Two days after the Japanese tsunami, after the waves had left their destruction, as rescue workers searched the ruins, news came of an almost surreal survival: Miles out at sea, a man was found, alone, riding on nothing but the roof of his house. “And that’s when you know you’ve been caught out, that you’ve squandered what time you had, that you must trust this house of concrete you’ve built to stand up to the sea. Your wife joins you on the second-floor terrace, reporting that she, too, saw the neighbor’s house wash away. ‘We should run,’ she says, but you say, ‘It’s too late.’ And then: ‘We’ll be fine.’ Her arms circle your waist and lock there, while you stand stock-straight, gazing at the mountain, without daring to look back at the sea. These will be your last words to her—We’ll be fine. And you’ve already departed your body when everything seems to break beneath your feet and a roaring force crashes over you.”

“The Man Who Sailed His House.” — Michael Paterniti, GQ

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