Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Under the weather

For the past few days I've been sick. I know what I did to get this way, but I also finally figured out that I don't need to suffer. After the first two days, I checked into the local clinic and got some antibiotics and cough syrup. I have a family to support and I wanted to be back to work as soon as possible.

While I was at the clinic on Sunday, I had to present my ID to the attendant. As I brought out my drivers license, I realized that it was expired. I had been so focused on maintaining perfect attendance at work that I had completely overlooked my license renewal. I had been expecting some sort of notice to come in the mail that would allow me to renew online, but that didn't happen.

So, I made plans to renew the license when I returned home from the clinic. I checked for appointments, but there were none available until January 6th. I couldn't wait that long.

I wasn't feeling all that hot anyway, so I called in sick for Monday and made plans to go to the DMV. I brought my wife and daughter with me just to cover the remote chance that I might not be able to get my license renewed the same day. I've been in tussles over my license in my younger years and the fears of the past were in my consciousness while planning the trip.

While waiting in line, an elderly man collapsed and DMV staffers rushed to the scene to help him. I had been turned the other way when I heard a loud cluster of thuds and then there he was, on the floor. He was overweight, and could not move. I was reminded of the plight of the middle class. Waiting in line, taking time off work to get mundane tasks like a license renewal done. That poor man more than likely checked in with the hospital to see how he was doing.

After 30 minutes of waiting in line, I got my picture taken and a number, then I sat in chairs with Alice, watching the numbers being called. The numbers started with letters, mine with the letter "D". Sometimes, it seemed like ages before "D" was called again. But eventually, my number was called and I went to the counter.

I presented my IDs, a passport, my social security card, and my expired license. I mentioned that there was an address change, too. I put in my documents but one was too old. I had to get my registration from the car. After fishing through several years of registration papers, I found a current registration and returned to the counter.

The attendant was ready to print a new license when she realized that she was out of paper. It happens to all of us at some point. We print and print and then one day, we're out of paper.

I had my new license in hand and was ready to go home. I was looking forward to a nap so I could sleep off the cold.
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