it's that time of year again. the teacher is moving all of our desks into new pairings with the hope that we'll learn to mingle more and be less "cliqueish". the mood in the room is a mixture of fear and excitement as the lot of us look around in the hopes of getting placed next to friends and not in the vicinity of anyone too repulsive.
when my turn comes up, i'm placed next to a pretty girl with long, curly locks of sandy blond hair. for my part, i'm terrified -- she's one of the more popular girls in the class and i... well i'm not very well liked at this point in my life ;-) i can't stop looking at that hair though...
over the months we're seated together, i learn to relax. turns out that i don't burst into flame when she looks at me. like any other relationship imposed on two people who would normally not associate, we find common ground and learn how to compensate for each other's weaknesses. i help her with her school work, and she... sings. i am 11 years old and for what feels like the first time in my life i find myself stepping back from my work and just listening to the beauty in the world. before allisen, i don't think i ever really appreciated music.
allisen clements was one of those girls who somehow managed to brighten the room just by being in it. like the girl i met on the subway that one night, she had a way of making those around her want to let go and live... if only for a little while.
whenever i'm feeling too wound up, i try to think of her and so this morning i went googling for her. turns out she works at a community centre in vancouver these days. i guess she's still brightening people's lives ;-)