Deep and dark with syrup and tinges of sadness and pure ecstasy, the tumbler of crushed ice and sweet tea. We brought it to our lips, like we couldn’t live another day, another moment without. The end of the hottest summer day, the moment of realization, the Spiritus Sanctus of southern beverages, the kind that address salt-laden, fried foods with grace, decorum, and even a little dishonor. We lied to each other, said it was okay to drink glass after glass, a wedge of lemon, a fistful of mint flattened against the side. A hush puppy, a cornmeal-laced oyster, a toasted triangle of bacon-lettuce-tomato. And then the tall tilted glass at our lips, the sweet dreams of tea and surrender washing past any second thoughts, the rushing delight, the memories lasting forever and ever and ever.