Eyes Are Us
I walked in from the sun and left in the rain.
Righteously Mad at myself and the Office of Internal Revenue. The woman on the phone said to bring an ID and money to the third floor of 31 Hopkins Place. I’m behind on my dues for taxes, not federal, but state. I have an envelope that contains $5,000.
The ATM machine between the entrance and lobby of the building picks up my chin and requests my glare. $5,000 dollars. I borrowed the money from my father to come here. My driver’s license expires in two weeks and the Maryland Dept. of Motor Vehicles dictates that I must pay 60% of my accrued interest, fines, and overdue balance in order to renew the ID card.
Paying my taxes insures that I drive legally. ‘I hate driving, I don’t even want a car’ ‘I leave for New Orleans in two and a half weeks to work on a television production show for five months’ ‘I am smarter than all these people.’ The government as an aggregate.
Thoughts that roll through my head as I ride up the elevator to the third floor. The Cashier’s Office.
This is the second time I’ve been in this room. I write my name on a clipboard in front of a woman who sits behind an archaic cash register. I drop the pen and slouch into one plastic subwayesque chair. I am aware that the seats smell like newlyweds, wannabe rappers, and Hispanics. A young child bats a weak balloon on his sister’s leg while his elbow jibs at my waist. “Quit touching that man!” his mother scolds, to which I reply, “It’s Alright,” knowing damn well that in any given context it is not alright. I wanna glare at his mom for reducing me to a “that man”. Geez pay your fucking taxes, and take care of your kids.
Then I remind myself. SINGLE, DEPENDENT, OVERDUE, NONVETERAN, NO W-2s in six years. That man.
Sharlita Jones! The teller calls. Sharlita gets up with her children and I proceed to wonder where the windows are and why I have a Nickelodeon magazine in my hand.