my driver’s license expires next month. i could have very easily avoided the dmv and mailed in my renewal. but, there was one minor thing. i hated my picture. my bangs had dried funny that day and i kept my northface on so you can see it in the picture. silly things, right? but when a girl is about to turn 34, she should be pleased with her license photo, não é?
i was careful to pick out my outfit. this could very well be the picture i cling to for decades to come. my ticket to perpetual online license renewals! in line at the dmv i quickly picked out at least four other girls who would be assigned my same window number. great make-up, cute hair and even stylish boots gave them away.
a sea of plastic chairs awaited me. i sat down and started reading. it’s in these public spaces where people are careful to observe the “every other” rule and avoid sitting too close to a stranger. not so with the man wearing a taqiyah. i had noticed him when i first entered and here he was again, swooping in to the seat. right. next. to. me.
his swiftness startled me, especially considering my entire row was completely vacant. he proved to be very chatty, in an overly loud way. the kind of conversation that causes everyone else to stop what they’re doing and peer over their newspapers and magazines to listen in. with my bad hearing and his accent our back and forth was probably comical.
he inquired about all things personal and dmv related. most pressing for him — advice regarding his driving test. i tried to think back to my test 18 years ago. i probably shouldn’t tell him that i missed one question too many on the written that first time. i also probably shouldn’t tell him that i took the speed bumps way too fast in the parking lot causing the tester to dock me points. i tried to explain it had been a long time since i had tested. i also explained it had been in another state. he was persistent. he wanted me to quiz him. so i racked my memory and offered things like school zones, double lines and pedestrians. to which he declared for the whole dmv nation to witness “as posted when flashing! cannot pass! have the right of way of course!”
he was very pleased and i was a little shocked. i asked him where he was from. before here? he asked. new jersey, he said. not quite the before here answer i was expecting… i asked how he did on his driving test in new jersey. he smiled and said, “i have never had a test or a license! but i have driven!” right then my name echoed through the building. i wished him luck and smiled for the flash.
this week my retake came. it is uncanny how much it looks like the license from five years ago. right down to the styling of my hair… at least i’m not wearing my northface, right? right!?
we took some other retakes last month. my friend needed a model couple and christian gave in to my begging. i think i still owe him big time.