car of the girl went out of control. This was followed by a loud noise, something I had never heard before, then hundreds of noises all at once. Children and women and these mad men with their earrings all seemed to move across the sidewalk. They were lifted up and water started to seep out of the ground, the screams, it was terrible. I woke up. I don’t want to have this dream ever again.” * * * “The dream returned the following night. It was like the first time and it was a preview, everything that I remember about it was that it was the end of the world. I was there again, directly amidst all this carnage. My eardrums felt as if they were about to burst. People fell down, some of them severely hurt. Pieces of building splintered off and flew through the air, one of them hit me hard at the side of my face, but I didn’t seem to feel it. I wanted to wake up in order to get away from this place. It had been fun at the beginning, in my first dream. I had some idea that I would dream about the end of the world or something similar, but this was terrible. Older people were in their cars, most of the children were in the street, but those old men screamed and bellowed as if somebody could help them. Nobody could help them. This is when I felt lifted up. I was now over the city. It tilted in the direction of the ocean like the folding of a picknick table. The buildings remained better intact as one would have imagined, they remained standing. The people near these building tried to hold onto them or to enter them. Everything around them broke to pieces, but they remained intact, they remained standing. I was now above them and I looked down. I started to encourage them by saying: “Hold on, hold on”. I wanted to spur them on, call out and scream at them. These particular buildings, the building along the Boulevard stayed intact, the girl with the two children might have been able to go inside one of