Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Prosaic and the Historic

A little misty-eyed after watching the podcast of the inaugural speech, I celebrated with a cup of lotus tea. And then it was off to see my nursing home patient.

She was in her usual position, propped up rather awkwardly on several badly placed pillows. However, instead of the cacophony of duelling talk show guests on her TV set, I was greeted by jubilant paraders in sequined costumes marching in the inaugural parade. The TV set, with its wide screen emanating vibrant colors, dominated the small room.

She had been watching TV all morning, imbibing images and sounds of the inaugural broadcast. A styrofoam cup placed on the corner of her bedside table proclaimed in a scrawled handwriting on its surface, "We can do it."

I did not turn off the TV, as is my wont when coming to see her, as I felt it was fitting that we share these historic moments together. She was very happy for the nation - and also pleased with the First Lady's sartorial choice for the occasion. We chatted a bit on nonmedical matters, touching on interesting points of the broadcast.

She complained a bit on the unpalatability of the chocolate cookies that "were hard as rocks" as they had been sitting around for hours uncovered. The orange juice that she counted on having daily at breakfast seemed to be on short ration as well. She asked me to do something about these matters and I told her that I would do what I could to help. Feeling rather ineffectual as I took leave of her, I made a note to remind myself to bring her a bottle of orange juice when I see her next month.

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