An older man sat at the Lexington Café , ruminating how big of a bite he should take of his baguette. Doors close, feet shuffle, and a red dress sits down across the table from the older man. The man looks up. His gaze is disrupted by a large glass of water slammed on the table. More feet shuffle, and the man grasps the glass and begins to pour. The water flows into the smaller glass at such a glorious speed, this moment everlasting. Everything around the water has stopped. Pure stagnation except for the flowing water. Unfiltered, an abundance of natural minerals whirl around in the glass. It's a whirlpool of pure beauty; it's something no one has seen before and no one will see again. The last droplets drop into the glass as the larger bottle is set back down on the table. It's wet and silky, but it's evident its sparks ignited the older man's soul. There had been no smile seen on the older man's face for twenty seven years until he had this water. But the past is just the past. For right now, all this man knew was water.
Should I take the risk? he thought to himself. The answer was yes. He knew in his heart the answer was yes, and yet he trembled like a child. The risk was to leave this precious moment to dive into the possibility of drinking this moment and fueling himself even more with wisdom and patience. When there is no smile for twenty seven years, there is not enough room for concerns of risks. He drank. He put his chapped lips around the clear glass and tilted his head back. He used his opposable thumb to steer the glass in the proper direction. Water flowed between his disgusting lips and into his mouth. It was a magical moment. It was not too different of a moment to the first time he kissed someone he truly cared about. He later told the BBC in an exclusive interview which never aired that, "Drinking water is like sharing a french kiss with a girl you love. It's like when your tongues touch and fireworks go off. The water is the pretty girl's tongue. The glass is her gorgeous hair flowing in the wind. And my lips are my lips." Throughout the interview he would make strange metaphors and similes and then explain them in great detail. Upon further research, we later learned that this man had been single his whole life. Also, his lips were the most grotesque thing I have ever seen. He passed away at a café in Paris three weeks after we talked to him.
But his journals about this encounter with water still give us meaning today all around the world. It removed all stigma around drinking water. It enhanced the overall drinking water experience for all. In 2015 when Barack Obama went on the record saying that "water is just a lil' bit overrated," his approval rating plummeted.
I didn't like this older man very much, but I think of his writings every time I have a sip of water. I taste the silk; I feel the yarn. I yearn for the world to share this experience. Of water hitting the back of my throat and then sliding down the esophagus with their hands in the hair, not a care in the world. I miss the days where you could drink freely out of a hose. Where Brita wasn't around to steal minerals and manipulate my water. Where the heavens would open up and rain down water that you would look up with an open mouth and taste it all. Feel it in your bones. Shiver up and down the spine. Step in a puddle and smile. And slurp up the Nile.
©2023 Jake Schick