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April 6, 2001

Angie and I emailed every week night, but on weekends she'd go off to some place for recreation. I was getting deeper into my cycling. For 14 of 17 weekends starting in April, I had a grueling race or ride, often driving alone for hours, through areas which Ha and I had visited in 1998 or areas Cathy and I had spent time in during 2000. Long drives, deja vu, and stress made me long for someone to come home to. My year was focused on racing Okinawa in November, but I needed someone to talk to in my rest time. It had been wearing on me and this whole thing with Angie was tiring. What sounded like a great idea at first now looked like another endless internet relationship that would never come to reality. I never knew what I felt for Angie and I needed someone with skin on.

In April Angie moved from Malaysia to Indonesia and told me she'd be there three years with the United Nations, working with children. I was very proud but also knew I could never visit that country. The word was I'd probably be shot if I showed up in such a radical Muslim country. Tolerance? It's always asked for by non-Christians but rarely practiced by them.

I didn't understand it--why would Angie tell me she loved me, not want me to visit her in Florida, then move to a country I couldn't visit for three years? I couldn't get mail to her. While she was still in Malaysia I spent days making a CD for Valentines Day and mailed it--it never showed up. It was a work of art and it disappeared into Postal oblivion. Letters disappeared. Now in Indonesia, phone connections were lousy. I was lonely. I'd been riding so much I needed someone to talk to, even if it became more than friendship. I needed that option. I'd felt alienated by Seaford Baptist Church since my stay in Florida. No one contacted me or answered emails the entire time I was there, and it took time to feel comfortable speaking to and being close to them again. It wouldn't be the first time this happened with a Baptist Church.

On April 4, I phoned Ha. I hadn't talked to her in over two years. It was a nice break from Angie. At least Ha was within 1600 miles and I didn't have to worry about hurting her feelings because she had none. Then I phoned my favorite uncle, Lawrence, in Indiana. I resented things he'd said about Ha in 1998 and though I forgave him, I never felt close to him after that. When I was home for Christmas 2000, I only visited him once and the night before I left for Virginia I phoned him to say goodbye. He sounded sad because he wanted to see me again. It touched me and I told myself I would try to connect with him again, just like the old days. So on this day, April 4, I phoned him, long distance, again out of the blue, and we talked for three hours. After all, he was almost 73 now and he never did mean any harm. He'd been a rock for me all my life. He was still my Uncle Bushy.

That night Angie and I had a confrontation. She said she loved me but I wasn't ready to be more than friends. She was right. I needed someone I could see, touch, and smell.

To forget her would be to deny that she was unforgettable
 To touch her would be to deny that she was untouchable
 To reach out to her would be to deny how close we were