Water. A symbol of peace, tranquility, fluidity, it has been regarded by many cultures as beautiful and sacred. The Earth is made up of seventy percent water, but only ten percent of that water is fresh water, and less than one percent is accessible to humanity.
The night is dark and humid. Heat is everywhere; it clings to the skin like dew, flooding the pores like toxic fumes. I have become accustomed to the hot nights, if not immune to them. The day is ended, but the night is young, and the creatures of the dark are just coming out to play. Dr. Beat is following the pair of us down the subtly lit pathways. Life is simple for the moment.
Water is for processes other than drinking. Many do not realize the amount of water that is consumed in everyday society. Water is used for cooking and cleansing, for building up and tearing down. Over a thousand gallons of water is used to produce a single pair of blue jean trousers.
The University Center is blessedly cool after the summer heat, and the oppression that comes with the humidity is lifted for the moment.
A person can survive three days without water. Many African and Asian peoples push this number every day. Dehydration is a painful death.
Over the past few weeks, I have tried to rid myself of my extensive swearing, and I must admit that much progress had been made. Seeing you this night, a young bird in the clutches of an irresponsible child, seems to break my resolve.
Water, or hydrogen dioxide, is the universal solvent. It can hold particles as small as hydronium ions and as large as grains of sugar or salt. It is most useful in anatomical processes such as combining with bad particles to rid the body of waste, adding iron to the blood, and regulating the body’s internal temperature. Sixty-four ounces of water are recommended a day. Most of the world does not follow this number, whether by choice or inability.
The night is still hot, but I remember cold, seeing you collapsed upon the ground, trembling in a nonexistent breeze, curled around a bottle of precious water, supported by men who know more of the situation than I. “Drink it slow,” one says. “Drink it slow, or it will make it worse.”
One of the most corrosive substances in the world, water carves through mountains and floods through plains, clearing and leveling the land and constantly changing the face of our world. The process takes hundreds, sometimes thousands of years, but water is persistent.
They won’t let me see you. I wouldn’t know what to say even if I could, but they never give me the chance. It is the one time that I have been truly angry here. My friend collapses, and what do I feel? Fear? No. Concern? No. I feel numbness. And goddamn anger.
Here I stand at the water hole, venting my frustration at the group of people who have the common decency to be frightened, watching the water soar up and pour down, soar up and pour down. The light in the hall is inadequate in filling in the dark places of my mind.
In many desert countries, water is considered a holy symbol as these people often associate an abundance of water with paradise. Muslims, Egyptians, and Jews alike all see heaven as a green oasis in a dry place, and water is central to their visions. The Egyptians went so far as to set their calendars by the ebb and flow of their holy Nile.
Your return shines on a late night and an early morning, and with it comes the fear for which I had been waiting. Somehow the sight of your rejecting limbs instills a sense of helplessness within me. I don’t know what to do, and I fear that I shall make a mistake. I keep thinking, why? What did we do wrong? Why you, my friend, and not me? I don’t understand the situation; my mind cannot wrap itself around such a logic fallacy.
Christians and Jews alike find their holiness in the river Jordan, both a physical river in Israel, and the symbolic river that surrounds the gates of heaven. The river is wide and unclean, but gentle.
Will it happen again? No. No, God will not allow it to happen again. He cannot. I cash in all of my tokens this night; any good deed that I have done, give to protecting her. They may be little more than a muddy trickle, but by your grace, I beg they be enough.
The waters of the Jordan are said to glow golden at dusk.
Golden waters. A joke made from a hazy mind, but a good one. From you flows golden waters.
By God, let them continue to flow.