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The Mother of All Road Trips

(by Tricia Sullivan)

In 2017, freshly graduated with a degree in writing, literature, and publishing from Emerson College, and with no direction to speak of, I moved to Los Angeles, to be with the friends I made there in my final semester of college. A bunch of us spent that semester at Emerson’s L.A. campus for career opportunities, adventure, and memories. I went purely in search of a good time, and it remains, to date, the very best time of my life. But I only intended to stay for a year. After eight months, I was crying on the phone to my parents about bizarre medical issues and desperate loneliness. Two weeks later, I picked up my mom at LAX, and we packed up my life to drive it 3000 miles cross-country to Vermont—I was headed home, a broken girl.

My mother and I spent a little time in the city before heading off, doing things she’d always wanted to do, like touring the movie stars’ homes. (We learned that Quentin Tarantino and Lady Gaga lived next door to each other. I was shocked there had been no collaborations—imagine it. It writes itself.) Of course, we had the obligatory meal at In-N-Out Burger, and I drove her up the I-5 to the Burbank Fry’s Electronics where I had worked when I first got to L.A. She squealed and covered her eyes as I navigated the busy lanes of the freeway with easy precision.