A heavy-handed pour, watered down by smothering humidity. The kind of night where ice cubes disappear before doing their job. Condensation rolls from the glass and trickles through the slats of the picnic table, stinging bare legs.
We don't notice. We're laughing. Smiles a mile-wide and stories flying.
Sex, nostalgia, conspiracy theories. Taboo takes a back seat as I order a second round.
When skeletons crouch at the edge of our conversation - as they do - we acknowledge truth can be a hard pill to swallow and take a big gulp. Slowly, they come dancing out. Buoyant and brutally real.
Different as the years (seven-ish) and miles (two-thousand-some-odd) and experiences that separate us, we're bound by the unyielding branch of a tree that sways and creaks and weathers the wild.
And we'll hold a little tighter when you need it, they promise.
Because that's how family works.