How Other People Do It

“I have a client who traveled the world,” Stanley said. “And she wrote a cookbook about it. Ever done anything like that?”

“No,” I told him. I wished I had a receipt that said TRAVELING THE WORLD. “Not really.”

My expenses were obvious. Dull, even. My desk, AWP membership, printer, Acer. Ink, paper, manuscript shipments, and so on. Stanley wrote these down but insisted there had to be more than just the obvious. He tried jarring my memory, asked me to think long and hard about anything I had purchased for public appearances.

“Do you need to wear anything special when you appear in public?” he asked.

I told him that no, nobody cares how I appear in public, except maybe me and maybe my mother.

Allison Espach is a fiction writer who is much too honest with the IRS about her expenses, I think! In this essay for The Rumpus, she explores possible write-offs that she could have (should have, more like) made. It’s good! Especially if you’re avoiding doing taxes, or filing an extension, or whatever it is you’re supposed to be doing today. Work? It’s good for avoiding that, too. Also: I think she needs a new tax guy. Suggestions? (I need a new tax guy, too.)

Photo credit: flickr/vox efx