ERNIE AND ERNESTINA: Searching
Book Two, Chapter 78: Egginess
Jene asks me, at the start of each therapy session, if I have any questions. Usually, I shake my head.
Today, I do have a question. “We’ve had four sessions together. What do you think?”
“What is your assessment of me?”
His eyes dart to his right and back again to face me. Will he answer my question truthfully?
“First of all, I like talking to you. Also, I do think you are clinically depressed. It’s situational — Ernie’s death brought it on. I also think you will get better.”
“Maybe my serotonin and dopamine levels have always been low,” I say. I think: Maybe I’ve always been depressed. Maybe that’s why my neurotransmitters are low. Maybe I’ve always been depressed and didn’t know it. That’s what Ernie said long ago, just after we married: “We’re depressed and don’t know it.”
Jene smiles. He looks grandfatherly today in a blue vest over long-sleeved shirt. “I’m a country boy. You’re not a country girl, but you’ve heard the expression all your eggs in one basket, haven’t you?”
I nod. “This past year I’ve felt like Humpty Dumpty, too. I’ve fallen from the wall. I’ve cracked up. I’ve come unglued. How can I put myself back together again?”
Later today, walking to the Charles Street house, I think: Yes, I put all my eggs in one basket. I weighed Ernie down with my egginess, my lack of development. No wonder his basket broke. Then my shell broke, and out came this ungainly, undeveloped creature.
I guess I’m finally developing. I’m expanding my mind. I’m enlarging my heart.
Good for me.