The dazed look on the sea of faces was tragically comical. The befuddled expressions told the simple truth—No one understood anything. Such a simple task—license renewal—was enough to drive all common sense from (perhaps) rational brains. The underlying fear of being short one critical document or debit card stunk like the stepped-on-excrement we, the compulsorily complacent and compliant clients, were treated as. Law-abiding drivers, funding the salaries of the DMV demons, were complications to an otherwise blissfully blank day. Damn the masses. And they did.
Incited to a frenzy, expletives of fury spewing from frustrated lips, a man storms from the counter with hatred lasering from his eyes. There will be no license for him today. Cast into the world, fated to repeat the process tomorrow. Odds are he’ll have the same “customer service” agent when he returns.
There is no escape.
Within 15 minutes of opening, over 100 bodies spill into the ill-equipped, ill-mannered, and ill-managed melee. The menagerie of characters, representative of every subset of humanity—each equally disturbed by the cattle treatment. Herded from line to line, seating area to seating area, window to window, until finally a flash blinds the eyes that wish they hadn’t been in use for the past three hours.
Government sanctioned torture.
Mr. President, I thought the US had a strong stance against inhumane treatment. I beseech you to investigate the unlawful kidnapping, detainment, and assault of your citizens by the state!
Resistance is futile. We come with our passports and birth certificates, licenses and naturalizations, social security and credit cards, bank statements and address-verifiable mail. We come. For licenses, registrations, permits and titles. We come. For identification, validation, verification. Because we must come. To the many-armed monster, with too few faces faceted into a single sneer, that feeds on our fear and has an unquenchable thirst for our money, nibbling steadily at our pockets while slurping down all of our time.