It’s Easter Sunday and I’ve just had my taxes done (the only day my preparer and I could find in common). I’m self-employed and fairly accurate when it comes to estimating my liability, but was shocked to learn I owe hundreds of extra dollars.
I’d forgotten that our youngest had graduated from college in June 2011, gotten a good paying job (damn her!), and we aren’t entitled to those juicy tax credits. I’m pretty much hating life when Wilson reminds me it’s time for our walk.
It’s Fort Bragg. It’s Sunday. It’s Easter. It’s 3:30. You could lob cannon fire down any street in town and no one would be harmed. I’m looking forward to a peaceful outing with my dog.
We head west on Fir Street. At the Episcopal Church, we encounter a couple walking south along Franklin. The woman looks like a gypsy—black peasant top rolling off her shoulders, poufy black skirt hanging in layers. Bracelets—lots of bracelets. Black hair pulled into a sloppy bun to reveal a neck tattoo. The man is handsome under a grizzled layer of thick tanned skin and dusty clothes.
I owe hundreds of dollars in taxes. This is not a happy Easter. However, I do my best to return her greeting.
“This is my dad.” Her laugh is a cackle.
His chuckle is more of a growl. If a lion could laugh, this is what it would sound like.
I take a long, hard look at them. I suppose he could be her father if he was five years old at the time of conception.
He gives her a sexy glare.
She swishes her skirt and offers a saucy flip of her head. She cackles again.
They take up position behind Wilson and me as we walk south on Franklin. She tells the world, “I feel great . . . just great! This is the happiest Easter ever!”
I wonder about her menu for euphoria. I want that happiest Easter ever feeling to unravel the tangled knot of IRS debt squeezing my heart and lungs, reducing my breath to shallow gasps. I want euphoria now.
A social worker once told me that some women in this town trade sex for drugs. I wonder….
They are walking from the railroad tracks that run through the north end of town, past the cemetery and into the wilderness. One doesn’t have to go far to be in total isolation. All manner of whatnot goes on in that area, the details of which I don’t want to know. There are concealed places that might be ideal for trading sex for drugs or drugs for sex.
I turn my head and take another look at the Grizzly Guy….