Tax Season Blues
April Men's Room
Anthony Corvino is a teacher and Wilmington transplant from New York. His hobbies include sleepless nights burping, feeding, and changing Andy.
I hate debt.
I hate it with a passion because debt threatens the fabric of my ‘American Dream’. To be able to sit on my couch and not have debt. I already accomplished step one: couch acquisition.
Now, all that remains is the lumbering mass of student loans, hospital bills, a car loan, and mortgage (that’s right I counted the house, too!).
How do I withstand this unenviable mountain of IOUs primed to overwhelm my sanity?
It is a daily battle, allow me to explain.
I start every morning in bed, exactly where I left me. I look over to see if my wife is asleep or has left the bed early to feed our newborn son. If she is asleep, I know I’m still in debt, but if she’s awake … I’m also still in debt.
I head over to my dresser where I’ve carefully laid out my work clothes the night before because the part of my brain that color coordinates prefers about nine to twelve hours of visual stimuli before any major decisions. I put my clothes on. I check my wallet.
I search through my phone: pictures, text messages, iPhone software updates – anything that can let me know that I am this Anthony Corvino, and it is in fact the year 2016, and I still cannot have one more cat or otherwise the house of cards I call a Sears Craftsman Model North Carolina Bungalow lifestyle I’ve cultivated will most undoubtedly implode in on itself.
I eat half a banana. I drive to work.
Tax season has drawn nigh, the fourth-least popular season behind winter, baseball, and thyme. Taxes are an opportunity for my family to finally get back that free loan we provided the federal government.
We spend nearly two whole minutes searching for the most appropriate (cheap) tax filing software with names like TaxSlayer, TurboTax, and Taxoplasmosis. I comb through Facebook trying to contact our one friend who used to be an accountant’s mechanic’s stepbrother and ask if Steve can guide us through this confusing process. Steve is out of town for Burning Man. But didn’t that happen in September? Yes. Yes it did …
I call my dad, and he agrees to gladly argue with me through W-2s, credits, and deductions on the weekend.
The drive home is always a little longer than the drive to work.
Is it the anticipation? Yes. I can’t wait to spend time with my family.
I also become quasi-titillated lowering the thermostat to a balmy 68 because it’s February, and we’re not the Zuckerbergs. My wife maintains she did not raise it to 71 degrees.
“I have doubts. I have such doubts.” – Meryl Streep, Doubt
As we finish up supper and recline back into the Crayola marker-red, microfiber three seater backed up against the living room, I rest my forearm on one dog, while the other backs her head into my lap.A cat is perched behind my neck, and another fatter tabby stares over the windowsill plotting a coup d’état against the bedpost. My wife, seated adjacent, has our son halfway between The Heisman and the three-bottles-of-wine-in-one-arm carry.
We breathe in. Home. Exhale.
To view more of illustrator Mark Weber's work, go to www.markweberart.blogspot.com.