Monday, April 12, 2010

D & T

Blogs anchored to some extent in the quotidian ought to reflect seasonal recurrence. Those of us lucky enough can start our tax preparation journey, armed to the teeth with TurboTax Deluxe, until just days remain. Last year’s tax preparations—while they began around the same time—extended over several weeks of dreadful shenanigans. They were occasioned by the subprime meltdown in the wake of which I had to assault heaven and dig up hell in efforts somehow to salvage something from the ruin. This year the process took a mere four sunny hours—but the time was still long enough for me, in between punching in answers, to reflect on death and taxes.

My own take is that neither the one nor the other is unwelcome per se. One represents a transit of sorts, the other a necessary contribution to things collective—some of which we might deplore but most of which we actually favor. But it isn’t death, as such, nor yet paying taxes, as such, that make these words sound dreadful. It’s all in what leads up to them, people, not the mere fact of the matter. Signing the check if you owe (or looking up the bank’s routing number if you anticipate a refund)…closing the eyes in that last moment before you shuffle off the coil—those things are easy. But sometimes the path to either one of these events is rocky indeed. And sometimes not. Today’s event was (to be sure the fingers will remain crossed for a while)—not.

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