Water that Was
Listen to its song haunting your dreams: water. Water flowing. Soothing your tired muscles, cooling your brow stained with sweat and sand. Fresh and clean tasting. Not like the tepid brew you have in your flask, laced with chemicals to insure no harm will come to you.
Already on day one of that desert trek you started to fantasize about clean cool water — a shower, a drink, a pool — and now, well into day nine, memory of the clear fluid haunts your burning — and thickened — bloodstream like a sluggish nightmare.
Never again will you waste it. Every time its sweet taste flows into your mouth you will feel life and peace flow through your veins. As when you were a student, and meals were few and far between, every morsel was a feast. Have you forgotten the taste of freshly baked bread? The aroma that did away with far more than hunger; frustration and stress were soothed away with just a few bites.
Bread. Life. Water.
No soda, no wine, no alcohol would ever satisfy you more right now. Mint tea is fine. Mint tea is great, in fact; it does away with the most urgent thirst and its sugar will just keep you from collapsing after the day’s trek. But water…
You are tracing its path on the stones along the road, trying to decipher the message its salts have left on the surface to tease you. Ghosts of water that was. Worse than a mirage because you know that this is not an illusion; water was here. Here where you stand now. Here where you need it now.
Where it isn’t anymore.