Q. What’s going on inside?
Q. Had you been disintegrated?
A. Yes. Flat out discombobulated.
Q. How would you describe this state of discombobulation?
A. It was beyond mere confusion or befuddlement. I felt as though I were living in two different worlds at once.
Q. Only two?
A. Perhaps more than two. But two that I was aware of.
Q. Can you describe those worlds for me?
A. I’ll do my best. In one world, there was a woman. A young woman, with whom I have been endeared.
A. No. More like fatherly. Someone who has a beautiful spirit, but is uncultured in manner. I felt drawn to her, not unlike Henry Higgins in Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw–the play memorialized in the musical My Fair Lady.
Q. By Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe?
A. Very good! And she resembled Eliza Doolittle. I therefore wished to take her into my home, and educate her.
Q. Are you certain that was your only motive?
A. Not at all. And therein lies the second world.
Q. Can you describe the second world?
A. Full of desires for immediate gratification of base impulses. No longer concerned with being a father-figure or an educator. But rather drawn away by —
Q. By lust?
A. You said it.
Q. So how did you deal with this sudden outburst of youthful feeling?
A. I wrote in my diary. I sent an email to the Associate Pastor. Then I turned off the phone, so it would more difficult to keep texting her. And I closed off our series of texts with a courteous goodbye, indicating that I might see her on the next day.
Q. Will you?
A. Perhaps not. Something tells me to steer clear of her.
Q. What are you afraid of?
Q. Aren’t you old enough to know better?
A. Yes. But that doesn’t mean I might not fall.
Q. What does all this mean?
A. Probably that I’ve been in a certain measure of denial. I like to think I need my space. And I am grateful for my solitude. But that gratitude seems to be restricted to a certain interval between about 3 and 7 in the morning, where I sit here alone, and reflect, and write. At all other times, I avoid my apartment completely. I hate to feel that rush of loneliness that comes upon me whenever I walk through the door.
Q. What are you to do about this?
A. Nothing. What can I do? I can’t tell myself I will be alone forever. Nor can I control who is going to cross my path. I guess I’ll just wait. And pray.
Q. Isn’t that a bit passive?
A. Would you rather I be aggressive?
The Questioner is silent.
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