Hello, Failure

Of all the enemies of literature, success is the most insidious

Friday, April 04, 2003

Failure of the Day: Deadheads

So, my accountant is nice. (That sentence ranks HIGH on the list of Things I Never Expected To Say In My Life. It ranks high for several reasons.) He's your basic New York Jew/ex-hippie kinda guy, and I generally like that particular phenotype, although I thought they were all Humanities professors and defense lawyers. Like when they finally cut their stinky faux dreds off, they automatically got handed a professional degree, an ex-wife, and exactly one kid. It's like the Standard installation. The Expansion Pak seems to be a baseball signed by Mickey Mantle and a framed photograph of Jerry Garcia. My accountant has all of the above.

I suppose Mr. Silverman (whose name, oddly, turns out to be Robert Krantz) needed the Expansion Pak because he isn't in one of those professions that those guys are able to tell themselves is all about Giving Back. How do you go from being a deadhead to a CPA? Is it a personal failure or a personal triumph? I don't really mean to make fun of Mr. Silverman because he really was very nice and helpful and I would recommend him based on my experience with him so far, but really, it's a strange juxtaposition. Everyone in the office including him were wearing jeans, and in the case of one secretary, swearing loudly and creatively for a long time without even a hit of self-consciousness when she spilled coffee on herself. All of which made it seem to me like an OK place to work.

And yet, he's a number cruncher. He helps people with money (and independent contractors) keep their money. He doesn't (I presume) tell them to like, cleanse their Karma by sending all that filthy lucre to orphanages in Bangladesh. He's all about safe havens and SECs and such. And that's a pretty big leap from dancing barefoot in a puddle of urine, I think.

I guess I just don't know how that happens. I mean, I do...but I don't. We all align ourselves with the subculture du jour when we're in our 20s and at some point we all have make certain choices out of nothing more than our financial best interests, but like, I started out as poet and a somewhat wussy punk rocker, and now I'm a poet and a copyeditor with questionable taste in clothes. That's not such a big leap really. But deadhead to CPA, I mean, whew. Yipes.


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