The Computer Tutor
For the first time in young Drew’s life, he can’t wait to go home for the holidays as an adult instead of a college kid. He’s just started a new job, working as a veterinarian at a 24 hour emergency care clinic. But his boss at the animal clinic tells him he has to work Christmas Eve and a good part of Christmas Day because the other ER vet broke her leg. More
When I phoned my mom a week before Christmas Eve and told her I was looking forward to spending the holidays with the family, I honestly meant it this year. For the first time since I could remember, I was smiling at the thought of going back to Asshat, USA for a few days. Though I was still waiting for my real adult life to begin, I knew my young adult life in Asshat was over for good.
After years of hard work, I'd finally graduated and landed my first authentic-paying position as a veterinarian in an emergency clinic the previous August, and I hadn't been back home since Easter. I'd grown up in a small town about four hours northwest of Philadelphia. In high school, a group of us had nicknamed the little town, Asshat, USA and it stuck with me all these years.
In Philadelphia, I'd shared a dingy college apartment near University City with various guys for almost seven years, including a full-time lover. I wasn't one of those students who went home every weekend. I only went when it was absolutely necessary.
Ever since I left home for college, going back to Asshat for the Christmas holidays always filled me with anxiety and made me feel trapped. It was as if that little town was a magnet, and it was sucking me back with a force too hard to resist. I experienced nightmares two days before I left Philadelphia. My heart raced at the thought of being locked in Asshat forever, working alongside my dad in his small veterinary practice, waiting to die a long, slow death.
Landing my new job at the twenty-four hour emergency clinic had helped dissipate my fears. Now, I had my own studio apartment in Philadelphia, a few bucks in my pocket for the first time in my life, and I was going back home as an adult, not a needy student.
This realization made a huge difference, knowing that you're completely self-sufficient and no one can tell you what to do anymore. Though you're not a complete adult yet, you're on your way. When you know you're going home for just a visit and nothing more, your childhood bedroom starts to take on an endearing, nostalgic appeal instead of a depressing, confined look that tightens your chest and makes you want to heave chunks.
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