In the spirit of the pseudo holiday: Youíve got to be kidding.
I had a horrible night and a lousy morning, as I almost knew I would. I donít think I slept for more than twenty minutes at a time from 4:46 am on. Before that I probably did sleep for more than twenty minutes, but by the time I crawled out of bed at 7:40 am (way early for me), it felt like no sleep at all.
And then came the cramps. I have to tell you, thereís nothing better for loosening the bowels than the prospect of a written test at the DMV. Iím amazed I even got out the door on time.
The funny part of all this (if you can call it that) is that the drive down to the DMV office was no problem. Between the maps and Suzanneís recollections of how to get there, I nearly drove directly to the place (therefore, I nearly didnít panic). And how about this: Someone was pulling out of a parking space by the door as I drove into the lot. All the other spaces were filled. I was feeling a little better about then.
Yeah, but then I walked inside the building. People were everywhere. There were lines to get in lines, and there were tiny cryptic signs that told me very little about what was expected of me. Now was the time to panic. I found the application I had to fill out, and on the other side of the room behind two other lines I found a pen.
I was sort of fumbling about, trying to figure out where to go next, when a woman walked in and asked me if I was in line. ďI donít know,Ē I told her truthfully. ďIs this the line if you have an appointment?Ē She said she didnít think you had to get in line if you had an appointment, which is what I thought, too. So, trying not to make eye contact with anyone in any line, I meandered over to Window Ten, which is where the DMV web site had told me to go.
There was a line at Window Ten. I didnít expect that, and it was sort of roughly structured, more of a milling about than an actual lineup. Someone was having something done to what looked like a passport, and it was taking forever, but it was still five minutes before my appointed time so I refused to have a conniption.
The young man in front of me was taking his driving test for the second time, so I gave him a sympathetic look but didnít try to engage him in conversation. Iím sure his mouth was as dry as mine. By the time the passport person had moved on, it was already ten minutes past my appointment, but the kid didnít have all his papers in order, so he was shunted aside.
Window Ten was a pretty nice guy, once I got to know him. He found my name on his list and looked over my paperwork approvingly. He asked me to read the eye chart, which by then Iíd memorized anyway (but I didnít cheat; I really could see it).
Then he asked me to step over and get my picture taken. I did not say, ďWhat about the written test?Ē although that was on the tip of my mind. He got my signature and my thumbprint, and he took my picture. Then he took my picture again, because he said the flash in my glasses made it look as if I had light bulbs instead of eyes. So, at his request, Iíll be looking down toward the floor in my driverís license picture for the next umpteen years.
Back to Window Tenís window (number ten), sign here, give me $25.00, hereís your temporary license, you can go. Nope, no written test. It wasnít even an April Foolís joke.