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I dropped off my taxes and got the will notarized. I suppose the first is an expression of faith in the future, right? I’m always mailing the returns on the 14th, and it’s nice to imagine myself explaining for the 32nd time to my wife why I’ve waited until the last minute – but this time it’s a sunny day in July.
Before setting out, check the supplies. Gloves, just in case? Yes. Sanitizer? Yes — no wait it’s not in my pocket what happened, this is like living in a fallout zone and losing your iodine tablets
Ah, there it is, slipped out of my pocket. Whew. Back out of the driveway, thinking if this was a fallout zone, and you lost your iodine tablets, could you eat lots of salt? It would have to be Morton’s. Are all salts iodized? I know they added the iodine to keep people from getting goiters. I remember Grandma told us that she had a goiter once, and us kids had no idea what that was. Probably something along the lines of a girdle or a garter or other incomprehensible female infrastructure.
If all salts are iodized there’s no chance I’m going to be goiterized, not with our current diet. On the other hand, I am concerned about getting enough Vitamin D, because apparently that helps you ward off the Covidian Plague. (I like calling that because it makes me sound as if I’m in a ’50s sci-fi story on a United Planets heavy cruiser to the Altoids System.) The story said Iran’s disastrous experience with CP could be a chronic Vitamin D deficiency caused by restrictive dress codes.
There’s a twist they didn’t expect.
But, well, no one expected any of this. I mean, we did, because we were told it was inevitable, but we really didn’t expect this. Hey, nothing’s certain but death and taxes! Said the man on the way to drop off his 1099s and get his will signed.
Traffic is reasonable for 1 PM. It’s heartening to see all these cars. I know I should be dismayed, but it’s like a really good immersive VR program of life in the Before Times, except the sight of $1.99 at the corner store would have jerked everyone out of the simulation. Aw come on man, get the details right.
I think about what two-buck-chuck will do for the convenience stores. It’s fantastic. The lower the price on the pump, the looser wallets get in the store. Usually in the apocalypse movies you’ll see gas at terrifying prices, like SEVEN DOLLARS. I’m surprised to see the sign could handle the 1 when it’s been set at 2 forever. It’s like bringing an old actor out of retirement for the role that makes everyone remember why he was loved in the first place.
“Two-dollars won’t be going on tonight. We’ve come to ask you, One-dollar, if you can climb up on that sign and bring back some of the magic we know you still have.”
I arrive at the tax office place. My stretching exercises now consist of using my knee to hit the handicapped door-activation plate. I feel as if I should strike some tai-chi pose, or whatever it’s called. Contemplative Swan. Burgeoned Turkey.
Inside there’s a young fellow at the desk; I offer my package of documents, and he points to a bin on a chair. We’re supposed to drop them off there. They will be cloroxed later. I mention the whole will-notary-witness thing I’d discussed on the phone, and he says of course and goes off to get some accountants and tax preparers to sign the papers. I go into the conference room, spread them on the table, then step out. The witnesses go in one at a time. The notary appears, and she’s all sunny:
What a pickle don’tcha know!
I make some crack about something, apologize for the dark humor, and say “sorry, have to look on the amusing side of all this.”
“I read you in the paper,” she says, smiling. “I love that you find something funny in all this.”
Well, there I am, the luckiest man on earth again. Dropping off the tax forms and completing my will, but on the bright side, here’s a fan. It hasn’t all been for naught.
“I need your driver’s license though,” she says.
Fame has its limits.
I get out my license, hose it down with disinfectant, and place it on the table. It’s as if the symbolic embodiment of my existence is infected.
When all is done we chat for a while about how everybody’s in a rush to get their wills done. She was the same! Did it online but didn’t get it notarized, and how frustrating is that, because she’s a notary! It’s like she can’t vouch for her own existence.
The door opens. A small frail woman enters, looks around. She sees the basket for the tax document drop off. She tosses her envelope and backs out. I leave a minute later, and see her in the parking lot — she’s driving an enormous SUV. She hangs on the steering wheel like a comma. She looks fearful — no, she looks empty. She looks like a husk, like a chrysalis that hopes it might still have a butterfly inside, but knows better.
When I pass the only grocery I visit these days I see a young woman striding to her car with . . .
In the old movies the comedian would blink and rub his eyes, but we have trained ourselves not to rub our eyes anymore, and did you know itchy eyes were a Covidian Plague symptom? Anyway, she has . . . toilet paper. No. Can’t be. I park and enter, and head to paper.
There must be a hundred bales of toilet paper. At three PM. I think: the fever has broken. We’re going to make it.
And there’s flour. And cake. And meat. And coffee. Annnnd a free-floating miasma of CP, so finish up and get out.
I am greeted by a strange creature as I leave.
He is walking slowly, with that sort of idiotic politician pretentiousness turkeys do so well. He’s not happy to see me, and wanders up to my car. From what I can tell he sticks his stupid head in the wheel well. I honk the horn. The turkey sticks his head in my window and has the gall to gobble at me. I drive on slowly, and check my rear camera – didn’t hit him.
Dropped off taxes, did the will, got toilet paper, didn’t kill a dumb big thing. I’m putting this day in the “win” column.
To tell you the truth, they’re all in the “win” column. My temperature’s normal and my bourbon’s iced and everyone at home was fed, and the girls watched their Spanish soap opera, and we’ve all agreed that tomorrow we will have pancakes. I’ve never felt so blessed.Published in