The police have been to our house three times, my sister informs me. Our parents refuse retreat— not at the words category five, threats to call the national guard. Like goddamn homesteaders. Little house on the peninsula.
No power, but we have monopoly, they say.
I ask them if they are stupid. I ask them if they are suicidal. They say they are neither, just homebodies, just Floridians— not fazed by a little rain. Al Roker— my mother’s authority closest to a Christ figure— disagrees, says worst storm since Andrew, and still they don’t leave.
They say they are having a sleepover in the master bath, like two teenagers fumbling in the dark for the first time. The master bath has no windows, they explain, and they’ve lined the walls with our mattresses. What if the roof blows off, I ask. Then it blows off, my mother says, sounding like Lot’s wife. So it goes.
It doesn’t hit. Licks up Florida’s inner thigh, brushes Sarasota with its nose, and veers instate. They don’t know this. Their power goes, a flickering, and then, a submersion. I imagine them holding their breath, orbiting their phone lights, moving a thimble and chrome dog around the cardboard. Cocooned by box springs, sixty-two and fearless.