Alison Clement

observations from a novelist who sometimes wants to say something small and see it published immediately

tax man

One day when we lived in the woods  I walked up our drive with the kids and found a man parked in a car looking down at the place where our house set. He was writing something on a clipboard. He was startled when I knocked on his car window. He rolled it down quickly. What are you doing?  “Tax man here.”  I was carrying Sasha, our son, and holding Charlotte’s hand. “I’m just the tax man!” he said again.  Our house was illegal, but a lot of people lived in illegal houses. He held up his hands. “Lady, I don’t care what you’re doing. I don’t care what you’re growing. All I care about are taxes. I’m the tax man.” He was afraid of me: a woman in a long skirt with two young children. I looked down at our little tar paper house. If I was growing pot our house wouldn’t have looked like that, mister.

Categories: memoir, Oregon

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