Ice Cold Water

Ice Cold Water


The palate clears, but the flavor of regional words sticks to the roof of the
mind, salt, style slapped to theme: the categorical difference between a shooting
star, otherworldly as it is, and its oceanic twin, slippery as a child at the
playground, contracting its five arms toward its center, twirling, turning around,
riding itself and abiding in its secret pleasures, neither bitter nor dour, which
would suggest preference or its absence, something that simply goes from here
to there, from one port to another, from this to that shade of meaning. Listen
carefully to what is whispered in your ear: bring me “a glass of ice cold water”
which, no doubt, will be found in the “ice-box.” But this request has nothing
to do with quenching thirst. It has a twin meaning, maybe Siamese. It’s a
highly personal way of considering and particularizing a universe that, all of a
sudden, belongs to everyone, a currency, the familiar voice of all who open
their doors and respond the same way with the same gestures and by so doing
come to be themselves. What, otherwise, are a provincial’s daily pleasures? At
ease speaking the vernacular God mandates and calling a spade a spade,
avoiding any direct link between what was requested and served and what truly
corresponds, the said and the received. And so what in other places might be
called falling head over heels is rendered here as “a bucketful of ice cold water,” an
expression derived from purely metaphoric “snows.”

(translated from the Spanish by Forrest Gander)

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