Water

I’ve been struck by the imagery of water as I have begun doing a new round of revisions (which round, I do not want to know). The very first story I examine in my dissertation is called “Dios en la tierra” by José Revueltas. In this story, a group of soldiers are so thirsty that they are practically hallucinating. They see a “thirst-god” everywhere. The townspeople (who they are fighting) protect their well with the fierceness of the desperate. In Juan Rulfo’s story “Luvina,” which I discuss in my second chapter, a group of women leaves their town when it is still dark to get water. They appear to materialize like bats out of the blackness of the night. Then, in a novel called Oficio de tinieblas by Rosario Castellanos, a character gets a maniacal inspiration as she gazes at a pool of water. Slowly, it takes the shape of her brother, and she decided to marry  him off to an unsuspecting, desperate young woman.

Water is still hugely important in Mexico, and elsewhere in the world. A person needs water everyday to survive. However. The Mexican government seems to be unable to provide clean water for Mexicans (even though many metal covers on the streets say “potable water” I would not drink the water that comes out of my tap). Companies like Coke and Pepsi seem to manage where the government fails. They sell bottled water everywhere. Where there is no water, there is for sure coke or beer. These companies are taking over the government’s job, and creating distance between those who have, and have not. And these “haves” are the most basic rights.

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2 responses to “Water

  1. Our water is clean in the system but acquires contamination in the household rooftop tinaco. It’s recommended that people clean the tanks at least once a year but even so it’s hard to keep them clean. We have one kitchen tap that delivers water direct from our household intake pipe (i.e. without passing through the tank), and I would drink from that tap, except the water often comes so highly chlorinated that it’s unpalatable.
    The most striking failure to deliver is in certain colonias (majority of them in Iztapalapa) that go for weeks or months without running water.

    • this is a thing that I wondered. I know that other cities have world-class purification plants, but it is the infrastructure that’s the problem (ie pipes, or, the black tanks). I am also slightly alarmed because this weekend my water was pretty brown for a few minutes. But this is no comparison to having no running water.

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