I don’t want to do it. I don’t want to leave the writing groove. I savor the days I wake up and write, do some book promo, catch up with happenings on Facebook, and write. Oh, I said that. So what’s interfering with this tranquil state of mind? Taxes.
First came the property taxes. Did you ever notice how fast that system can work? I mailed my property tax check and like two days later I looked at my bank account and the tax collector had already cashed said check. Then again, I mailed another check in payment of a bill from my town of La Quinta to Cathedral City, a distance of about 20 miles, and it took 20 days to navigate the system. Okay. To be fair, it was during the Christmas season. But still. The property tax collector has “Mail Pull.”
Now it’s income tax. Such dreary words. And such dreary documents. All those W Something or Other Forms from the government. Then I have to ‘fess up to income sources, last year’s property tax bill, DMV car license info, mortgage interest if any, medical expenses, charitable contributions. Ad infinitum. Ad nauseam. I feel tired. I know, I know, we need money to run the country. Is everyone paying their fair share? That’s another post. All I can say at the moment is, “Where’s Errol Flynn when you need him?”
But today I’m starting the process. The dining room table is cleared, ready to receive “the file.” During the year, anything to do with taxes gets dropped in “the file.” Wish “the file” was more orderly. But at least everything is all in one place. Or that’s the theory.
It’s not going to be nearly as much fun as writing. Perhaps similar to watching paint dry. Where will be the discovery, the aha! moment, the depth of feeling, the weaving of the plot, the unmasking of a character? That’s exciting. It’s not all that exciting to see where your money has gone. Might even get depressing.
In about an hour I am going to sit down and begin. Writers always say that part of the process of writing is to sit your self in a chair and begin. Well, I’ll apply that same principle to doing the taxes. I may have to add a rope and tie myself there. I’ll be easily distracted.
First is the sorting. Said papers go into designated piles by categories. I made my own form that covers the stuff I need. When I have everything sorted, then comes the deep diving into each stack to extract the numbers and write them on my tax check-list.
I have an appointment with the tax preparer. That’s the date that’s really motivating me. I have to have everything ready for them by the 21st of March. But, you know, other things are going on. It’s called life. Much more fun than taxes.
Okay, I’m walking toward the table. I’m sitting down. I’m pulling the chair into position. But wait. I need a good pen and a sharp pencil with an eraser. I need a calculator. I’ll use the one on my phone. I get up again. Find what I need. Should I have a fresh cup of coffee? Might as well. And then onward to do the deed, secretly hoping the telephone will ring or I’ll hear the ping of a text or the ring of the doorbell. I listen.
Nothing. But the sound of taxes.