Wednesday, April 18, 2007

panic attax ...

for most of my friends, the tax season is their own personal episode of wheel of fortune. around january they start confiding the huge bundles of dinero they are anticipating and the gadgetry and fine, shiny wares they will purchase. this always makes me feel like a mathematical and financial failure, as i've never received a similar haul. maybe once i got 25 dollars back. maybe.

i always wait until the last possible second to send my check. it feels like i had the irs's illigitimate child and i have to buy the bastard's diapers now they won't let me see it.

this year i turbo taxed that mess a few weeks early and saw that i would be getting an $1,100 refund and i practically crapped my pants in glee. i had visions of a kayak or an ipod, a new laptop or, gasp, a SAVINGS ACCOUNT! then i realized i'd made an error. i double backed through the paperwork, punched in my numbers and literally watched my refund number roll backward 6's and 5's blinking on my screen and i'm like "stop stop stop!"

and so i went from winning a new jeep and a dog, to owing 275ish dollars.
i wept for my unborn dog, jake, and the unrealized frisbee caught in his teeth. cruising up the shore without my hard top and listening to summery music. eventually i'm going to start living in reality. but probably not today.

i remember when i was still living in rochester. completing my taxes at about 11:30 p.m. on april 15th. hank's bated beer breath, watching me sign the forms. we were in a hurry to get to aquarius club -- at that time, the city's worst excuse to get manhandled under a black light. we would take over a large speaker and turn it into our personal dance stage and grind on the railing. across from us, different groups of sequined performers gyrated. they had actual choreography.

i dropped my tax forms in a random blue mailbox on the way to the bar, and weeks later i received a message from the irs: a fine for my tardy payment.

last year i did something similar, although i took my taxes to the post office. i wasn't sure where it was located, and turned off on 40th west and found a lot of stuff that wasn't the post office. i called oregon, who directed me back to 27th. i mailed that junk at 11:55 p.m., and hi-fived the other stragglers on the way out. then i went to the bar.

this year i finalized my taxes around midafternoon. took a nap. woke around 8 p.m. yawned and thought: eh. i've still got time. i went to buy stamps, realized i'd forgotten the paperwork, stopped at coldstone creamery and ate a large strawberry blonde ice cream treat for dinner. came home and watched the news. yawned some more and thought: eh. i've still got time.

my postal contact called me soon after and told me that this year was void of stragglers. the collective had done a bang up job of paying their taxes on time, and the extra two day extension had gone unrealized. i said i'd still not mailed mine. he sighed.

i finally got to the post office around 11:10 p.m. the place was empty. my procrastinating people had left me hanging. i dropped it in the box and finally just one car pulled into the lot and a girl sprinted into the building waving an envelope.

but i was already in my car, so i didn't get to give her a hi-five.

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