The weather is warming up again, and the thirst will be abundantly flowing, freely, down these summer fling, reverse cuffing, dating streets. The thirst…well the picture perfectly explains the term. During the summer months there will be plenty of thirsty individuals wanting…umm…your water.
We nestle into a small diner booth located on the tiny block-city in Oberlin, Ohio. I had planned my visit to Oberlin college, not because I desperately wanted to go to the renowned, musically inclined college, but because one of my fine female friends from high school went there. And according to her, she had an additional fifteen fine female friends. Leave school for a couple days for an all expense paid trip to visit a college campus, and hangout with close to twenty freshman college women…yep, I had to make the trip regardless of where this school landed on my hierarchical college list. Don’t judge me!
Unfortunately, piss poor planning leads to poor performance. The weekend that I travel to the Midwest, my sexy friend and her sexy female crew had gone to a historical Black college in Tennessee for some music festival (read: wild college party). My friend felt terribly that the weekend I came to see her, she was out of town. That’s how I ended up with him, Cleveland, my designated host for the weekend. To this day, I do not remember his real name, not sure if he ever told me.
“I’ll have a glass of apple juice,” I tell the waitress while I scan the menu quickly since Cleveland did not even bother to look at it. When I put the menu down, I see his head bending over the lip of the glass, sipping water. When his neck muscles retract, his head pops up, causing him to push his glasses back onto the bridge of his nose.
We engage in small conversation: I share with him my list of colleges and how my senior year has been going thus far. After a few minutes, he abruptly states, “You look like you get a lot of girls.” Caught off guard, I grin, buying time to think of something to say. Before I can respond, he says, “I’m not that attractive, but I get my fair share of women.”
Wait, what? Still not sure what is happening at the moment, I just smile and listen.
Cleveland precedes to share with me the culture of freshman life; the parties, the drinking, the sex, the interaction with upperclassmen, and the interaction among other freshmen. He briefly stops when our food is brought out by the visibly tired waitress, who must have had a late night, early morning. We eat for a couple minutes and then he picks up where he left off.
“Hold your water,” he casually states, while he puts down his water glass.
I politely interrupt him for the first time during our breakfast conversation. “What do you mean, ‘Hold my water,'” I repeat, making sure that I heard him correctly.
“These women are going to be thirsty when you get to college, if they not thirsty for you now,” he begins to explain. “You cannot give your water to everyone who comes to get a drink from you. In fact, the longer you hold your water, the more valuable your water becomes because the thirst will always increase because it never ends.” I instantly understand and nod my head in agreement. “Give ’em sips,” he chuckles. His comedic laughter causes me to laugh as well.
I never saw Cleveland again, but I always remembered his wise words that he shared with my seventeen year old self.
So well the thirst is activated by the raising temperatures, be mindful of Cleveland’s seemingly nonsensical words, “Hold your water.”
Do what you want. Hold it. Spill it. Share it with all. It’s your water. And remember, no judgement from me.