The DMV

Standard

Tim’s sitting in one of the hard plastic chairs, shifting as he waits for his number to be called by the tiny old lady in the booth straight ahead of him.  He looks around at the others waiting and wishes there was someone close enough to strike up a conversation, but the room’s too quiet to speak to anyone more than five feet away.  “Dammit.  Should’ve brought in my Car and Driver,” he thinks.

“483,” the old lady calls.  “483.”

He looks at the little ticket he has in his hands and slowly releases the breath he didn’t realize he’d been holding.  Four more to go.

He watches as a young, Hispanic mother struggles to pull her child with her around the corner on his left, where the little stalls holding the DMV staff members are.  He wonders when he last saw an ass like that.  A businessman passes him without a glance, focused only on the exit door, probably headed back to some fancy office over on Main Street.

The old lady comes over the P.A. system, again, “487.”

He stands up, looks around, then mutters, “Wow.  Must be my lucky day!  Wonder why they skipped over the other people?”

He follows the path of the Hispanic woman with the nice ass and sees his number on a little black screen above a window with the most peculiar sight behind it.  Inside this stall is a very boxy person with short, spiked, jet black hair, a too-big, navy polo shirt, and a big-ass sparkly red bow—like the ones seen on tops of Christmas trees—on one side of her very round head, and the bow has to be the same size as its perch.  There’s no trace of make-up, and the unlined face could be feminine or masculine, but the bow makes Tim realize this must be a woman.

He shuffles closer to the counter’s edge, staring hard at that huge bow, momentarily forgetting why he’s here.
The bronze nametag indicates the woman’s name is Kelly, but Tim hasn’t noticed this.  Kelly smiles genuinely up at Tim, who stands a few inches taller than her, even though she’s on a raised platform.  In a rather deep, husky voice, she asks, “What may I do for you, today?”

Tim shakes himself mentally and focuses hard on Kelly’s face.  The glare from her bright red bow is glowing across one side of her face.  “I’m here to renew my biker license.”

Kelly smiles again and reaches for the form he filled out at the old lady’s booth, so he passes it to her through the little slit in the bottom of the plexi-glass.  While she’s looking over the information, Tim stares beyond the thing on her head and concentrates on the hideously cute pictures of various naked babies playing with kittens, flowers, bees, and St. Bernards.  Then, he notices a little brass frame with who must be her father and her as a little girl in the picture.  She’s sitting in his lap on a porch swing, looking up at him adoringly with a huge, green straw hat and a toy teacup dangling from her pinky.  “She wasn’t a very pretty child, either,” he thinks.

His eyes are drawn back to the glittering bow, and he quickly redirects them to her desk.  She has little knickknack toys, the kind you get from Burger King, all over the place, in no order he can see, and she’s written all over her desk calendar in curly handwriting different names and cities, little hearts and smiley faces, and flowers dotting every “i.”

Tim doesn’t understand how someone this girly, someone who’d wear a huge red bow on her head and scribble daydreams on her desk, could be hiding under this “Pat” appearance.  He feels something akin to shame as he accepts his form back from her french-manicured hands with a big red “APPROVED” stamp on it and walks briskly to his right towards the cashier.  He never makes eye contact with Kelly.

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