New Smyrna
Claudia Lundahl

Spring 2021
When we got to London, it rained nonstop for three months.

My friends chuckled when I told them that the gray was wearing on me, “Well at least now we
know what they say about the weather is true!” they said.

I keep thinking about the time I got so sunburned at New Smyrna Beach that I couldn’t get off
the couch in our apartment in Orlando. Anywhere my clothes touched my skin there was pain. It
felt like tiny needles were stabbing me all over, hot to the touch. Tomato red, except in the areas
my skimpy bikini covered me, four pale triangles, because I fell asleep floating on my back
in the Atlantic. I sat on the couch and watched lightning storms incinerate the night sky, briefly,
while palmetto bugs crashed into the sliding glass doors.

“I didn’t know they could fly that high,” I thought, feverish from the sun.

In London I wear five sweaters at once and drink too much wine, sitting on the radiator and
looking out the window at the rain. I don’t recognize myself in the mirror. My hair is turning
gray. I wake up in the middle of the night thinking I can feel insects
crawling across my skin. I shot up in bed one night because I thought I felt a spider bite my ear.

I never go barefoot anymore, the smell of diesel makes me choke.

Monday Nov 5 2018