Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Tax Man Cometh

Distractions. Lack of focus. Dread. My annual day-after ritual. Post birthday, that is. Those unavoidable, mandatory, all encompassing tax preparations. Time suck required. Now. I know. I know. April 15th is still months away. Early bird discount. The deep deuce if in my accountant's hands before Valentine's Day. His gift to me. Sealed with a kiss? Hardly.

So my gorgeous double banded mahogany dining table with acanthus carved pedestal legs has been requisitioned to serve as ground zero. Mission central. Morphed into a duty not befitting its stature. Piled high with reddish-brown pressboard accordion files, strewn with odd-sized bits of paper in all colors notes scribbled in red and marked with a circled 'T'. Like steer branded for slaughter. Receipts for meals eaten, flights flown, books read and medicine taken are commingled with assorted and sundry pens, pencils, paper clips, staplers and my trusty HP-12C. Difficult to navigate. A jumbled mess.

Post-It notes stick to the precious veneer labeling soon-to-be sections where category organization will take root. Charitable contributions, here. CCG company receipts from a deflating economy as clients bailed and deals unwound, there. An oversize Topsider shoe box for Charlie's giant boat shoes stuffed, the giant rubber band from Staples taut, containing a year's worth of American Express, MasterCard and utility bills paid up to the final moment -- when champagne corks popped and 2009 became a blurry memory.

Faced with the hum-drum minutia and the mind numbing organization of my tax stuff I have been a maelstrom of activity. A goddam marvel. A whirling dervish filing and arranging ancient bank statements tossed haphazardly on the shelf in the back of a downstairs closet into 3 inch black plastic binders preferring the painful finger pinch of the giant d-rings to my dining room table. Doing anything, but.

Procrastination as an art form. Perfected. Better to take an unpleasant stroll through the village neighborhood with Bailey in frigid 20 degree snowy wind than confront the quagmire in my dining room. All I want to do is skirt the piles and jolly-off.

I head straight to my ochre French Provencal kitchen to bake something scrumptious ... blueberry confections and a savory pumpkin soup. Who needs paper cuts from rummaging through the shoe box and accordion files holding receipt from last year? Or, arms elbow deep in a gaggle of papers? Not me. Not today.

Shaking my dry martini like a maraca, ice clinking like a steel drum ... I float away from the mundane task facing me tomorrow. Cheers!

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