Living Through Hurricane Irma

For those of you who don’t know, I live in Orlando which means Hurricane Irma was Miss Popularity this past week.

I’m staying at my aunts’ house (yes, two aunts, that was correct punctuation) until I move into my own apartment in a few weeks (excitement factor high!). So me, my aunts, and my grandmother—who was required to evacuate from her home—hunkered down over the weekend for the largest hurricane in the Atlantic since I don’t know when.

It was an intense experience so keep reading. I’ve documented the entire affair, starting on Sunday night:

7:33 pm – Lights are flickering. I pop open a Cabernet.

8:15 pm – Lights off completely. I discover where my aunt keeps her sour gummies. I know how to get to them in the dark. Muscle memory. Another glass of wine?

9:00 pm – Heavy rain, the walls ache and crack like joints. But that’s really it. I keep reading Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler by candlelight. I forgot how nice it was to just read.

9:30 pm – My uncle calls and I wish him a happy birthday in advance. Then I get more wine and sour gummies.

10:00 pm – My cousin, still with electricity, calls. The eye of the hurricane has shifted. Orlando is in its path (cue horror-movie music).

10:30 pm – Third glass of wine, coming up.

10:53 pm – Apparently, our side of town is getting tornados. I feel weirdly removed. Like, I knew a hurricane was a bad storm. What’s the difference between a bad storm and a really bad storm?

11:00 pm – I keep picking away at my aunt’s stash of sour watermelon gummies. They feel like wet prunes in my fingers but the taste bursts on my tongue until it’s numb. I love it. A quote from Sweetbitter:

SWEET: granular, powdered, brown, slow like honey or molasses. The mouth-coating sugars in milk. Once, when we were wild, sugar intoxicated us, the first narcotic we craved and languished in. We’ve tamed, refined it, but the juice from a peach still runs like a flash flood.*

11:05 pm – Might sleep actually. The eye’s supposed to hit at two am but MY eyes are about to hit the floor (see what I did there?). We’ll definitely be awake for when the eye hits. Drain my wine, get more gummies, then go to bed, candle still flickering.


6:00 am – Grandma gets up to make a cup of tea, only to remember our electric isn’t working. To those who are reading who are British: this is what American life is like. You don’t have a kettle so you heat your tea water in a microwave. Your aunt does have a machine to make iced tea, though.

So yeah, the hurricane was a wild experience. As you can see.

Taking cold showers until further notice!


*Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler, pg. 8

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