Saturday, March 8, 2014

March Sadness

I will be 54 next month. I am in the process of getting divorced, I have been living here alone for nearly one year. I filed my tax return today, and I owe $982 dollars in federal income tax. I am a graduate student, and I earned $17,000 last year, working in my professor’s lab.

It is shameful--sinful--to think that a country as wealthy as the US would try to hang a college student upside down and shake a thousand dollars out of her pockets.  This is money I could use for rent and food. You know, basic survival.

I mean, it's not like I have a big house with a two-car garage and a giant flat screen TV. I don’t own a house. Or a TV.   I don’t even own a toilet.


As if I were pulling the wool over Uncle Sam’s eyes…yeah, a big ol’ scam artist living in a log cabin in the forests of Alaska…rubbing her greedy little hands over her secret pile of gold and laughing at the IRS.

While riding her flying unicorn to campus each day: BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAA!!

As a full-time student, shouldn’t I be getting a break on my education?  I'm spending lots of time and money in order to make myself a better, more productive citizen.  And this was not a particularly good year:  Joe left, I had over $1,000 in medical expenses, and now $982 in taxes. Plus, I had the complete misfortune to fall in love with a man who is living with someone else. Even he himself told me today that I ought to find another fish in the sea.

All of this has driven me into a deep depression on this lovely and bright afternoon. I didn’t leave the house. I wish I could summon the flying unicorn and fly the nearly four thousand miles to Eric’s door for cake and wine. Or sit in Mimi’s TV room watching movies and listening to her kids’ lively banter like we did on Christmas Day.

Where’s the rich, full life I could have had? I carry on, happy as it is possible for me to be happy, half scared, half amused at the time passing, for the most part OK with my chosen life, until reality points its long ugly finger in my face to remind me: “You are nothing but an outlier; few people know or care about your struggle, and if you were born ten thousand years ago, a lion or a bear would have caught you easily and ripped you to pieces and weeded you out of the population.”

This is what happens in one’s fifth Alaskan spring. The days are bright, but my thoughts are locked in dark freezing November. It will take a while to thaw.


  1. Dear Diane: It's been about 6 years since you and I and mechanics had dinner at your place in Evanston.

    I hope that spring, all forms of it, comes to you in the right time.

    I really like your blog and reading about Alaska life.

    I owe more than $700 in taxes this year and it seems like a joke. A super weird joke on relatively low-income people.


  2. Dear Diane,

    It was unfair of me to put on your shoulders the weight of the world. You did not cause the world’s problems and you alone cannot change the course of history.

    I hope in time your heart heals. You should take this time for yourself. I do not believe you will find in a partner what you need at this moment. Such things can wait until later.