La Voz de Galicia – 12 de xaneiro, 2024 →

Cristina PatoI don’t know what my mother has against water. She doesn’t like drinking it, and it costs her a great deal to do so. When we are together, I sometimes put in a bit of lemon or ginger to see if she drinks it better, and the truth is that it works for her as well as for me because I also inherited that bad habit. The fact is that the other day, while she drank water with lemon at my sister’s house, my mother started talking about the flavored waters that the water carriers or the aguadores carried. And then I realized that the only aguadores I had seen in my life, I think, were the ones in the paintings of Goya and Velázquez, and that I never asked myself what exactly they did or when they disappeared. We cannot forget that, in this part of the world, water through plumbing did not reach many homes until the middle of the twentieth century…

And so, talking about how quickly we forget the old offices and devices, it came to me the image of that night watchman that walked around the center of Ourense during the time I attended night school, and also that phone that «marked the paces» at the store of Lola in Armariz, and that booth at the corner of 11th street and Bleecker where, when I moved to New York (it’s been now twenty years), I spent to hours a day talking there. It came to my mind the first time I saw a mobile phone, and a laptop, and also the first time that we used a microwave at home…

How quickly everything changes, I thought. I am like my mother, I thought. And if I don’t hurry I will become stuck in this era. But I also thought that the rhythm of actual technological progress is almost impossible to follow, and that regardless of how much I hurry, I will always be behind. So, I will continue walking in this other rhythm, my rhythm, the slow rhythm. Because, where is one going in such a hurry?

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