Let me tell you about the time I became a national fugitive running away from the IRS for tax evasion. It started when I met a fellow skater Aliana in Amsterdam at the Marnixstraat skate bowl near Centraal train station. We chilled that day and she invited me to skate the next day with her friend.
The next day I rented a bike. Amsterdam is crazy about its bikes. The way there are bike lanes set up, and the way people ring their bells when biking past each other, it feels like I'm in a chill version of Vietnam's motorbike culture.
I met up with Aliana's other friend Marc around noon and together with Aliana we biked to Veldje 14 skatepark, about 25 minutes by bike south of Centraal. Marc talks about a variety of subjects that day, including a part about trouble paying taxes back in England. The day was blue and clear and warm save for a few clouds. There had been the forecast of a thunderstorm but that turned out to be a joke worth a few drops of rain that vanished in a minute. Besides the larger number of bikes and tall blond people, I could have sworn that I was back in California for a bit.
We skated and ate some Dorito ranch chips that instead of being labeled "Ranch" were labeled "Cool American Flavor". I got a kick out of that. We Americans are so cool in Europe (and Asia). The Cool Kidz. So we ate those, skated, and a Dutch dude came by who was clearly on something. He missed every trick he tried and would go around smashing the fences and gates until the wires gave way and hung loose. At one point he pulled a steel rail into the middle of the park and proceeded to then ignore it for the next ten minutes. it was like watching an avant-garde modern art film. As night fell I played pretend-DJ by connecting my phone music to a fancy amplifier at the park that looked like a DJ station. I played the "Flying Microtonal Banana" album by King Gizzard the Lizard Wizard, and later Marc and I talked about going to check out the Red Light District and the Blue Light "chicks with dicks".
As night fell Aliana went home; Marc and I biked to his place and chilled to some music, then he pulled out LSD and some "weird rocks" some stranger had randomly given to him. We decided against the rocks and took the LSD before biking over to the Red Light. I walked around for a bit before realizing that it was a very stupid idea for anyone, especially me, to have to pay for sex (50 euros for 15 minutes) when I could just get it for free. We went back to his place and watched Pokemon. Pokemon on LSD, though, is lit. The neon graphics, the music, the deep moments, everything. I fall asleep eventually and wake up when the sky is a pale blue, around 6 AM. Kaleidoscopic lights are still stretching across my visual field, and when I look in the mirror, the lines of my eyes grow like vines across my face. But overall my thought process seems clear and calm, at least to me.
One of Marc's many sentences from the past 24 hours roots itself in my psyche -- the sentence about "paying taxes back in England". My stomach drops. Did I pay my taxes back in the US? Is filing taxes a thing? I pull up the IRS website on his laptop and come to this understanding -- filing taxes is a necessity, and not doing it can lead to bank accounts being frozen, even jail time. I don't even remember how I came to the conclusion that I hadn't filed taxes anymore. It's been a few weeks since then. But I spent the next twenty-four hours deciding that I had unwillingly become a national criminal, and was going to have to be on the run across countries like James Bond. I sent money to different people in case my bank accounts were going to be frozen so I could have them send money to me while I was abroad, and called the IRS and set up an online account and sent myself snail mail so that I could get a verification code...
About a month after this I signed in to IRS online and held my breath to see that my poor, student-debt ridden self owed a balance of 0.00. What? 0.00 for years 2014, 2015, 2017. Wait. My mind settled on the term "tax return". If by now, Reader, you are already shaking your head, you may know unlike I did that filing a tax return form is the same as "filing taxes". I had done this all previous years that I worked since graduating college. And so a month of paranoia came to an end. Yes, yes, keep shaking your head in shame. I still do. It is interesting, though, that even though my mental capacities returned to normal about one day after taking LSD, a paranoiac thought that took root during the LSD experience itself remained in my mind for a month afterward. I just assumed during the entire month afterward that I had not indeed, filed taxes, even after the effects of LSD died down.
Trolled by acid,