1 min readNov 15, 2021



Book Two, Chapter 52: Wooing

Joshua comes over, finds the box of vintage cigarette lighters he left with Ernie and me years ago, and begins to unclog and clean one of them. He plans to mail it to a female friend in L. A. he once dated . . . not Christy, whom he hasn’t talked to in a week, ever since the phone conversation when she called him “wishy-washy” and hung up on him.

What is Joshua thinking? How did he get this into his head? Baby, you light my fire? What woman would fall for this?

Most women who are wooable want to be wooed with dinners and diamonds. That’s Christy. And isn’t Joshua going from one woman to the next? Immediately? Is he that needy? And is his neediness causing him to think crazy thoughts and do crazy things?

Oh Ernie, Joshua and I are so messed up. You wouldn’t recognize us. Or would you?

Late in your life, you said to me: “If I had the courage, I would put a gun to my head.” I said back to you: “It takes courage to keep on living. It doesn’t take courage to kill oneself.” But what suicide does take is pain — pain so overwhelming that killing oneself seems the only way out of it.

Joshua is in pain now. In my living room working on the lighter, not talking much, he looks like a hurt child.

What will help him?

What will help me?




My writer husband’s favorite nickname for me was Ernestina, so in this 2-book memoir, he is Ernie. This is his story, our story, and my story. I invite you in.