At a Duane Reade deep in Brooklyn, I waste fifteen minutes and twenty dollars on travel bottles of shampoo, soap, face wipes, plastic zippy bags, and small, slick pouches full of almonds and cashews and trail mix. I lurch around the store with it in my arms and spill it onto the counter in front of the cashier, who adds it up without comment. Then I go out into the cold street again.
I want to do this second residency of grad school well, to be a person whose comfort I marvel at, the person whose room, after the ten days, looks like she’s really lived there, like it’s been home. She knows tricks, or maybe it all comes naturally.
Right now, I have only piles: snacks, books, tights, boots, underwear, toothpaste, Chapstick, an X-acto knife, hair elastics, bobby pins, scarves, bracelets. Silver earrings, handkerchiefs, a mason jar. My perfect, ancient green sweater with the holes in the armpit and the neck. Gratitude, gratitude, gratitude.