ERNIE AND ERNESTINA: Searching
Book Two, Chapter 230: The Trap
Ernie was constantly on the alert. “I see everything,” he’d say.
This vigilance kept him tense because underneath his vigilance was fear. Usually he confronted his fear by doing what he feared.
Scared to marry? Then marry three times.
Scared to have a child? Then have a child at age forty-one.
Scared to write fiction? Then write all kinds of fiction: literary fiction, romances, Westerns, Gothics, mysteries, suspense.
Scared to reveal himself? Ah . . . then let characters in his books reveal themselves to the bone.
Scared to be by himself? Then find a person as scared and needy as he.
Ernie’s trap — and my trap, too, of course — was his fear of being alone. What if he needed help? Who would be there to help him?
Even when he’d had it up to here with me, as he once said, and “either you go or I go”, he would not have left me . . . because I was the one sure person who would not leave him . . . at least, not physically.
“I guess we’re stuck with each other,” he once said.
Stuck does not move.
Stuck is not love.