Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Smell of Liquor

The morning light coming through the window made me feel less scared, and helped me start thinking about something I couldn’t think about when it was dark --- things like breakfast and my work. It was probably after 7:00 am or later. (I don’t remember exactly, but it is possible that I felt a few aftershocks before I went outside to buy something.)

So how bad was this earthquake after all?
Was it bad enough that I can take a day off from work?

Should I call my office or boss? But they won’t be in the office until 8:30 am or so, so now… what should I do? …. Don’t I need breakfast? It’s darn cold…. Don’t I need a warm drink? Maybe coffee?

Yes, coffee. Maybe I can get a canned coffee from a vending machine.

I kept vocalizing all those thoughts and recording them on the cassette tape, which helped my decision-making. I heard myself talking to the tape, saying something like “OK, I need a hot, canned coffee now. Let’s get out of the room and see the world outside,” and I actually went for it.

There was a small convenience store very close to my place ( apx. 2 minutes on foot). I decided to buy bread or something at the store for breakfast, and hot coffee from the vending machine right outside the store.

When I went down the stairs and stood on the street right outside my aparment, I was stunned. The crashed rice store across the street looked more grotesque in the morning light. There was a thin crack in the ground from right outside of my apartment to the neighboring building. Some electric polls were not standing straight, and my apartment wasn’t either.

It seemed that the convenience store opened at 7:00am just like any other ordinary days, but inside the store, it wasn’t an ordinary day at all. The moment I stepped inside, I felt the strong smell of alcohol. No wonder…. Almost all the bottles of sake, whisky and vodka were broken on the floor and the shopkeeper was cleaning up the broken glass pieces. The manganese dry cells were all gone. So were breads, sandwiches and all other foods you can eat without heating. There were bunch of instant cup noodles left, but how can I eat them when there’s no water, gas and electricity? The shopkeeper told me that people rushed in as soon as the store opened and bought exactly the same thing as I wanted. Looked like everyone was thinking the same way.

I gave up on breads for breakfast, but I did get hot coffee from somewhere. I don’t remember if the vending machine was working at that time, but I do remember drinking hot coffee that morning. Caffeine was always my close friend in the past, and it will be for the rest of my life.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

2/15/2005 5:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Obachan,

You have such a detailed memory of every little thing that you saw. I'm amazed. Sorry you had to go through this, but it's very interesting reading and I hope it helps you by writing what happened. 

Posted by lance

2/16/2005 5:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi lance,

You know, it’s kind of amazing that writing about this experience IS different from talking about it. By writing, I can actually see what I had inside taken out from me and actually visualize it outside of me. It feels better than having lots of things in my mind and letting them go round and round…  

Posted by obachan

2/17/2005 8:22 PM  
Blogger TS said...

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10/03/2005 1:11 AM  

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