ERNIE AND ERESTINA: Searching
Book Two, Chapter 296: Ernie’s Paisley Scarf
Today, a cool day in November, I’m wearing a paisley scarf that belonged to Ernie. He found it in a vintage-clothing shop. The shop’s owner had found it on a buying trip to Paris.
Once, going through Ernie’s top drawer, I help up the scarf. “Do you still want this? Or do you want to get rid of it?”
He looked up from the bed, where he was writing, and said: “I wore that in New York.”
On that trip to New York, I took a photo of him on a bench in Central Park. He’s wearing the scarf under his leather jacket. It’s this photo he chose for the back flap of his memoir. Of course he wanted to keep the scarf — for its beauty (how sensitive he was to beauty), for its usefulness, for the memory it held.
Ernie had memories. I blocked mine. No wonder he said to me: “You don’t have a sentimental bone in your body.” No wonder he said: “After I’m gone, you’ll throw out all my papers.” No wonder he said: “After I’m gone, you’ll mourn me for three weeks, then you’ll forget me.”
Today, I wear Ernie’s paisley scarf and am grateful he wouldn’t let me throw it out. I’m grateful he didn’t throw me out. Most men would have.
If we hadn’t been co-dependent, he probably would have.