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"Water, water, every where

And all the boards did shrink;

Water, water, every where,

Nor any drop to drink."

 

-Samuel Taylor Coleridge, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

 

We have one of those water filter pitchers in our kitchen. There’s three of us in this house. My mom and dad. And me.

At breakfast, my dad will hold the pitcher up and say, I just put water in here, and now it’s almost empty. I guess I’m the only one who ever thinks to fill the water pitcher.

My mom will look at the pitcher as she’s making lunch. The water in the pitcher will be low. She will fill it, and she will say, I don’t know why no one in this house ever fills this thing besides me.

Tonight when I’m making dinner I will reach for the water pitcher. There won’t be enough water to fill the glasses.

I will fill it. Then the glasses. Then I’ll fill it again, and I will say, why can’t anyone ever remember to put water in the pitcher.

It’s the same amount of water now as it was when the earth was formed.

And it takes the same amount of time to say the pitcher's full.