Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Death and Taxes

Yesterday Angie was doing our taxes for a few hours. It was a lot like that scene in 'A Christmas Story' when Darren McGavin (the father) has to fix the basement furnace. A subdued yet continuous string of expletives coming from the office. I thought it wise to stay out of it.

As an actor, one can deduct nearly everything. Especially if one is on the road. It's something I learned a long, long time ago in NYC when my tax guy would prepare my taxes for me. In any event, Angie was in the midst of tax hell for quite awhile last night. Late in the evening we made a dash for a late night post office in Burbank and got them off in the nick of time.

Interestingly, on the way home we both had a bit of an epiphany about things financial in our lives. We realized how lucky we were. How we were so incredibly blessed to have a great home, plenty of food to eat, a nice car, two perfect dogs and a ridiculous amount of comfort around us. We were startled to have this information rush to us at the same time. Regardless what happens to us on a day to day basis, the little things, the annoying, small, life things...we are, for the most part, living a life of unabashed contentment. It's a good thing to realize now and again.

We had a little health scare a few days ago. Angie's stepfather, a very good man indeed, had a small stroke. Of course at first we didn't realize it was a small stroke and spent most of an entire day worrying and waiting for information. We think, although with these sorts of things one can never be sure, it's all fix-able. Or at least manageable. I have enormous respect for Angie's stepdad and was quite disturbed by the news.

I was thinking about it last night as we were wending our way through Burbank's myriad backstreets to get to the post office on time. Death and taxes. Two things, as unpleasant as they are, that eventually loom in everyone's life like a murder of crows on the telephone lines in the front of our homes. Unavoidable and, for most of us, unspeakable. I am always reminded of an interview I once read with the lifelong hypochondriacal Woody Allen, "If any of us knew how quickly we were rushing toward the void we would be too frightened to get out of bed everyday."

Angie and I had a brief, albeit serious, conversation the other night about what to do with our remains when or if one of us 'goes' first. We both favor cremation. It was a sobering exchange for both of us.

As one gets older it's important to at least consider the possibility of one's demise, I think. For myself I have lived, at times, a life of near total disregard for health and longevity. Angie, as always, is far more pragmatic about these things.

So with the recent 'death and taxes' reality in our lives, I keep thinking of the old phrase, 'Gather ye rosebuds while ye may.' Or the only good line in the Scorcese movie, The Departed. 'How's your mother?' 'She's dying.' 'We all are. Act accordingly.'

See you tomorrow.

1 comment:

Clowncar said...

I like The Departed.

It was no The Edge, of course.