It’s my second year of university and my roommates do not acknowledge me when I walk into a room. “I feel isolated. I want to come home,” I say to Mum on the phone.
“Go to the bookstore,” she commands.
I do. I buy some books and feel better.
My roommates have forbidden me from turning up the heat. “I miss you. I want to come home,” I say, shivering.
Mum is silent. She’s thinking about something.
“When you miss me,” she says slowly, “look at the moon.”
I stare out through the window of my basement room at the moon, hard yet soft, like an eggshell.
My mother is self-conscious of her curls, which have a habit of sticking up in every direction. She has taken to wearing my younger sister’s baseball hats, which say edgy things like “mood” and “antisocial social club.”
She starts saying something but I interrupt. “I can’t take you seriously in that hat.”
“Why?” she says.
I shake my head, smiling, so glad she is there. Hat or no hat.