Severe Weather Warning

by Caitlin Bartley '24 on September 29, 2022
Portfolio Staff


a snowy field
photo crews: pixabay

The dampness in my jeans makes them look bluer than they really are. The denim feels heavy, bunched up around my thighs, with a novel pressed against my lap, making the paper soggy along the edges. I know the pages will no longer be crisp and straight when they dry, but it’s a rental, so I don’t care. I want to go for a walk. The words in front of my face blur and become fuzzy blobs of black until they look like the scribbled-out garbage that litters my notebooks. I can hear Mom softly laughing from New York because she told me to pack the jacket. It was too large and made me look boxy. The stale flavor of coffee and zero-calorie sugar coats the back of my throat. The taste never leaves. I think I need a new prescription. My skin is clammy where a pair of twin-sized rips expose my knees. If I run my fingers through my hair, will it make the frizz better or worse? When I stand, my shoes make an awkward squeak because they are new and made of patent leather. They are also very wet. To my left, a girl with her laptop open looks up as the silence breaks, giving me a once-over and catching the culprit at the bottom of my feet. Sometimes, I like making noise. There are goosebumps spreading down my legs quicker than a college cold. Just caffeine for lunch again? I guess so. My jeans are still soaked, clinging to me like the coverlet I would grip when I was 5 and the cracks of thunder made the darkness in my room shake. The condensation from the cup leaves a lonely, watery ring on the table. It’s raining hard today.