“Remember,” my mom tells me, “Thanksgiving isn’t that far away, and you’ll be coming home then.”
“Yes, I know, Mom. Thanks.” I’m actually feeling relatively confident at the moment. Although my move cross country has been laden with ‘I’m-never-going-to-make-it’ and ‘why-the-heck-did-I-think-this-was-a-good-idea-anyway?’ moments, actually surviving the seventeen hour U-haul drive and subsequent unpacking has filled me with the hope that anything is possible. That, or the cold medication is making my brain all shiny. Still, I’m a family-oriented person, and even if grad school only lasts two years, I know this will be a challenge at the start.
“You’re going to do just fine. But I want you to promise me if you start getting so lonely you feel suicidal you’ll find a coffee shop or something and go there.”
This makes me laugh. “You mean so I can sit by myself and watch all the other people being happy and not alone?”
Mom rolls her eyes. “I just mean you shouldn’t sit inside brooding. It’s good just to be around other people. You could also go to the library. I’m sure there must be one on campus.”
I exchange a grin with Tom. “Again, a veritable hotspot of activity and non-depression.”
“I’m just saying— ”
“I know, I know; I get you. If I can’t stand the apartment I’ll probably go to Barnes and Noble and steal their books. And if I’m really desperate to socialize I’m sure I can call up Mark or some of the grad students.”
“Oh, that’s a good idea,” my mom says, sounding relieved.
“Better than sitting by myself in a coffee shop. Though I guess coffee shops and libraries do have a shortage of available methods for committing suicide.”
“Oh, ha, ha. I’m not going to miss you, you know. I’m just going to miss the puppy.”
I smile at the little chocolate lab curled at my feet. “Tough luck. She’s all mine. You can go hang out at Starbucks.”