October 24, 2016 (Kampala)
On Saturday…I worked on the grammar for a couple of hours and then worked out at the gym. There is a young woman we’ve seen at the gym a few times that I felt attracted to. It has been almost intolerably awkward trying to avoid all eye contact in a room with mirrors on all four walls. Last time, the exercise bike this woman was riding was right in front of where I was doing leg presses. I sat facing her but not acknowledging her in any way. This seemed ridiculous to me. So, on Saturday when the same situation happened, I said ‘hi’ to this girl, K. She was startled, but her face quickly softened. I saw she was cuter than I had seen before. We had a one-minute conversation. It was intense for me. I felt my pulse quickening and beads of sweat breaking out on my forehead. But at least I finally broke the ice. At least now I can feel free to acknowledge her and say hello when I see her. Phew…
[This encounter] represents a seismic shift in my approach to relationship and to the world. After looking into K’s adorable face and seeing her pleasure at seeing me see her with pleasure, I felt a whole new zest for life. It released some kind of valve inside me, a joy valve that I’ve kept tightly sealed. I have long suppressed that part of me that enjoys interacting with various women I find attractive. And a cool thing about it is that once I had the courage to talk to K – somewhat against ‘prudence’ – it freed me to relate to men more, too. It’s not because I’m a profligate who wants to womanize; it’s that I want to relate to the feminine side of God and the World – and of myself! – and feeling free to interact with beautiful women seems to open up that door for me.
My heart is aching this morning. I knew K would be leaving today for a month in America. Amber and I went to play tennis yesterday, and I was hoping and praying for an opportunity to talk to K again. During our whole tennis match, I kept watching for her to come. Then, to my dismay, I saw her walk from the gym and out of the club. My heart sank. On our way out, I saw her again along the road. I waved, but she didn’t wave back. I felt sick.
That heartache became a painful feeling of loneliness, a longing for intimacy. I came home and did what I almost never do – hang out on Facebook, sending messages to old friends. I felt desperate for connection.
What is this about?