There is something seriously fucked up about working this hard only to lose $500 bucks in my '08 tax return. Lost it to what? Social Services? The Arts? Public Health Care and Education programs? HA! Losing $500 bucks that meant the difference between food in the cupboard and bus fare to work, clothes on my back or paying my rent on time in April. Having been relieved of one of my part time jobs in November I've been trying to find the good in all this. It's a good thing that I no longer work 65 hours a week, right? For one it made me feel dead inside, without creative or spiritual energy; for two it made me feel like I am nothing but an endless debt that never gets paid down; for three it leaves nothing at the end of the day for gardening, drawing, fucking, loving, walking, playing, breathing, napping, cooking, joyfulness or beauty...
On September 11, 2001 among the many conflicting and horrifying things I felt was one tiny-enormous feeling: a connection to my countrymen that I had never, ever experienced before. For the first time in my short life I knew that coast to coast the nation held it's breath, shed it's tears, voiced it's rage as one. Though our disagreements would follow I had glimpsed something amazing... to perceive this whole U.S.A. as connected, to sense for the first time a national identity.
As I sat at my dining room table this afternoon filing my taxes I had this experience again. Across the country people are feeling the same horrible, gut rotting thing: What now? I know many people are not making ends meet, are making cuts in already strained budgets, telling themselves to take a deep breath and keep focused on the moment; trying to tell themselves that it will pass before they lose the house, before the next round of layoffs... What the fuck is this? Is this who we are?
I know I'm not the only one who can't see beyond the next paycheck.
I scrimp and try to wear my shoes and clothes until they have holes in them. I skip buying groceries because the $25 will get me to work for the next week. Seriously? $25 for groceries?
I know that this rant means nothing and even contributes to the cacophony of fear, but filing my taxes makes me feel trapped! I don't know what the fuck I'm doing here, working in a capitalist society with a president who may have said what he meant or maybe not! Sure, I could give up my internet and save $90 a month but it's the one thing I splurge on. That and $6 a week at the little Cuban place across the street from my apartment: coffee and blueberry pancakes can maintain anyone's sanity.
I made 5 grand more than I did last year but my return will be a whole $18. Yee ha, maybe I can go get that IRA started at last.
Fuck this passive-let's-be-calm-and-take-a-deep-breath-and-live-in-the-moment-bullshit! I'm having a beer and blasting KMFDM and MIA, praying to God I don't completely lose my fucking mind tonight trying to hold on to what little I "have."