Notes From A Walkman Junkie: I Sure Am Thirsty
Ever have one of those days when all you want is a simple diet coke so you walk down to the lobby of your apartment building with seventy-five cents in hand only to find that the vending machine is out of diet coke — but, you still really want one and remember that there is a vending machine by the pool in the courtyard so you walk out there to find that this fancier machine requires fifty cents more than you have on you so you walk back up to your apartment to gather more change and walk all the way back down to the courtyard — this time in the opposite way around to avoid seeing all the people by the pool who saw you staring longingly at the vending machine for ten minutes the first time? Well, it has been just that kind of day for me so I thought why not top it off with a trip to the Department Of Motor Vehicles to renew my tags.
Now of course, the renewing process is never simple for me — mainly because I always forget some things (paying my property tax, where the courthouse is, how weird the court house is, my phone number, how to spell, the correct pronunciation of the word documentary — usually just when I am nervous and/or faced with an authority figure). No matter how many times I have done it, I never seem to remember all the steps involved in paying a property tax and naively think that I will just breeze in the courthouse, pay, and get out. Regrettably, I am never correct in this assumption and must repeatedly grapple with the many winding levels and mysterious tiny rooms in the building. After entering the courthouse and making several laps around — with an abundance of awkward pauses and back-tracking — I found the seemingly appropriate mysterious tiny room and informed the woman at the desk that I wished to pay my property tax. The woman promptly gave me a form and instructed me to take it to another room where Betty could stamp it and send me to another room so Bill could put a sticker on Betty’s stamp before sending me to yet another room to have Terry stare at it for a minute–then finally send me to the room where Steve was waiting to fold my form into an origami Pterodactyl.
Eight rooms later, I was eventually able to pay the tax, obtain my receipt, and make my way to the DMV. This went surprisingly smoothly (it is a relatively new and clean DMV where the employees have yet to build up years of inexplicable pain, misdirected anger, and palpable resentment). I handed all my proper forms to the woman and she asked me a few standard questions: “Is Margaret your first or last name? Do you want to renew these for one year or two? Are you Russian?” and I in turn answered her inquiries: “Neither. Two. No.” In addition, she threw in a couple other formalities: ” I have a lot of Russian friends. You look Russian to me” and I obliged her in these formalities: “I don’t know what that means.” This verbal interaction was followed by several odd glances in my direction from people surrounding us — I am guessing to make their own assessment on whether or not I do in fact look Russian — and then at last completing our transaction.
The good news is that in the end, I had my new car tags and that bottle of diet coke was delicious. I am attaching “Endless Part 1″ by Phosphorescent as it seems fitting.