Photography by Devon Butler
I’ve always thought it strange how young men and women choose to consume water. I drink from the tap myself, but currently, the available options for water consumption are obtuse, if not impressive. Daniel has a loft apartment in downtown Speatbridge (Speatbridge is a fictional city that I’ve made up for storytelling purposes, and I should also point out that Daniel is actually a woman, and this woman does not exist). Daniel prefers to get his water from a filtration container, which is of course, filled from the tap. It’s unclear why Daniel chooses the filtered pitcher over the tap water, but he has never acknowledged this as an obsessive compulsion, and has instead normalized the behaviour as if has been typical for generations. Daniel keeps the pitcher in his fridge, next to the milk and orange juice.
Despite his dependency on this filtration system, and having used it for years, Daniel has never investigated what it is that goes into the filtration process, and what it is that functions as a filter. While Daniel was out, I looked into it, and it seems that the pitcher is governed by the filter’s “carbon and ion exchange resin.” This resin improves the water’s taste, and makes the water healthier. This may not be important to Daniel, but it is important to me, as I am strangely interested and invested in Daniel’s health.
If you’re wondering, I’m less concerned about my health, embracing the copper, mercury, and cadmium that may or may not be a regular part of my diet. I had given up on my health long ago, accepting water from fountains, taps, and arbitrary canteens. Surely, this behaviour represents some kind of gamble, and I have been fortunate enough to survive in this ongoing game of truth or dare.
I’ve come to believe that this consumption of unfiltered, unbottled water is some kind of complicated addiction. Every day I find myself at a tap with an empty glass, ready to fill and consume, with no regard for the contaminants that I may be ingesting. Often I find myself wondering how so many generations have survived, when so many have been afflicted with this impulse; to drink tapped water.