Monday, August 20, 2007

There's no crying at the DMV.

No, wait, yes there is.

This morning, laden with a variety of Important Papers, I went to get a NY driver's license. I had (count 'em) TWO passports--one with my old name, one with my new one; divorce decree and legal request for name change; social security card; letter from social security administration indicating that they have changed my name in the system officially; my new Bayside lease; a letter from my new New York bank (as proof of current NY address); my TX student ID; and my TX driver's license. I waited in the first line to get an application. I waited in the second line to show all of my Important Papers to the bored DMV employee unlucky enough to draw me as the next customer. The guy looks at all the papers and tells me that there is no date of issue indication on my TX driver's license. So, apparently, I could have gotten that nasty little official document sometime in the last six months--which is, apparently, No Good. So, what I need to do, continues the bored DMV employee (with no clue about the insanity lurking just around the corner), is contact the TX DMV, get them to MAIL me a copy of my TX driving record abstract, and then bring that fucker BACK to the NY department of motor vehicles. No, I cannot get a fax. And, no, he cannot call them and find out himself.

Now, mind you, the bored (but increasingly alarmed DMV employee) shares this information with me after another series of unfortunate events. (1) An early, early alarm clock I set because I wanted to get there early (thinking that the lines might be less overwhelming-which was incorrect) and because I wanted to put on eyeliner for the stupid ID photo (yes, I put on fucking eyeliner for the ID photo); (2) A missed bus; (3) Spilled hot coffee and some cursing; (4) A 40 minute long bus ride to the mysterious DMV location somewhere in Jamaica, Queens; (5) And an hour wait in different lines. [Addendum: (A) the abstract request is gonna cost and (B) I can't come back today because I have to wait for the TX mail.

And so I cried at the DMV. Total breakdown... eyeliner running all down my face, feeling very sorry for myself (and the other poor idiots in line and the poor idiots behind the counter who had no idea what to do with the crazy, weeping TX white girl).

Now this may seem a bit of an over-reaction, I realize. There will be other days to stand in line. And, eventually, I will get my license--sans eyeliner, I can assure you. But I am beginning to recognize, I think, that this little vacation in NY is not going to end with my eventual and safe return to my comfortable, familiar house in Austin. And that is probably why I cried at the DMV--which I could not explain to the sad sod behind the counter.

1 comment:

Nuge said...

This speaks to me. Most times I try to think about where I am in this new place, so I can soak in the flavors and smells.

But when something unfortunate happens, or when something seems so much harder than it should be, I realize both where I am and where I am not at the same time. Somehow the addition of the latter realization is just crushing.