I’ve always wanted to learn how to file taxes, I just never thought I’d learn it in Venezuela.
As I was sitting at my couchsurfing host’s dining room table, working on some old credit card statements, a stout and lofty figure crept into the house. By the “who the hell are you and what are you doing in my house” look on his face, I knew it was the owner Scot had warned would be pissed if he found me there.
And sure enough, he was, booting us both out and now for the past few weeks I’ve been helping Scot file nearly four years worth of taxes, working anywhere between ten and eighteen hours a day in a kind of hotel that charges by the four hours. I would be lying if I said I always wanted to learn fire-modeling, but here I am nonetheless, diagramming churches and simulating fires to calculate the time people would have to evacuate the premise.
Beyond the short lived revival of my geometry and calculus skills, this unexpected lengthy stay in Venezuela has been a twisted labyrinth of emotions, but most notably, guilt. I don’t think I’ve ever personally caused another person this many problems. I feel like everything I try to help with makes the next thing worse. It would have been better if I just never showed up at all.
I haven’t written anything for the past few weeks, frankly because I’ve felt like I’ve lost my ability to write anything readable. The words no longer effortlessly find each other, translating thoughts into sentences has become painfully difficult to the point where I’ve just lost my will to keep writing. This place has taken something from me and I need to move on to recover it. Maybe I’ll find my integrity there too.