The bottles were faded and dusty, scattered across the kitchen counter like a graveyard.
I recognized them immediately, like seeing the people you never talked to in high school at your 10-year reunion. The crème de menthe with the crusted green lip. The liter of DeKuyper peach liqueur with the scratched-off label. The bottom-shelf butterscotch schnapps. Baileys. Kahlúa. A half-empty plastic handle of some Russian vodka. Crystalized grenadine. Unopened 90s-era Jose Cuervo.
This was my parents’ liquor collection—the exact same bottles I snuck swigs from as a teen. In the sixteen years since I left home, they hadn’t changed—like they’d been preserved in congealed margarita mix.