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A Drink From The Hose

August 30, 2014

As I walk across the backyard, pale millers blink up from the recently mown grass, flitting away along random trajectories. I breathe in the solar-heated air, thick with humidity. The grass is green but dry under my heavy feet, the morning’s cool dew just a faint memory. The afternoon sun is now strong and direct and I am thirsty. Very thirsty. It’s a physiological thirst that comes from running and playing on a hot summer day, from expending boyhood energy. The sweat on my brow is a reminder of the need to replenish my body’s liquid reserves. I trudge over to the house and hunch over with my hands on my knees to rest for a second. I realize I’m breathing deeply as I survey the area around the spigot. The bare brick wall, the sandy dirt, and the protruding plumbing fixture harmonize to make an ideal ecosystem for spiders and crawlies. Remnants of a cobweb are easily wiped away with the toe of a tennis shoe, and I lean down and grab the spigot’s metal handle, and begin to twist it. My face is inches away from the scratchy brick. I can feel the heat radiating out of it, even though it is now under the shade of the overhang. Three squeaky revolutions of the knobby handle should be enough. I hear the gurgle coming through the plumbing in the house. My eyes follow the garden hose from the spigot, snaking around in a limp warm coil and terminating haphazardly in the yard a dozen feet away. As I pick up the terminal end of the hose, it spits and sighs and coughs and spits again, as if annoyed by the inconvenience of being pressed into service. Finally a few spurts of water fly out of the end of the hose, followed by a stream that hisses and burbles, then quietly settles into a flowing gusher. I don’t dare drink the water at first; it is warm and stale and nauseating. Anticipation throbs as I feel the rubber hose cool in my hand. I turn the hose upwards, and the cooling water splashes over my fingers. The stream pushes itself up into a fountain, and I lean down and drink from it deeply. The cold water fills my mouth and spills down my chin as I take swallow after swallow. Lowering the hose and pulling my face away, I gasp in a few breaths and let the geyser arc into an ever-growing area of soggy grass. After catching my breath, I bury my head in the upturned stream again and drink deeply, savoring it a little more appreciatively this time. My thirst is quenched now, and my hand, forearm and shoes will all dry out well enough. I better shut this off before this part of the yard turns into a mud pit.hose drink

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