the sound of a thousand heartbeats sends vibrations, like small earthquakes through the crowd that waits for that first string of music to come floating on the air. eyes meet, but don't see, everything blurring into one big finger paint abstract art piece. all the colors of the rainbow.
there, i hear it, and we make our way onto the track, breath leaving our lungs in a rush as we lift our heads high, some with wet trails down cheeks, some showing teeth in large cheshire grins. for this one moment all is right in the world, at peace on the playing field together.
these are the Olympic games.
i walk behind him, letting everything wash over his face. the excitement, the energy...intoxicate. seeing his mom in the sea of people, it bubbles over, as he yells, screaming, lost among all the others yelling and screaming. but he know she hears.
she is there, when he needs that last little push to make it to the finish line, when he wants to fall to the rubber race surface and quit. her tears and adulation, mix into a balm to sooth his hands crimson and raw from each step. we dance in endless circles, to celebrate, medal sparkling on his chest, pale beside his heart. arm raised high in crooked wonder, his lopsided smile threatens to swallow the rest of his face, and he believes anything is possible.
tonight, as regal music pours from the small television perched on the bar, athletes following the procession wide eyed, lost in its current, i think of him. of a weekend shared fifteen years ago, when i volunteered to be a coach, and just happened to be paired with him. i wonder does he ever still run his finger across that medal and remember just how special he is, and that the possibilities are endless, even in that wheel chair.
i di jit...
yes, you did buddy...
...you did it.