Another CertaintyMature

Come one, come all. Complain. Vent the pain. Rant. But go deeper. There's meaning. There's gotta be.

Finishing off the 2012 tax return was not how I'd expected to spend Saturday afternoon. I had been prepping since the New Year, O'yes, stashed my T4 and T5 along with the 2012 tax return pack I'd gotten at the 7-11 postal outlet in February. The general return, they call this one, perhaps six hundred pages thick. Punch a hole in one corner and hang it in the cottage outhouse for handy reading material. This year, Canada's feds felt it high time Canadian tax-payers went paperless, filed our returns online, and simply trusted some unnamed tax department somebody doesn't forget a dongleful of confidential everything next time he or she goes for a Tim Hortons double-double.

Canadians reluctant, or perhaps not serviced by any of Canada's altruistic ISPs, of course can file paper returns. Stacks of return envelopes appeared at 7-11 in January. Only empty envelopes. Boxes of tax returns appeared in February.

I lovingly split apart my paper tax return pack. Assembled my working set. Carefully put away the set I would transfer the plusses and minuses to, and eventually mail out.

Writing and work and whatevers unrelated to taxes felt more important. I put off starting the return until late March. No biggie: April 30 is filing deadline.

Late March, I worked out the easy bits, pages 1 through 3. Done in fifteen minutes. I had writing to get back to, a dvd later, I didn't want to waste the evening on the six pages of provincial and federal tax schedules. Anyway, I still had one whole month left to do it.

So, okay, I finished those six pages Saturday morn. Checked the maths. Began the slow exercise in penmanship which is...the making of the clean return I shall mail in.

Yes, I'm the only one to blame for leaving those six pages of provincial and federal tax schedules until Saturday morn. Still, I was glowering throughout the doing. I had writing in my head I wanted done too. And a simmering headache, doubtless my brain cells sputtering out over those six pages. In a word, I was miffed.

Rain had lashed the apartment blocks of Marpole earlier. A stiff sea breeze too. That much I'd heard during my hours stooped over six pages, and making the clean set. Done and dazzle-eyed I stapled together the finished return, jingled coins in my back pocket for the stamps I'd need, headed out the door.

It had snowed. Pink snow. Over sidewalks and parked cars and far up every street as I could see. Earlier rain and wind had battered the cherry trees. Cherry blossom blizzarded about. It was nearly enough to lift me from my tax return glower. I snapped a bunch of cherry petal snow pics to mark the moment, walked to the 7-11, mailed away that tax return.

Saturday felt ruined, though. No excess of sweet-scented pink sidestreets could return my hours fizzled away over pink and blue tax forms. The earlier story idea had fled me. My brain was mush. I paused at the curb, pondered the fate of rainwater gurgling and swirling down the blossom-clogged drain.

Water flows downhill. Marpole's storm sewers drain to some multiple-trap treatment facility. No poetry there.

Like suicidal rain run-off I started downhill, away from the pink sidestreets, away from the growl of traffic threading along Marine Drive. I went to glower by the river.

The river never appears to glower about anything. Of course, that's because my brown river has six hundred miles of daunting topography and the Rockies behind it, it never glowers, it flows around and over obstacles.

I came away soothed.

The End

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