April is the cruelest month. So said some poet long ago, and if you can’t trust a dead poet, who can you trust? It’s not just the weather–in contemporary America, April’s associated with, respectively, Baseball’s Opening Day, and the month we pay off the government. Tax Day = Agony, Baseball = Ecstasy. To simultaneously feel both agony and ecstasy, I long ago decided, is to reach a state of enlightenment. I’m not there, unfortunately, since it’s the former that’s dominating my mind.
I should be figuring out my taxes this very moment; hence, procrastination in the shape of a blog. Funny, I’m usually procrastinating writing by doing all sorts of household tasks. The Ides of April looms large, and the scraps of paper lie scattered upon a table near my desk. I am seized with a sudden need to sleep.
When I first entered the world of adult work, and had traditional kinds of jobs, I always got a tax refund; thus, April was a joyous time financially. Many years and jobs later, when I went freelance, I always owed a fortune, despite earning less than previously. That’s because, in an effort to keep its citizens in an easily trackable place, our goverment discourages freelancing by hitting us with a double whammy: not only do we have to pay all the Social Security and other taxes that weren’t taken out by an employer, we’re also charged simply for being self-employed.We can, of course, drive these taxes down by assiduously completing the long form, deducting for every crumb eaten and mile driven in the course of our work…but I’ve never beat this system. In fact, the less said about my relationship with the IRS, the better. I’m probably mad to be writing publicly about this at all.
So I’ll just apologize for taking up your precious reading time. I’ll try to stop procrastinating and go do the deed. Forgive me for being so self-indulgent and boring. I try hard not to write drivel on my blog. Once in three years should be excusable. Or am I being presumptuous?