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This morning we were talking and my friend said that his group is realizing that one of their members has an unencumbered life.

He is an adult. He had never heard of the IRS.

"The IRS," said another group member, "You know, that collects taxes."

No he doesn't know. Or claims not to. Not to have heard of the IRS or to have paid taxes. He lives on nearly nothing and has nearly nothing. He seems so happy.

"I can't believe that an adult could live in the US and not have heard of the IRS."

"Oh, I can," I said. "A small town doctor who takes admits from the ER gets to know the people who live in the woods. Who drink. Who hear voices."

I said, "What would your ideal life look like?"

"No dependents. Many fewer possessions. Fewer obligations. Very simple."

We got side tracked then talking about microcephaly.

When I left I thought about my ideal life. I would live in a shack with someone who I loved and who loved me. I would not even really need the shack. A good tent would be nice and food.

I thought, I am living my ideal life. That is, my house is populated by children (mine and others) and friends and a cat and a fish and I love the work that I do. I buy a lot of used books. I buy new tights and underthings, and t-shirts every 20 years. I buy and wear vintage suits. I am paying some of my son's college. I am maintaining my father's sailboat for now. My youngest car is from 2005. My oldest is 1986.

And the someone who loves me is not under my control, after all. That happens or it doesn't.

I dreamed once, more than 15 years ago, that there was a fire coming though town. It was roaring. My spouse and children were in the car in the dream. The house was going to burn. I had a moment to grab things from the house. I thought, there is nothing that I need from the house. I took my flute, only. The important things were already in the car, waiting for me.

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