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“¿Cuánto es Cuba Libre?”

I mentally cringe at my accent. The bartender says what sounds like a number, but I have no clue how much that is, so she has to write it on a scrap of paper.

While she dawdles behind the bar with the gooey laziness dictated by humidity and heat, I look around. The beach shack was screaming with pink and turquoise on the outside; inside there’s dust, a chicken, a dog, and a foreigner in white staring into his glass.

I take the Cuba Libre, which turns out to be just rum and coke, outside into the breeze and perch on the trunk of a fallen palm tree. The dog’s head pops up by my side, so I put my arm around her neck and we sit there like a live version of a Courage of Lassie poster — or literally every poster for every movie with a dog in it.

When I walk back into the shack to drop my empty glass, the bartender laughs and points at a lime in her hand. I chuckle and wave mine to let her know it doesn’t matter. Here on this beach petty peeves like forgotten cocktail ingredients really, truly, finally don’t.