I have always been a drinker.
Some people don’t understand this; they aren’t as in love with fluidity as I am. But for as long as I can remember I have been addicted to one substance above all others. When I have it near me I am quenched but if I think that I need a little of it and I look around and can’t find it there is a clawing in my throat. Emergency lights go off and I need to find a stock of it. I get home after a long day and all I can think about is how to get some of it. I wake up in the morning and before any other waking thoughts reach my mind I am thirsting for the next swallow of it. I can never have enough. Even when my body tells me to slow down, when it pains and throbs I still want more because am scared of needing it and not having it.
I have always been a drinker.
I love my water. For as long as I can remember I have slept with a glass or a bottle of water by my bedside. When I wake up in the middle of the night my hand reaches for it. The glass could be under my bed confined to the darkest of dark recesses that place where not a dot of moonlight can reach. The spot that to quote Rescue Me is darker than an asshole’s asshole. Yet despite my tendency to knock everything else in life over my hand reaches this glass without so much as a hesitation. I find it, I bring it to my lips, I sip it. And everything is ok with the world. In the morning I reach for it and gulp it down greedily. My throat welcomes it, muscles contracting to push it down, ball after glorious ball of water formed in my throat and exploding in my stomach.
I have another glass, I have breakfast, I have another glass. And then I feel sated for now.
There is almost no better feeling than that that comes after walking around in a hot day. You know those days when beads of sweat begin to poke out of your forehead. When they begin to stream down your face. Those days when the sun burns everything off you, when it licks clean the moisture your body needs. And you get home and until then you didn’t even know you needed it or wanted it. Then you grab it. A glass of water. You pour it down your throat and gulp greedily. The balls explode as soon as they pass your chest and you can feel the water spread its cool, inky goodness through your stomach. I love that feeling. I love to track the water without even knowing it. I could never explain it but I see this fluid as black. Like a black mist that spreads through your abdomen. It touches all the parts that were warmed by the sun. The parts of your body that are steaming red like coal or steel straight out of the kiln and then it assuages them. The black spreads over the red and conquers it like a night sky taking back the view from the sunset. Then your body is cool. It is at peace. The war of wants that comes over you with thirst recedes and all you have is a twinkle of stars.
When I am off it for a while withdrawal sneaks in. I crave it, I need it. It covers all my thoughts all I want is a little taste and if I go for longer without it a weakness creeps in. My strength fails me. Soon I begin to faint and soon I begin to die(I guess this is what happens with water withdrawal though I can’t really say). I am addicted to this mix totally and unreservedly.
Am given to understand some people don’t like water that they don’t even drink it. I get that you can get all the moisture your body needs from food, soup and juice but how can you willingly give up this most glorious of feelings? After a night of drinking when your body is dehydrated and demands water what do you do? Cook up some soup, mix some juice? No you grab as much as you can and shove litre after litre down your throat until what comes out the other side is more transparent than not.
And I finally understand why water is served in a glass instead of a cup. (Incidentally the full name of a glass is actually a glass cup because that’s what it is, everyone just shortens the double name, found this out this year.) It’s the double transparency. There is nothing more, nothing less than that. You can see through water and you can see through glass. You put water in a glass and you can still see through both. Does this phenomenon repeat itself anywhere else in nature? It might but I have no idea of when. The thing is you can still see whether or not the glass is full. You can see the water shimmer and shake in there. It has a ghostly presence like a spirit. It’s there but not quite it occupies the glass but doesn’t conquer it. You don’t get this in nature at all.
Also water is H2O. 2 parts hydrogen and one part oxygen. By some magic this mixture just works. Its stable it can be used to dissolve anything and it has 10 protons. We are all drawn to numbers like this. Things that don’t look like they occurred by mistake. The number 10 and its multiples. The number 100 and its progeny. The number 1000 and its ascendants. Anything with a zero attached wakes something in us. We strive for it. Try to get 10 1 shilling coins and you have fare. We are psychologically drawn and repelled by it; consider all the electronics being sold for 299,999 because that added 1 begets 5 0’s and scares the weak of heart away. And water just magically falls at 10. It was made for us or we were made for it.
So this is my ode to water because how many things feel just as good going in as they do coming out?