Tuesday, May 26, 2015


            “Is there a button I can push to make today better,” asked Roger.

            The clerk at the DMV didn’t look up from her computer screen. She barely acknowledged Roger’s attempt at humor.  She kept typing while Roger stared at her. Roger wondered why she was typing so much since there was so little information that needed to be added to update his address information on his driver’s license. It seemed insane.

            “Date a birth,” asked the clerk.
            “June sixth, nineteen seventy five,” said Roger.

            The clerk snapped her bubble gum in her mouth and typed for another extended period. Roger tapped his fingers on the Formica counter top at the service window. He looked around at the other late afternoon DMV patrons in their communal states of disarray. Roger thought of the Road Warrior and that dystopian future and wondered if, in fact, that dystopian future had become the dystopian present.  

            “Mother’s Maiden name,” asked the clerk.
            “Why do you need to know that,” asked Roger.
            “Sir, please,” said the clerk.
            “Carter,” said Roger with a sigh.

            There was no use in arguing with the wheels of government. Why they needed to know his mother’s maiden name was a mystery but he figured he just have to go with the flow if he wanted to get out of there before hell completely froze over.

            “Old address,” asked the clerk.
            “It’s right there on my license,” said Roger.
            “Sir, please just tell me your old address.”

            Roger told her his old address. She started some further excessive typing and mouse clicking at her computer. Roger looked up at the clock over the clerk’s shoulders. He’d been at the DMV for nearly three hours now. He was trying his best to remain cool and calm about the massive waste of time he was currently embroiled.

            A dystopian present, less one of wild gangs of rape hungry fuel goblins scorching the wastelands with flamethrowers and drowning the ground in blood, but one of incredible inefficient government services designed to drive the weak into  madness.

            “Social Security Number,” asked the clerk with a sigh.
            Roger rattled off his social security number, hoping no one nearby would write it down and use it to steal his identity. Although with the life he’d been living for the last few years he wouldn’t actually mind if some other poor soul took up his life and absorbed all the troubles he’d had. Roger thought it might be the best thing for him actually.

            “New address,” asked the frowning clerk.

            Roger was about to tell her that it was clearly written on form C-198B-23 but he decided it wasn’t worth another one of the clerk’s stinging, hurtful, glares. She nodded and continued her furious typing.

            There was a scuffling noise behind Roger and then a scream for help. Roger turned around and saw an old man lying on the ground, His walker strewn to the side of the waiting area’s uncomfortable plastic chairs. A younger woman was kneeling over the older man, calling out for someone to help.

            “He just collapsed. He just was standing here and just fell to the ground,” said the panicked young woman.  

            The glassy eyes of the other DMV patrons rolled lazily in their heads toward the commotion. A security guard rushed over to the scene knelt next to the old man and felt for a pulse. A slow moving crowd started to gather around the old man. Roger realized that the clerk behind him had finally stopped typing. There was a silence that fell over the usual murmured hum of a governmental building. Roger turned back to the clerk at the counter.

            “I hope someone has called for an ambulance,” said Roger.
            “I’m sure they have,” said the Clerk, “take this form to the payment window and then get in that line to take your new I.D. photo.”

            Roger took the paperwork from the clerk and looked back toward the man on the ground. He could tell from there that the old man was dead. Roger started toward the payment window.

            “Next,” shouted the clerk.  

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