Thursday, September 14, 2006

Silent City

Sometimes you read a line of dialogue that just hits home. Every sentence can mean something different to different people. In the new DMZ, Brian Wood wrote, "There's something completely terrifying about a silent city. It's hard to explain." But I completely understood what he meant.

Without getting into too much detail, I was in living in Kobe, Japan in 1995 when the Great Hanshin Earthquake struck. It's the first and only time I can ever remember hearing myself scream in terror as I was thrown from my bed and the contents of my room came crashing down on top of me. I thought the whole building was collapsing with me still inside. When the rumbling stopped, still panic stricken, I knew only one thing; I had to get out. I had to make my way to ground level. I scrambled around in the mess that was once my apartment and made it to the door. I opened it up, stepped out and was greeted with nothing but silence. I clearly remember that there was no noise whatsoever as I emerged. All the familar sounds of the city were gone. No horns honking. No trains rumbling. No dogs barking. No babies crying. No sirens. No screams. Nothing. It was as if the city had been shaken silent. Dead silent. For a split second, as I stood there in this soundless scene, I thought I might be the only person left alive. It was one of the most terrifying feelings I've ever had in my life.

As I read that line in DMZ last night, it sent a chill up my spine as I knew exactly what he was talking about.

1 comment:

Jon Tsuei said...

That is a scary moment. I remember a similar experience during the 1989 earthquake that we had here in San Francisco.

Once the shaking stopped, people walked outside and no one said anything to each other for a few minutes. It wasnt until the realization that it was over set in that people began to speak.