The furtive licking belies the intensity of his desire; the need to merge with water made crass by honest thirst. To fully reveal the moment, we use slow motion.
As time expands, the tongue ceases to be a blurred, simple instrument, but becomes grand. Its size and ability forces a wishful comparison to a human phallus. This is not a ladle, but a genetically calibrated tool for manipulating the adhesive and cohesive properties of water. It is a canvas of muscle; the craft executed upon it suggests base needs need not be met with coarse means.
The liquid feast stops. The subject becomes aware of the audience observing its satisfaction in water. It is here that the vignette displays its perversion: The archfeline consumes from a gross exaggeration of human tools of consumption, a mug of glass that can hold a bottle of wine. It is only because of the size of the container that the feline can push his head into it to imbibe what we once screamed was human water, before we began to fill the glass solely for his benefit. The idea that water could be human came too easily to us. Did the connective linguistics mean to imply the water was possessed of human quality, or was it the notion of ownership, the natural instinct of humans to claim all that surrounds them as soon as they can hold it within their thoughts?
Cerebus draws his face from the glass. Perhaps he realizes his drinking, like many others’ before him, has been recorded for distribution to an audience of which he can not conceive. He seems to suspect that there is a world beyond his ken, and he does not like it. There is reproach in his face: Whatever connection this moment suggests is not desired by him. Yet as he turns his head to judge his watcher with the cold eyes of a master predator, he seems to set his shoulders in a manner to please the human observer. It is natural to him, and challenges the assumption of our importance, as we are forced to consider that our notions of beauty have been shaped by this speechless creature, patiently forming our minds with the subtlety of a god who does not wish to be seen.
Like God, his acknowledgment is ephemeral. He only wishes to drink, and the investigation of the world outside his wishes is momentary. He returns his head to the glass and pauses. Perhaps he is immersed in the instant of ritual, or conceiving a prayer. Prepared for fulfillment, he resumes.
A human ass enters the frame. Stripped of context or any other humanizing feature, its only purpose is to respond to Cerebus’s reproach with mockery. Whether the ass has any such intent is irrelevant: The ass underscores the truth that even with the technology to manipulate the experience of time and elevate the object of the human gaze into dignity, the random motion of the universe will always intercede to shatter our fragile notions of artistry.
Cerebus does not heed this interruption, and the ass recedes. Soon after, the movement of the video returns to normal. The drinking again becomes furtive, for he only wanted water, before we tried to break him with our eyes and words.
(Video credit to Alex who probably doesn’t want his last name here since I talk about him smoking pot elsewhere, and God knows how long that’s still going to be a stupid legal problem. Video blame for portrait orientation also to Alex.)