The crack in Blaine’s ramp is widening. A companion is beginning to appear at an extrapolated line in the next segment. I wonder what is happening beneath the surface. Surely there is something going on down there.
Some 15 years ago, downslope from the ramp, a deep hole suddenly appeared in the parking strip next to where the driveway lowers to meet the street. A woman walking her dog stumbled when her right leg disappeared into it. Later, Ric poured potting soil into the hole. After several bags had been swallowed, it reached a state of equilibrium and has been level ever since. It still holds up, even when you step on it. But i keep a watchful eye.
When the crack in the ramp grew to a width that couldn’t be ignored, I wrote to the city. I raised a question of perhaps some kind of underground leak from the water main or sewer pipe, with the resulting flow carving out a cavern under the street. I told them about the potting-soil-swallowing hole just downslope too.
The city never responded. I wonder if the web contact system they use actually works. I wrote to a woman in another city department about another issue and never heard back from her either. Maybe my name has gone on to an internal list of people who write to the city and should be ignored, like they used to check your name against a list of people who had written bad checks at the grocery store.
The cracks in the driveway are expanding as well. My concerns continue to grow at the same pace. I have a sense of a coming calamity. That surprises me because I can’t imagine a calamity worse than the one we experienced a year ago. Nothing can be worse or even as bad as Blaine leaving us too soon. Shouldn’t the cracks have stopped growing then? I’m certain his passing made the earth wobble.
My geographic training takes my mind to the Big One that is coming. Later today or in 300 years. Nobody knows when. So we live our lives with that in mind while we yearn for understanding and acceptance. That’s what I’m still seeking from the calamity a year ago.
I didn’t see that calamity coming, though others have told me it was to be expected. I didn’t expect it. Would I have lived differently if I had? I don’t know. How could I?
I do expect some calamity to come of the crack in the ramp. And I’m trying to waylay it but so far my actions have come to naught. I have visions of my car resting at an uncomfortable angle of repose at the bottom of a sinkhole that swallows part of our street.
I guess I shall try the city again… I think they should burrow one of those snakes with a camera on the head to check what’s happening where we can’t see. Maybe we could avoid a sinkhole calamity if we nipped it in the bud.
That won’t really do much about the larger calamity it could be warning about… are we safer in the long run with such a visible caution? Only if we figure out what to do, I’m guessing. And only if there is something that can be done.
Is is better to know what calamities are coming? Or to just live and have them clobber you out of nowhere and try to survive the aftermath? Is this a question for an engineer? A geologist? A fortune teller? Or the knowing that lives inside me?
Maybe I’m cracking up.