Saturday, April 17, 2010

Tim's Chair

There is an old saying is that nothing is certain in life except Death and Taxes. I suppose this is a true statement. But during April 2010, this common old phrase became a grim reminder for me.

I am usually well prepared by April 15th, the one date of the year everyone over 18 knows means Tax Day. I have usually sent in my taxes well before the due date. But, not this year. This year, I barely filed my tax extension on time, never mind filing the actual return, late in the day on the 15th. I almost missed filing by the notorious date altogether, and I'm a licensed CPA. Thank god these days you can file electronically with the Feds, because in my still disorganized state, in part due to moving only a month earlier, without electronic filing, I would have missed the deadline altogether. I still have not ordered a printer to go with my new laptop, and I found out this past April 15th that they turn off the computers at the local branch library five minutes before closing time at 6pm, no exceptions. On top of that, life threw me a curve ball on April 6th, in the form of the Grim Reaper come down to snatch a good man before his time, and this event turned my world temporarily upside-down.

As I write this, I am sitting in what I have come to refer to over the past week as "Tim's Chair". Its an old fashioned armchair, with huge metal springs in the seat, which show through the thin, shiny, ripped black covering on the bottom of the seat, if you turn the chair up-side-down. The chair's upholstery has an ivory colored background, with a large teal blue and rose colored floral pattern. I know this description makes it sound quite ugly, but its actually very pretty. The chair fits me perfectly, as not all chairs do, (when I sit up straight, my feet actually touch the floor, from toe to heel) and yet the seat is large enough so that I can sit cross legged, barefoot, as I watch old re-runs of Star Trek (the Jean-Luc Picard version) on late night TV.

The day I bought this chair, from a Consignment Store a few blocks from my house, was the last time I saw my good friend Tim Shannon. I borrowed his van so I could run down the street and pick up the chair before the consignment shop closed at 5:30 pm on a Friday evening. The chair was a steal at $50 and I had to snag it before someone else saw it sitting in the store window with its most excellent price tag, calling out to passersby, "Buy Me". When I returned Tim's van after delivering my new chair safely to my own home a few blocks away, I saw my good friend Tim for the last time.

We had a nice conversation in his driveway, about a subject we so often talked about - a drama student he knew. Except that this particular drama student had dropped dead of a congential heart defect in his college dorm room, about a year ago, at the tender age of 19. Little did I know that the man I was speaking to in the driveway of his tidy grey house with the white trim, would drop dead of heart failure a few days later.

Although he never saw it, I will always think of Tim when I sit in my chair in front of my TV. To me, it will always be "Tim's Chair', and I when I sit in it, I will smile and think of my good friend, Tim, happily discussing a drama student he knew, as we so often did, in the driveway of his comfortable home, one spring evening in April, 2010.

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