ERNIE AND ERNESTINA: Searching

Book Two, Chapter Nineteen: Rupture

My family has always thought Joshua and I had a good mother-son relationship. Joshua and I know better. I’ve judged and criticized. He’s hidden and defended.

The night of Christmas Eve and all Christmas Day, we didn’t see each other. Lately, when we talk on the phone, we repeat ourselves, filling time and space, or we endure long pauses. We don’t have anything to say to each other, it seems, or we have so much to say, and where and how to start?

He doesn’t trust me because I’ve not been there for him in the past, and I was only there with him at my brother’s house for two weeks. I’m not comfortable there, and he’s not comfortable here. “I never liked your place, and it seems smaller than ever now. I don’t even have a chair to sit in.”

He won’t sit on the long camelback that Ernie stretched out on, where Ernie ate and read and wrote. No, he won’t do that. I avoid the bed, and Joshua avoids the camelback.

I haven’t invited him over for dinner because I don’t cook dinners. I eat oranges and raw baby carrots and peanut butter on crackers. Keep it simple. Just now I’m worn out, both from the Charles Street ordeal and from being with Joshua. And Joshua is worn out from the Charles Street ordeal and from being with me. And being with Christy. And doing all the work he did in L. A. to raise the money for Charles Street.

Are we closing our rupture? It’s going slowly, but I guess we are. At least, we’re trying. It’ll get easier, won’t it?

My writer husband’s favorite nickname for me was Ernestina, so in this 3-book memoir, he is Ernie. This is his story, our story, and my story. I invite you in.