Yuma was also thirst. My thirst there was unlike any I’d ever experienced. The sensation went beyond my mouth, throat, and stomach. It clawed at my body’s very cells. There were times when I couldn’t seem to quench it, no matter how much or how swiftly I drank. And yet, if, as Cervantes observed, “There’s no sauce in the world like hunger,” then surely there’s no better additive to water than a great thirst.
Americans, maybe humans worldwide, don’t grant thirst the same significance they grant hunger, even though water is more essential to our survival than food. We in America don’t hear about “children going to bed at night thirsty.” Of course, this is because a glass of tap water in America is so readily available and cheap. (For now. We’ll see how climate change tampers with this.) The bottled-water industry notwithstanding, we aren’t drowning in ads to relieve fundamental thirst. Water in American advertising is merely a medium to deliver alcohol, sugar, “purity,” Coke’s secret formula, caffeine, “vitamins,” and “electrolytes.” As if hydration isn’t satisfying and celebratory enough.