Last Sunday night, I was counting the hours until my death.
I know what readers are thinking. Who wants to think such morbid thoughts? As it turned out, my fear of dying was premature and greatly exaggerated, much like my fear of going bald a few months ago. No, I didn’t write about it here on the blog because it seemed like “too much information.” After spending portions of last summer and fall speeding up and down the highway and moving loads of my possessions, my hair was falling out in small clumps; I was convinced there was a finite number of shampoos remaining before my hair would swish down the drain forever.
I mean no disrespect to the bald and balding among us.
It’s true that stress can cause one’s hair to fall out. It’s also possible that I imagined things were worse than they actually were. My hair stylist consoled and tried to convince me that things were not as bad as they seemed and she worked some kind of scissor sorcery that created fuller and thicker looking hair. I started taking various vitamins and supplements. I found something else to worry about until my hair stopped falling out.
The new worry was something that required doctor’s visits, tests, and eventually day surgery under anesthesia. It was a strange to slip into the unknown while kind and efficient nurses and doctors wheeled my gurney into the operating room. The last thing I remembered saying was “I’m going to see Bruce Springsteen in Florida when this is all over.”
As evidenced by recent blog posts, I did not die last Tuesday and a different inevitable event waited for me. In one of my less-worrisome moments prior to surgery, I had made an appointment with another doctor for Saturday, March 22 at 11:30 a.m.
The Tax Doctor.
Many of the same people who tried to convince me I was not dying or going bald tried to convince me I could do my own taxes, but I didn’t believe them. On the recommendation of my brother, I drove to Old Orchard Beach and had a wonderful time doing my taxes with artist, music lover, and accountant Peter Mourmouras. His office walls are lined with framed album covers, there’s an old Victrola in the waiting room, and some of his own art hangs in the entry area.
On this particular Saturday, the Tax Doctor’s radio was set to Maine’s classic rock blaster, WBLM , and I was transported back in time to junior high school when I would spend part of my summer vacation at a friend’s beach house at Pine Point, just a mile down the road from the office. We listened to WBLM back in those days, too, although we didn’t have to pay taxes.
Enough of this navel gazing! My taxes turned out exactly the way I anticipated, my hair isn’t falling out, and I didn’t die on the day surgery operating table. It’s Monday and a spring snow event is lurking out there somewhere.
Reggie has theories about worrying and he’s sent me a book about it. He tells me I shouldn’t focus on “what ifs” and only on “what is.” When he reaches his exasperation breaking point, he reminds me of the old Bob Newhart cure: