Freedom From Money

Entry by: Alobear

7th April 2017
They say the only things in life you can’t avoid are death and taxes.

As I lie here now, I think back over the events that have brought me to this point. Might things have been different if I hadn’t spent so much time trying to shirk my responsibilities and stage off the inevitable?

I imagine a contented life of fiscal caution, with a solid partner by my side, nuclear family all present and correct. A steady job, ironed shirts, brunch at the weekends. Is that how the other half lives?

But I just can’t put myself in that picture somehow. There’s a space right there, waiting for me, but I don’t fit, not even in my imagination. Let’s face it. I’m not a jigsaw piece that slots satisfyingly into the final hole to complete the expected picture from the box lid. I never have been. My edges are rough, asymmetrical. I’ve always pushed against fitting in.

My mum used to wring her hands and despair over whatever would become of me, and I couldn’t blame her. I was always in trouble. Picking fights in the playground, shoplifting with my mates, puking my guts up after a Friday night binge. I was never going to be a pillar of the community, was I?

But I did alright for myself, in my own way. The get-rich-quick schemes never quite panned out, but I made enough to get by. I made some questionable choices, hung out with the wrong crowd. But I always managed to escape the worst scrapes relatively unscathed, generally more through luck than good planning.

And now, here I am, at the end of it all. Death and taxes have finally tracked me down and come to collect. But I’ve got one last trick up my sleeve to cheat the universe out of one of its supposedly unavoidable evils. I suppose that’s the one benefit to being all alone in the world as I prepare to meet my maker. The state won’t be able to claim what I owe from what I leave behind, because there isn’t anything to leave. I’ve had my fun, and now it’s all gone. And my dependents won’t inherit my debts because there aren’t any dependents to inherit. I had my fun in that area, too, don’t get me wrong. But I was always careful to avoid unfortunate consequences.

When it comes right down to it, nobody can beat death. Not yet, anyway. But you can use death to beat taxes, if you play your cards right. And one thing I excel at is playing cards. It’s an achievement of a sort, if you view it from the right angle. And, at this point, I’ll take what I can get.