Michael, a self-taught butterfly collector, had stripes of dew on the sides of dirty khakis from running between two pines while trying to catch a rare white butterfly. He retired at age 24, from an illustrious accounting career. One day, while crunching numbers and thinking about coffee, a nice fresh bitter cup with powdered cream– he came to the realization that coffee– goddamned coffee– was the highlight of his day, so he left the office in March, prime-tax season, and never came back. His clients’ taxes didn’t get filed that year and neither did his. He moved into the mountains, in a small house with a red door on the side of a lonely twisted road with no neighbors, and he liked it that way.
He stopped paying taxes, not because he was rebellious or an anarchist, but because he believed in paying for what you use and being accountable, and he wasn’t utilizing roads or infrastructure or plumbing or electricity. And he was not sending kids to schools. He did not go past 8th grade himself. He did not have any children, but that is not to say he never had the opportunity.
He did not receive any mail and he did not send mail. He only ate food he grew, so he was not subject to any regulatory practices. And that is why he did not pay taxes.
He was in love with the monarch butterfly at the pupa stage, well before it turned into its final beauty and full potential. He liked it when no one else cared, when it was still ugly and useless for anyone’s enjoyment. You understand.