ERNIE AND ERNESTINA: Searching
Book Two, Chapter 242: Sharing
Joshua taps softly on my door this afternoon and comes in bearing a shopping bag he unloads in my kitchen: apples, guacamole he made over the weekend in Jodi’s kitchen, and two chicken breasts they grilled in her back yard, each breast topped with a banana pepper they bought at a farm market. They also went to a drive-in movie last night.
“A Jennifer Aniston movie,” he says. “Sort of crass, but I liked the drive-in. We could even see the stars.”
“And the moon,” I say. “I spotted it last night. It was slightly lopsided.”
This morning, on his way back from Jodi’s, he stopped by the bakery for two eclairs and three angel dips — my current favorite pastries. They’re in a white box tied with red ribbon, and the box comes out of the shopping bag, too.
“Thank you, Joshua. What a treat. I’ve been wanting chocolate.”
“We need to fatten you up,” he says. “You’re way too skinny.”
I let this comment go, but I’ll tell him soon that I want to be the weight I am. One reason I now keep my hair short is to lose the weight of it. I don’t want to feel weighed down. This is why I write so much, and talk to my Twelve-Step friends, and talk to Joshua. I no longer want to be weighed down with thoughts and feelings I don’t express.
He and I head out to a baseball game — finally — and arrive at the stadium near the river. We take our seats. In the distance I see a silver bridge. Our seats are in the sun, but this afternoon there is no shady side; the few clouds flung about don’t dim the late August brightness.
Joshua’s wearing a tweed cap that covers the top of his head, but his face and neck are exposed. I touch his neck. “Just this week I gave away a floppy straw hat that would’ve given you protection from the sun,” I say. I take off my wide-brimmed straw hat and hand it to him.
Briefly he puts it on, then hands it back. “I’m not wearing that. I put on sunscreen. I’ll be okay.”
We watch the game. I feel detached from it but in a good way. In the old days I bought a scorecard and kept a record of every at-bat. Now I wonder at the person I was.
Our team scores a run in the bottom of the ninth and has a chance to tie the game — if this batter keeps the rally alive. He swings big, and the ball soars over the infield. Continues climbing. Way back, way back even more — to the warning track — the center fielder goes . . . before he catches it. Game over.
Life is not a game. It’s not about winning and losing. It’s about sharing food, time, talk. It’s about . . . sharing.