Water by the Spoonful

by

Quiara Alegría Hughes

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Fountainhead is the newest member of the recovery forum, a once-wealthy entrepreneur and family man. When Fountainhead first introduces himself to the other members, he trips over his own ego and treats his crack addiction as a very minor issue, a psychological habit rather than a physiological addiction. This raises the ire of the other members, who understand that one cannot fight an addiction when their ego is in the way or when they refuse to ask for help. Although Orangutan and Chutes&Ladders (other members of the forum) verbally attack Fountainhead, Fountainhead makes real progress and earns their respect when he finally breaks down and admits to being a “fucking crackhead” with a two-year addiction, again demonstrating the need for and power of honesty in such groups. After Odessa overdoses, John becomes her only caretaker, responsible for getting her home and cleaned up, since she is too weak even to stand. The play ends with John helping Odessa bathe and dress before checking her into rehab. Despite his initial egoism, John’s final portrayed act is one of service and care for another human being, showing that he cares for her merely by being present.

Fountainhead / John Quotes in Water by the Spoonful

The Water by the Spoonful quotes below are all either spoken by Fountainhead / John or refer to Fountainhead / John. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Substance Addiction Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Theatre Communications Group edition of Water by the Spoonful published in 2017.
Scene Four Quotes

HAIKUMOM: So unless someone gets that desperate they don’t deserve our noble company? “Suffer like me, or you ain’t legit?”

ORANGUTAN: Haikumom’s growing claws.

HAIKUMOM: Just don’t act entitled because you got so low.

Page Number: 26
Explanation and Analysis:
Scene Six Quotes

CHUTES&LADDERS: Fine, when your son has a tummy-ache in the middle of the night and walks in on you tweaking and geeking just tell him, “Don’t worry, Junior, Daddy’s sucking on a glass dick […] but Daddy makes 300k and this is all a part of Daddy’s plan!”

FOUNTAINHEAD: I’M A FUCKING CRACKHEAD. […] Are you happy, Chutes&Ladders?

CHUTES&LADDERS: Absolutely not, my friend. I’m a crackhead, too, and I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.

Related Characters: Fountainhead / John (speaker), Chutes&Ladders / Clayton Wilkie (speaker)
Page Number: 42
Explanation and Analysis:
Scene Seven Quotes

JOHN: I lied in my first post. I’ve been smoking crack for two years. I’ve tried quitting hundreds of times. Day two? Please, I’m in the seven-hundredth day of hell.

ODESSA: You got it out of your system. Most people lie at one time or another on the site. The good news is, two years in, there’s still time.

Related Characters: Haikumom / Odessa Ortiz (speaker), Fountainhead / John (speaker)
Page Number: 47
Explanation and Analysis:
Scene Thirteen Quotes

CHUTES&LADDERS: Why are you there? Were you using with her?

FOUNTAINHEAD: No.

CHUTES&LADDERS: Did you sell her the stuff?

FOUNTAINHEAD: No, Jesus, of course not. She gave them my number. I’m her emergency contact. Why, I have no idea, we’re practically strangers.

Page Number: 78
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Water by the Spoonful LitChart as a printable PDF.
Water by the Spoonful PDF

Fountainhead / John Character Timeline in Water by the Spoonful

The timeline below shows where the character Fountainhead / John appears in Water by the Spoonful. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Scene Four
Substance Addiction Theme Icon
Internet Communities and Human Connection Theme Icon
On the internet forum, a new member named Fountainhead is trying to introduce himself. He begins typing a self-conscious introduction, but deletes it.  Instead,... (full context)
Substance Addiction Theme Icon
Internet Communities and Human Connection Theme Icon
Freedom, Identity, and Dissonance Theme Icon
Orangutan and Chutes&Ladders ruthlessly mock and ridicule Fountainhead’s introduction for its arrogance and half-hearted admission of using crack buried amongst his list of... (full context)
Scene Six
Substance Addiction Theme Icon
Internet Communities and Human Connection Theme Icon
Fountainhead logs on, thanking them for the prior “warm two-by-four to my head.” He goes on... (full context)
Scene Seven
Substance Addiction Theme Icon
Internet Communities and Human Connection Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
Freedom, Identity, and Dissonance Theme Icon
Odessa and John (Fountainhead) sit together in-person in a café booth, chatting about religion, family, addiction. When Odessa... (full context)
Substance Addiction Theme Icon
Internet Communities and Human Connection Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
Odessa tells John about several therapy and rehab options until John admits that he lied in his forum... (full context)
Substance Addiction Theme Icon
Internet Communities and Human Connection Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
...her share of the fee, but Odessa makes excuses. Elliot is obviously spiteful towards Odessa. John introduces himself, but feels awkward being there for this family altercation. To try to end... (full context)
Substance Addiction Theme Icon
Internet Communities and Human Connection Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
However, before John can leave, Elliot asks if he knows what happened to Odessa’s daughter. Odessa is pained... (full context)
Substance Addiction Theme Icon
Internet Communities and Human Connection Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
...out. When he comes to, his little sister has died from dehydration. Stunned and embarrassed, John pays for his coffee and leaves. Yaz says that they never say Elliot’s sister’s name... (full context)
Scene Thirteen
Substance Addiction Theme Icon
Internet Communities and Human Connection Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
Fountainhead appears in the forum, saying that he is on a hospital computer, and tells them... (full context)
Internet Communities and Human Connection Theme Icon
Fountainhead is nervous, since he is on day one of his recovery still, but finally agrees.... (full context)
Scene Fifteen
Substance Addiction Theme Icon
Internet Communities and Human Connection Theme Icon
In Odessa’s bathroom, John gently helps her bathe, lifting each arm to sponge her off. Odessa is conscious but... (full context)