It's late and I am bleary eyed. Diet coke, iTunes, and a dull sense of dread are all that keep me lucid. As I write this I am in the midst of my final (in the sense that it is the last one) exam in my law school career. It is a 72 hour take home in Partnership and Corporate Tax, a class which while interesting at time, I generally found utterly confusing.
Somewhat ironically, tax has probably been my favorite subject in law school so obviously it was with a slow disappointment that I found myself more and more bewildered by this class. But now, I find myself in the midst of the exam for this class- perhaps one of the most challenging I've ever taken and it happens to be the last one I will ever take.
I will not reveal any of the content of the exam, but in many ways it represents what attracts me most to tax and also what I feel is its biggest drawback. On the one hand tax is essentially a very complex puzzle. Each code section or rule combined with its regulations are like the holes into which the peg of your particular business or situation must fit into and what I enjoy is, for lack of a better phrase- the making of that peg fit into the right hole. On the other hand, imagine that all these holes are interconnected and have effects on each other- like the teeth inside a lock- just because a key fits some of the teeth, does not mean the lock will open. Often the situation becomes maddeningly complex because of some seemingly irrelevant detail.
It had not really even occurred to me until I was already halfway through that this was it. It is ultimately an empty victory given the impending bar exam, but it's something.
I pulled out my copy of Hunter S. Thompson's Hell's Angels: A Strange and Terrible Saga today during a moment of distraction. I had promised to loan it to a friend and I relished in the excuse to step away from the computer. Flipping through the Post Script, something rang true tonight:
I agreed and wished them luck. I wanted no part of it- not even with a shotgun. I was tired, swollen and whipped. My face looked like it had been jammed into the spokes of a speeding Harley, and the only thing keeping me awake was a broken rib.
It had been a bad trip... fast and wild in some momnets, slow and dirst in others, but on balance it looked like a bummer. On my way back to San Francisco, I tried to compose a fitting epitaph. I wanted something original, but there was no escaping the echo of Mistah Kurtz' final workds form the heart of darkness: "The horror!...Exterminate all the brutes!"