Is it Tax Season Yet?


Yeah, I know, who the hell wants to think about taxes?


That’s who.

I expect that I will be getting a refund.  I did not make much last year, fell way under the $30,000 a year mark, lived in San Francisco, managed to go to Burning Man, pay rent, visit the mom’s in Florida, and move to Paris.

This is from doing a daily, and I mean daily, inventory of my money.

I don’t have much, but man, I know to the penny where it goes and what it buys.

It did not buy a lot of frivolous things this past year.

I did not go on big spending sprees, unless you count buying extra socks for Burning Man a spending spree.

I just call that survival of the fittest.

I remember being in the Walmart in Reno with Action Girl and she tucked two twelve pack socks of men’s white cotton tube socks into the growing pile of last-minute buys before the playa.


“Great for gifting!”  Action Girl replied, “that and whiskey.”

It really is the small things at Burning Man that will do you in, socks, q-tips, lip balm.

I did not eat out a lot, although I did get to go to some very nice restaurants before I left the Bay…man did I ever, when I thought back recently to the plethora of nice places I got to get a bite at before moving, I was moved, and a little hungry.

I have, however, reached the nadir of my finances, but I feel good about where I am.  Despite spending my last Euro on dinner time fixings tonight, I know I have income coming in.


My tax return won’t be a lot, but it will definitely take the pressure off trying to find work here, which is slowly finding me.

I was asked to help out with a once a week tutoring gig for a friend who has too much on her plate.


Wednesday, one hour a week, 50 Euro.


She even told me that she would just give me the next’s months worth of lesson plans.


Plus I have my little gig out in la ghetto.

Fuck, man, drug dealer cars are drug dealer cars all over the world.

If it has tinted windows and is a BMW, Jaguar, or Mercedes, I am going to assume that you are slinging something on the corners.

Oh, wait, you are slinging on the corner, in front of the tabac on Rue Emile Zola.

Is poor Zola rolling over in his grave?

Or does he have a tidy little crack habit too?

I went out to the suburbs, the projects, and I kept an open mind and I kept my mouth shut and I left my camera in my bag.  I played with N. and K. I was thrilled, not, to find out that they both had stomach bugs over the last week.

But, I don’t believe I caught anything.

And I got to practise a little teaching on them.

I told the woman who asked me if I could help her out that I never had tutored before.  Although the first go round when she asked, I nodded and said, yes, of course I have.  Don’t be silly.

I had my little white lie hanging out in my head and I called back today and said, hey, you know, I want to help out, but I lied.  I have not tutored.  Granted I can handle an 8-year-old for an hour and I certainly know how to sing some songs and do some stories and I bet I am  actually a good teacher.

I mean I have taught baby sign language, swimming, singing, numbers, letters, colors, English, mostly to kids under four, but I bet I could translate it to an 8-year-old.

She laughed, and said, no worries, I’ll walk you through what she has worked on and leave you with a month of lesson plans.


Plus, I got word from the mom who I helped out over the holidays and she asked for a couple of gigs, one for next week, one the following, and one the next.

This is all adding up.

I will be able to pay Barnaby the rest of the rent tomorrow when I get paid for this weeks work and I will have a few Euro, uh dollars, um, jesus, pounds, for the trip to London over the weekend.

How cool is that?

Not only have I gotten to travel all over the world, literally, I have done it on less than $30,000.

Eat in.  Drink coffees and not lattes–which translates here to not drinking cremes but drinking noisettes (shot of espresso with a little froth of milk on the top), don’t do drugs–they be costly, don’t drink–you buy stupid things when you are drunk, write down everything you buy to the penny, add it up every month, pay for everything in cash, including plane tickets, ask for help–I am not even going to gloss over the support I have gotten from friends and family.

Sometimes you have to hold out your hand.

I am not proud that I had to ask for help, but thank god I did, I would not be sitting here with food in my belly if I had not.


Get humility.

“Honey, what are you afraid of?”  John Ater asked me in the back of Ritual cafe in the Mission in San Francisco.

“I don’t have enough money, fuck, I don’t have any money,”  I said, the tears pricking at my eyes.  Don’t cry, don’t let him see you cry.

“Are you wearing mascara?”  John said, with a dry chuckle.

“Ugh, fuck you.”  I said wiping under my eyes.

“Honey, you’re never going to go hungry, all you have to do is ask.”  John sat back into the deep leather couch and crossed his arms over his chest.

He was right, sometimes the only thing you have to do is ask.

How I hate asking for help.

Yet, I have gotten to do so, I have gotten to get humble and I have received.

Love, euro, food, hugs, support, faith.

I have so much faith right now.

Plus, I am fairly sure a tax return will be happening.

Regardless, it is obvious I am being taken care of.

Sure it doesn’t look like anything I would have imagined, but you know, for all my writer’s abilities, my imagination is not so hot.

My fantasies, schemes, and plans, are pretty one-dimensional when it comes right down to it.

I keep telling myself to not quit, Paris, before the miracle, and to not get discouraged.  Despite not rolling in the dough, I am rolling in the deep, blessed, to get to experience yet again another side of life that I would never have even known if I had not taken the leap.


The wet pavement glossy and slicked with colors, you live in Paris.

It is worth every cent.

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