ERNIE AND ERNESTINA: Searching
Book Two, Chapter 74: Addiction
My session with therapist Jene is over, and I’m on Broadway waiting for a bus when a slight young man, weighed down with a backpack, walks toward me. Barely slowing down, he asks: “Do you have a cigarette?”
I shake my head. He asks the same of a man sitting on a bench in the bus-stop shelter. Getting another headshake, he keeps walking.
The late February wind slaps my face, and the cold presses against my denim-clad legs. I yearn to be home. I want my ice milk and cup of cocoa immediately. I need my fix fast: sweet, cold, vanilla-flavored mother’s milk; and sweet hot mother’s milk flavored with cocoa.
Finally I arrive home and down my two servings of ice milk and my mug’s worth of cocoa. Now what? My immediate needs have been met. Now what?
I am without an answer.
I am so needy. I need Ernie. I need Ernie to make me feel whole, to fill the hole inside me that food never will. To warm me the way cups of hot cocoa can’t.
Will I always feel cold and empty? Is this what my life will be like?