jesse kaellis en Lifestyle, beBee in English, Writers Bally's. Trop, Dunes, Caesars, Sahara. Landmark, Barbary, State Line, on and on. • 21 joints. I counted them again. 9/11/2016 · 4 min de lectura · +400

ACORN Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now

Jamie after a tough fight at the Cloverdale Fairgrounds with Carl Owens. A ten round win. UD and he won it on attrition. This story Segways into something else. This is where the story took me. It took me to a sad place. 

ACORN Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now

I probably could have prepared my tax return this year; I had two T4’s, one federal, and one provincial. I don’t pay taxes so no refunds; altogether nothing to it. Just the same I phoned around to different tax preparation companies, H & R Block being the most expensive of course. “How much will it cost me?” And I describe my situation, “Well that would depend on how much you make.” “I see...”

The other place from last year wants forty bucks again, and it took her about four minutes to do it, and I didn’t get a plugged nickel back. Some of these companies try this hook: “We will get the maximum return allowable for you.” What does that mean? Are they going to make up deductions? It’s pretty much cut and dried, and next year I am going to do it myself. I’ve heard of people in the States, when I lived there, mailing in their W2’s to the IRS and telling them to figure it out, and they did do it. I’d even trust them.

One time I got off work in Vegas, I was working at Caesars then, and I got home and saw a letter in my mailbox from the IRS. My pulse quickened because I assumed that I was getting an audit. But no, they informed me that last year’s tax preparer had underestimated my social security contributions, and I was entitled to a refund of close to five hundred dollars: agree/disagree. But first I called them, “Hey, is this a trick?” But no. I didn’t even really need the money at that time but who’s complaining?

The IRS can ruin you if they want to but they like to do it honestly.

I start phoning around, “I’m on disability, can I get my taxes done cheap (read free). And I did find a place called ACORN right there on Columbia across from Fresh Slice Pizza. I’m on my motor scooter, and I get there a little early. I go in there and crawl up two flights, and it’s this timeworn building, and they are the only occupied office. The people are helpful and friendly, and there are about five people up there and two women doing the taxes in open space with three little offices off to the side. Some small talk, I’m looking all around, and this is clearly a place of advocacy for general bottom feeders and social losers, like yours truly. I tell the intake guy that I will donate twenty bucks after. “I’ll mail it to ya!” I don’t have any cash on hand. “I don’t have money, but I have a little bit of money.”

He tells me that we can talk about it afterward. There are signs on the wall about raising the minimum wage to 12 bucks an hour (fat chance!) and a sign saying that disability rates hadn’t been raised in six years, and I didn’t know that, but I did notice that it seemed static because I have been living on it for close to two years now. I think.

The Asian lady asks me to confirm my particulars and takes literally 3 minutes to calculate my return because it is just two lines. She gives me a copy, and I’m grateful; good I got that chore done. Now the guy invites me into the front office, and he starts up telling me about ACORN and stressing various social injustices, and I’m not too gung-ho on the wrong part because I am acutely aware of the kind of life I lived and how lucky I am to have the soft landing that I have had. I cut to the chase, “Who signs your checks?” “Nobody, we operate on private donations.” He had mentioned 20 or 15 bucks month, and I offer him ten dollars a month. Okay—I have to phone the credit union and get my account number, but we get all the shit straightened away for automatic monthly debit.

I’m going to end up a lot more than 40 bucks in the hole, but it’s for a good cause. I guess it’s for a good cause, and I don’t know a whole lot about these people, but I got the contact from the social services in Victoria.

Why did I even write up all this stuff? Is it even half interesting? I worked hard all my life, lots of different jobs, too many jobs. I somehow assumed that my body would always be healthy, but my health failed me. It was hard to see it coming. Look at my profile picture on Facebook. I was 28 years old there I figure. I was strong once, and somehow I never thought I would get old. I couldn’t have anticipated the arcane diseases that I have been hit with. It is hard for me to get indignant about the social welfare net in this country. And after sixteen adult years in the States—it is just so much tougher to be underclass there, to be middle class even and all my life the fucked up way that I lived and it seems like I have a guardian angel.

When I was first approved for a disability pension I had to phone Victoria for some information, and the lady was looking at my file, and she says, “It doesn’t sound like you will ever work again.” I had to laugh because I had been employed in security for the last six and one-half years before my spine finally getting to the point where I couldn’t manage. I laughed because if you can’t do security work what can you do?

But there may be something. Maybe I can make money off my writing. Miracles happen.

I went to the doctor after I got my taxes done to get some prescriptions and I got some grocery shopping done and filled the script.

I get home and one of the tradesmen in the building, he follows me into my apartment to put a filling over a hole where the pipe goes into the wall. They are re-piping the whole building. I had noticed this guy eyeballing me before, but I chalked it up to me looking strange. People pretty much see me. I wrote a story about that once. What am I going to do?

This guy's looking at me, and he walked over to a wall at the end of the hallway, and I’ve got old framed photos of Jamie Ollenberger and myself; boxing pictures, black and white. It turns out he knew Jamie, and he drops names that sound familiar, and Jamie’s a long time dead, and we talk about that, and a familiar sadness comes over me. I got boxing posters and pictures and stuff all over the apartment. I got my few little trophies on top of my computer desk. Nobody ever comes up here. Especially since my girlfriend is now my ex.

“How old was he when he died?” “He was 31 years old.” The guy mentions that Jamie had been on a downward slide. I agreed with him. I was digging my own grave in Vegas at the time and for a long time after, after he died. I got another friend named Manny Sobral. Manny looked around the gym when he was a young fighter, and he saw what happens to boxers when boxing is over. It’s a tough transition in many ways, tough. Fighting doesn’t teach you how to do anything but fight. If you don’t have credentials or a hard trade you are looking at menial work.

A lot of people don’t like boxers; they are glad to see them fall. Manny went to school and got a BA, and he got a masters degree even. Jamie was older, and he was drifting into hard drugs like I was doing in Vegas. He had a single car accident, broke his neck and was paralyzed from the neck down. In a respirator for three weeks and he checked out. His manager phoned me in Vegas and left a message on my answering machine. This is twenty-five years on now already, and I still can’t write this without weeping.