It was hot in August in Jacksonville. Hotter still for two boys from Vermont and a sister who lived in Tahoe. I heard the rumble of the truck down the street and came running down my steps to wave and meet my long lost best friends in the world.
“Ola,” I heard reverberating through the slam of the blue Chevy door as my sister leapt out before the thing had even come to a complete stop. Her hair had all been chopped off. I barely even recognized her in the quickly fading light. The colors above the horizon of the St. Johns river were captivating. The clouds looked as though a tunnel had been carved through a Kaleidescope.
Wind was picking up, a late afternoon Florida storm was definitely on its way. “Hey,” my brother Joe squinted at me from the drivers seat.
Mike followed Theresa finding the handle of the passenger door and bounding out from around as the blue tank of a truck creaked to a stop in front of my house. “Fuckin’ sweet!” He stood facing the ridged mountains in the sky. “I think we got here just in time.”
On the porch we gathered around the cooler I had stocked for their arrival. “Long trail,” Joe stuck his hand in the ice and pulled up the green tinted bottle. “They have these here?”
I nodded. “Dig a little deeper and you’ll even find some Sierra Nevada,” I said to Theresa.
“Nice,” she drenched her entire forearm and pulled up just ice the first time which she held to her flushed face. “I don’t know how you can live here.” She pulled out a red bic lighter and popped the top off two Sierras.
“Its been a dreadful summer,” I said holding my hand to take the offered beer. “Thanks.”
“So, how bad is it?” Joe asked. He sat on the rail of the porch and hooked his feet between the support rungs. “I mean what’r we talking here?”
“Why don’t you just tell me about the trip down,” I said taking a long swig of the brew in my hand. “How was it?”
“Hot.” He shook his head. “I don’t know how you get yourself into these situations.” He took a pull from the bottle.
Thunder rumbled and the overcast clouds hovering on the St. Johns unleashed. “It won’t be too bad,” I stuck my hand out to catch some raindrops, “now that you guys are here.”
We raised our beers to the summer squall and toasted.