A Simple Observation

 
Just as a tulip is revealing to young Rory its upright stance, green stem, and yellow petals, Old Sis claims its color to mean “hopeless love.” The way she makes “hopeless” sound bugs him as much as the sound she makes of “love.” Anyone calling anything hopeless is hopeless anyway. As for love, it comes with its own quandaries.

Though he may have planted the same flower in the backyard two years ago as part of a biology experiment, Rory can bring no such flower to represent anything more than Little Brother’s personality, small and vibrant.

The word tulip, says Old Sis, comes from the Turkish pronunciation of a Persian word meaning “turban.” “For God’s sake,” says Rory. “Why is it always the sounds of things with you? What about the tulip itself? Where does it come from?”

For Rory, whether the tulip is supposed to match the shape of a turban or evoke the prettiness of bunches of bright turbans adorned with parading flowers, the love it means, though somehow meaningful, is neither hopeless nor romantic.