Wednesday, August 1, 2007

537 days, 9 hours, 52 minutes, 28 seconds

Five days ago the Special Olympics stopped at the White House rose garden and, accompanied by police, had its Flame of Hope relit. The games are global now. Athletes from China were on hand to be photographed. The president and the first lady were there to welcome them (and also be photographed). The president talked about sponsoring the games when he was governor of Texas, and how these intellectually challenged athletes inspired him to forge ahead as well.

537 days, 10 hours, 29 minutes, 1.6 seconds

Everybody brings her flowers. And she's delighted by what people choose. This last bunch has long purple spikes, as if designed for the one pottery vase she has. And she only has this vase because she bought it as a Christmas gift, then chipped it. When she was in the hospital her parents bought her a huge bouquet on the street, not stopping to think there wouldn't be a vase. But that was Sinai, sixteen years ago. Her mother was alive. Her father still spent hours tending his rose bushes. Hour after hour after hour.

And here she is, a teenager yet again. Her favorite song is Bobby Darin's "Artificial Flowers." She writes rhymed poems about crying clowns and dead roses.