One morning one of my fourth grade students in the class, Alan, was staring out the window more than usual. In fact, I thought I detected a tear in his eye. I went over to him and whispering, asked if he was alright. He nodded one of those classic, lying nods. For some reason I asked him if it was a girl. Actually, I know why I asked him that; I was joking, and I asked him that to relieve the tension. He would laugh and say, “No Mr. R., that’s not it.” The laugh would help things. But Alan shocked me. He looked out the window and whispered, “Yeah it’s a girl.” I am positive my jaw dropped, leaving my mouth wide open, but Alan didn’t notice. He was achingly looking out the window, and I knew I had accidentally guessed why he was crying. I asked if there was anything I could do, and he shook his head, one of those head shakes that say you made a mistake even asking.
A week later, Alan and I were sitting in the cafeteria eating our lunch, and Alan excitedly whispered, “There she is, Mr. R.” I looked up and saw exactly who he was looking at. Any aficionado of females would know. It was Elizabeth, one of the prettiest girls in the whole school. I then looked at poor Alan. I say "poor Alan" because Elizabeth, nay, I say no girl, no female, or no woman on this earth will ever gaze upon Alan the way he was mesmerized by Elizabeth. He had the same countenance as I imagine Sir Lancelot had when he gazed upon the Holy Grail, and the same look that the Dalai Lama will have when he again speaks to his countrymen at their mountain temple. Poor Alan.