Thursday, August 20, 2009

Taxes--Until Death Do Us Part, Part 1.

Uuuuuuugggghgghghhhhhh! is not the obligation, it is the mechanism, or maybe the lack of mechanism.

This part is supposed to sound a little like that song, "Patches:" I was born a poor hungry white trash baby boy deep in the heart of south. My daddy had an eighth grade education. My mom, bless her soul, graduated from a convent high school, she was the well-educated adult in our extended family of almost-trailer white trash.

Not a lick (can you visualize the Dueling Banjo-meme?) of business sophistication or experience, nor higher education, no professionals, not one adult to serve as a role model or mentor. To summarize: lawyers, doctors, accountants did not run in my family shrub.

I graduated from Your Town High School in 1972 having had zero sessions with a guidance counselor and not having sat for any college boards. After three years abroad in US Army fatigues, I attended the large middle west college that my girlfriend was going to--on the academic theory that it was good to sexually active--and supported by the Viet Nam-era, GI bill. All earnings I had at that point and until I became a Bad Lawyer were subject to withholding.

During law school at the prestigious Your Town Law School (Harvard Law of the Underbelly) I moved into law practice with some ambulance chasers in a cooperative office where I had clerked. My economic life no longer involved the seamlessness of receive paycheck, pay taxes--instead the grind was starve, trickle of money, starve, starve, money!!!!!, pay all the bills, starve, ignore bills, ignore bill collectors, tell the accountant you have no money, get lots of money, pay everyone and taxes, starve. This pattern has existed throughout my twenty-seven years of practice. I profess no talent and no special insight for stabilizing or organizing myself out of feast or famine.

As a Bad Lawyer I've compounded my tax problems by wishful thinking, and by believing that through some miracle my tax problems would resolve themselves after the mythical BIG HIT. After all, I repeatedly won multi-million dollar verdicts that would prove to be uncollectable. What a way to make a living, huh! These last few years have been particularly grim, and crushing.

As you might say in "pleading" I incorporate by reference, my first entry on my current disciplinary-status--let me share an image with you: I like to ride a bicycle through Your Town Metropolitan Park, a road bicycle, old Italiano Steel. I ride nearly everyday. Even though I am riding in a park, on the parkway road, on many occasions cars edge behind me, 2 -tons of metal very close, and while I blissfully, prayerfully, chug along contending with the road in front of me these frustrated (because they have to touch their brake pedals)--drivers will unleash with the horn, and shout at you to get "off the road." In my case, the Disciplainry authorities are the motor car drivers, not only do they want me off the road, by taking away my profession until I pay my bills, they are blasting the car horn in my ears. I am powerless to do or say anything constructive to the disciplinary authorities, except to say roughly the same thing I say to the motorists who harass me--well, I don't actually speak , but I do salute them. Go ahead make an example of me.

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