ERNIE AND ERNESTINA: Searching
Book Two, Chapter 118: The Second Honk
Walking back from the library, I see out of the corner of my eye a white van. I hear a honk.
I keep walking. I’m carrying six books in my left arm and a tote bag loaded with soup and eggs and jam over my right shoulder. I’m tired from working until midnight last night on the Charles Street house — our last night there — and I want to get home, eat my asparagus-leek soup and spread my strawberry-cabernet jam on a piece of toast.
At the second honk, I look up. It’s a mail truck and that’s my mailman David at the wheel, a smile on his face. I smile, wave, go up to his window.
“I didn’t think you’d turn around,” he says. “You were locked up in your thoughts. I told myself: She’s not going to turn around.”
“Your second honk did it,” I say.
That’s me. I’m slow to respond. It takes at least two honks.
I remember what Ernie said to me, way back: “I asked you to lunch the first time, and you turned me down. I asked you a second time. I wasn’t going to ask you a third time.”
Usually, life gives us a second honk.