“Today politicians and their bullshit can suck it. Today Mexico comes together. Every color, flavor, and shape is united. Helping. Today the Earth reminds us how insignificant we are. #Mexico #MexicoCity #FuerzaMexico”
Pablo CI, September 20th, 2017
It was an average Tuesday. We all went to school or work in the morning. At 11a.m. we all remembered those we lost 32 years ago. We walked down the stairs in the yearly drill in memoriam of the earthquake of 1985. That catastrophe seemed so long ago. It’s an event that happened before many of us were even born. It was the story of how your parents lost that family member or friend. We understood the pain in a distant way. Like an excerpt in a history book.
Then a little after 1p.m., as we were thinking about finishing that task before lunch, about that dentist’s appointment later, as we checked our planners, and yawned in our seats, it happened. It started as a whisper beneath our feet. Then, as we started looking at each other, it got worse. Then the earthquake alarm blasted.
Our brain said, “that’ll be the worst of it.” But then we felt the ground shake. We huddled under desks, hoping it would end. When it finally stopped, we looked at each other, wondering if it was really over. When we finally walked outside, we realized that whatever we’d seen or felt was nothing to what was waiting for us. We heard screams of panic, warnings about gas lines, first responders who were just as afraid as we were.
We looked for our friends. Tried calling our families. Wondering if there was anyone looking for us. Then we started to hear about a collapsed building at that intersection we walked by in the morning. We heard about an apartment building in another borough. The news started to travel through videos on limited phone service.
Some of us needed to get home and find our loved ones. But others, while still feeling the same as us, chose to stay. They came together to reach in to the broken glass, concrete, and dust, looking for any sign of life.
With a fist in the air, they all held their breath at the same time. Despite the fire and the blaring sirens, they kept going until they found one or two. As the horrible images continued showing edifices tumbling down, bursting in flames, or swinging like a sheet on a line. And yet, after that sleepless night, the morning came. We were not the same. But we knew we were still here and we had each other.
If you wish to donate to the earthquake efforts, you can send to the Topos Brigade.