27 September 2006

Grade Me, Stamp Me, Pass Me: Love and Hate at the DMV

I sat on the floor at the DMV today, waiting for them to open. They opened the office thirty-five minutes late. I arrived 35 minutes early so I could get my new car/hideous mistake a temporary tag. Had I arrived earlier, would the cosmos have spun just that much slower to elongate my wait? Imagine, for a moment, if you were to do that: you pay a parking ticket thirty-five minutes late, you buy auto insurance thirty-five minutes late, you apply for your driver's license thirty-five minutes late. All of these would cause situations which are not easily brushed off with “We had a meetin'. NEXT.” But that works when you are the DMV. The rest of us stand shaking our fists at the sky and plotting beheadings, but the DMV ladies- they hold the scepter. At least that's what I do when I am at the DMV. You can recognize me as the guy standing in line shaking his fist at the acoustic ceiling tiles and muttering under his breath. Do not look him directly in the eye.

But here is my dirty little secret. I love bureaucracy. I like assembling documents, arranging them in a folder, possibly clipping them together with some sort of paper clip or binder holder... the mind wobbles. I put them all together, knowing that in order to emerge victorious, everything must be in order. And I control that order, and therefore, ma'am, behind-the-counter-staring-at-me-with-deathly-bored eyes DMV lady, I control you. Do my bidding helpless wench. You too, lackey, jump when that printer spits out my temporary registration card! Feel the power of my writing out a check! For the next twenty-five seconds, you are all mine. And I will rule with an iron fist.

But also, you must love me, DMV lady. You must. You gave me a parting gift- neatly printed documents with holograms and stickers and smelling ever so much like toner, paper and adhesives. And you know how much I love the smell of officialdom, random DMV person. I know you can see it in my eyes. Do you know that I swoon over driver's licenses? That library cards make my heart race, with their plastic raciness and shapely barcodes neatly laminated? That passports are my weakness? Did you know that getting a visa is akin to getting a new tattoo? There is pain of course, lover, but then, when isn't there? And the payoff- that foreign-granted mark of privilege and access- makes me weak in the knees. Ohhh officialdom, let's never fight again. I'll be back in forty-five days or less: do not despair my DMV lover.
DMV Lady: You gonna need fill this out in triplicate! Take a number! (subtext: come for me conqueror, I await your passionate touch)
The King: I already filled it out online and printed it (subtext: I touch you. Let us shake the foundations.)
DMV Lady: I TOLD you TAKE a NUMBER! (subtext: passion is not so easy lover, it must erupt from the right time and place, it will not flow forth on command)
The King: Fine. (subtext: cock tease.)

3 comments:

Golden Silence said...

Did she really get an attitude like that? The DMV sucks.

Ar-Jew-Tino said...

Hysterical, SB. You made me laugh out loud and then start arranging and clipping together my folders, papers, and such. Ah, the illusion of order and control.

Coach said...

Hot. You must love DC. It's an orgy of bureaucracy!

Speaking of orgy...