effing massachusetts, demanding sales tax at 6.25% of NADA trade-in value on vehicles purchased out of state under six months ago. i mean, hell, the car was a damn gift from my mother and i paid a grand total of $0.05 in sales tax to our town clerk back home. and yet massachusetts finds a way to flog another $400 out of my penniless, still unemployed hide. i am waiting to discover that the RMV assesses you an additional $300 processing fee if your name is difficult to pronounce.
[eta: apparently this is not the case if the car was purchased from or given by an immediate family member. i still think it’s highway robbery that you’re still subjected to the double-whammy if you bought it from a dealer under 6 months ago.]
i’m all right, for now. i can still afford food, shelter, gas, and (for the time being) even occasional amenities. at the moment my greatest fear is probably getting in a car accident — either hospital bills or car repairs would put me up the creek. i don’t think there’s even a figure of speech in this language for what the two together would do.
this all sent me into a bit of a panic earlier this evening. it’s a little bit like floating around in the ocean, this business of being a Real Person. i am quite fond of the ocean, as i am quite fond of Real Life, but it tosses you around a good bit, doesn’t it?
Real Life has less seaweed, though. and you don’t have to worry about this.
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as i scour my mind for a word to describe the last week — the last few weeks, really — the only word i can come up with is “disruptive.”
i’ve been shaken a few times like a snowglobe, picked up and tossed around and then set back down again, my scenery shifted and dismantled and made new. the same rules and trends and nature are all still in effect, but the arrangement alters in a way that time won’t efface.
despite my aversion to change, this isn’t a bad thing. i had predicted a handful of paths for myself. some of them have smoothed, some have grown over. some have realigned. but i feel at home in my new circumstances. much more than i would have thought. much more than i understand.
as amenable as i am to the results of the disruptions of the past weeks, i’m ready for the shaking and resettling to conclude. too much will reshuffle the happy harmony i’ve attained for the moment. maybe one last, little shake, just to reinforce a few holds and settle everything once and for all.
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i am caught between tenses: not long ago i knew that i would arrive. now, i have arrived, am arriving.
there are still tupperware centerpieces and cardboard box curios, but there’s also a ceiling fan in every room, an in-sink disposal, immaculate white trim on latte-colored walls, and the beautiful furniture that has weighed down my tiny, mighty little car on the half-hour drive from stoughton, three times.
i am settling in — perhaps it’s telling that “settled” was the first thing i typed. i can get lost downtown and remain relatively unrattled. i can change lanes at the last minute and (i think) only mildly annoy the drivers behind me. i have a pharmacy. i have a liquor store. (–not to be combined, those two.) and i’m on the lookout for a doctor and a dentist and a DMV. i have a nice neighborhood.
closer to home, i have a new niece and a second interview at my first choice job. i have a cable guy and a costco membership. i have someone who appreciates my command of the english language and kisses my forehead in the middle of the night. i have a kindly landlady, a bed i consider a haven, a roommate i adore, a kitchen to die for. i have a home.
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