This morning real snow was falling when I woke up, early, white coating everywhere outside across the expansive horizon of dead naked trees. The remaining bare branches like pathetic tallies counting yet another winter coming, passing.
I do not have gloves, a proper winter coat, or boots. My feet are cold and wet inside the thin socks around my ankles, my shoes absorbing water.
I slosh around the wooden porch as it is freezing, wet snow on fallen leaves.
I do not have a shovel to clear it.
The foldable chairs outside are heavy with wet.
I do not have an ice scraper so I wrap a plastic bag around my hand to wipe the side mirrors and windows of the car. Snow still gets in through a hole and I do not notice until my pink wet fingers are in pain when I go to grab the steering wheel.
I am told by several people up here that they do not want me to leave, "selfishly."
They write checks for me which I take on my exit.
I am told by several people back there that they are glad I am returning, "selfishly."
They squeeze into my calendar and I leave them there.
I wonder what I am doing for myself now, in the limbo between purpose and proposal but still in purgatory. I had thought it was so clear, the selfishness of acting myself. Now I am not so sure who I am acting as, for whom I am acting.
What is my stereotypical appearance in the present and how does it differ from being monotypical?
I want to have my money and I want to see my friends.
I want to have my house and leave it too.
I want my memory.
I say out loud that there is no image I would want to use as my icon, my default to be remembered. There is not yet a standard image of me.
Is my appearance at the present always in the present tense?
If I am in disagreement with how I appear now does it still have to be in the present perfect?
How do I buy myself better? How do I purchase progressive?
"I'm imagining a black turtleneck," I am told today.
We stare at each other.
This is how I have seen progress. Someone else sees it too.
"That is exactly what I had pictured," I respond. "But first I need to cut my hair again."
I think of how I had been told, at the New York Film Festival, that I had gone "from black and white to living color."
I choose to go back to black and white now, for the sake of permanence.
To remove Time from the equation leaves you with Speed and Distance unable to reach each other through a solution, at least in physics.
What is my trope?
We look at photos of "mary gaitskill" and "mary gaitskill" "young" and "mary gaitskill" "two girls" and wedding photographers in New York. I dissect the photographers' portfolios and say one makes me feel objectified, one makes me feel commodified, one makes me feel like an Internet meme. If I were buying.