August 11, 2002
As I recollect it, I was with my mother and brother in Washington D.C., at a march and rally--the actual cause escapes me now, but I seem to recollect it being something about Pro-choice and Women's rights. I can't even remember the date now, but I must have been at Sarah Lawrence at the time. Anyway, it was one of those massive events with about half a million people milling around listening to the speakers and sitting on the grass in groups.
And out of this absolute throng of people, I heard this voice, and saw this person--none other than Danielle. Bearing in mind I must have met her once or twice tops, I was surprised to see her, and surpised that she seemed to remember who I was. We said hello, and she was so friendly and so welcoming. I seem to recollect she had come out from Chicago with a group, but my mother says it was when she was a page in D.C., because Danielle made quite an impression on her as well. As we left Danielle behind, still the center of attention in that mob of people, my mother said to me, "That's quite a girl." And my mother remembered being quite taken and impressed with Danielle at the time.
It was just so typical. Out of half a million people, Danielle stood out in the crowd. She was just so there, so alive in her own skin--so young, too, and yet she had such a presence. I was a bit awed and even a bit envious--charisma is a rare and elusive quality, and Danielle had it, completely and utterly.
I remember also Danielle phoned me at my flat in Dundee when she was visiting Scotland. There was talk of hooking up with her on her travels, but as these things often go, it didn't quite happen. It's of deep regret to me now that we didn't manage to meet up. I'm sure it would have been a big laugh in what was a very dark cold winter for me.
I'll always wish I'd known Danielle that little bit better. If there is one thing I have learned from her passing, it's not to let the chance to know people slip by. I've always been inclined to being a resistant antisocial person with big walls and impenetrable defenses. Danielle demonstrated, in the most remarkable fashion, the joy and delight of reaching out to others, and of knowing love. I thank her for that, and will always remember her for it.
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