“Why is my wine always at the end?” said my friend, Fernando.

“Because you drink too much,” I said.

“I don’t drink too much at one time,” he said. “I sip it slowly.”

“But you should smoke more when you drink it,” I said. “If you mix the smoking and the drinking, you get a more pleasant high. And your wine lasts longer.”

“That’s a good point,” he said. “The wine lasts longer.”

“Dope is a better drug,” I said.

“Dope makes me want to eat,” he said. “Wine makes me want to love.”

“Wine makes you unable to love,” I said.

“So does pot.”

“Does not.”

“It did the last time,” he said.

“Probably because you mixed it with wine,” I said.

“I can’t win,” he said.

“Does it matter?”

“Yes, if you want to love.”

“I love wine,” he said.

“I understand,” I said. “Wine is loveable if you get enough in you. Too much and it causes headaches.”

We both raised our glasses and let the silence settle in among the sparrows’ twitter, reminding us that spring had emerged from the cold.

“I love you, Lance,” he said.

“I love you, too, Fernando.”