Wednesday, March 3, 2010

An Experiment In Sleep Deprivation

Dear Readers,

Insomnia is kicking my ass again tonight for the third night and so I've decided to just let my mind have a recess period and see what happens. Whatever you might think after reading this, know that I am not on drugs nor am I mentally insane. Well, definitely not on drugs anyway. I apologize in advance for:

My Trip To The Department Of Motor Vehicles

It was a crisp March morning in sunny California, with temperatures hovering around the usual 75 degree mark as I sauntered casually, my granola bar in one hand, a half-emptied cup with my iced decaf quad venti 7 pumps soy, no whip, light ice, white mocha (with just a hint of nutmeg) in the other hand, from my new blackberry pearl Honda hybrid to the doors of the Department of Motor Vehicles. It was a day I had long awaited.

It was time to renew my license and I was thrilled to have the opportunity to update the photo that had been there for 8 years. I cringed every time I needed to show my ID because, well, it just didn't fit who I was anymore. First of all, it was so out of date. I don't even own that dark charcoal herringbone button-front sweater vest anymore and I doubt I would pair it with the white cotton tee and faded blue jeans even if I did. Further, I had so moved on from that almost ROTC-type hair cut of years past and was rockin' a dashing ponytail now. Also I had since shaved the goatee in lieu of an edgier, five o'clock shadow look.

Yes, the old me was gone and new, improved ├╝ber dude had risen up out of the ashes in a pair of dark blue jeans, a lemon polo with aviator sunglasses and retro sneakers. It was no wonder the babes couldn't stop staring. Oh well, let 'em stare. Better than looking at their husbands forever lounging in their Lazy Boy recliners dressed in their old dirty tee shirts and saggy, beer stained sweats as they alternately pounded cheese puffs and Budweiser while watching reruns of the Rockford Files.

Entering the large office, I was immediately assaulted with an annoying "clackety-clack" sound that quickly got under my skin. It came from a machine that did nothing but make that sound. Experts in the acoustical research field had found that this kind of ambient noise temporarily distracted people from their stressful lives and opened a nostalgic window to the past world of dot matrix printers, card sorters and keypunch machines. Somehow they believed it made the whole DMV experience one that was more mellow and comforting. I just thought it was irritating and wanted it to stop. But hey, I'm not an expert.

I scanned all directions to find the proper window to get in line at. The place was crowded with people, most of whom had apparently never heard of personal hygiene products or the development of laundry soap. Then I saw her, a nightmare in polyester/rayon print with flowing black eyebrows, dark plum lipstick that looked like it had been applied by a blind spastic, a short, dark thatch of hair shaped into an impenetrable hair spray helmet, and a single crooked tooth.

Her name was Genevieve and she was the clerk at window number five. At least during the day. At night I am certain she was a succubus. As I approached her window to hand in my paperwork she peered at me with her crossed-eyes and attempted to stifle a belch with no success. I couldn't help but notice the heavy scent of linguica which hung over the counter as I handed her my paperwork. As she reached for my forms I immediately recoiled at the sight of her armpits, which looked like dark, hairy pom poms.

Suddenly I felt a fear greater than that where one's soul is suddenly ripped away to spend eternity listening to Christmas carols played on the bagpipes. I lurched away from the counter, bounding past the old barefoot guy who was busy talking to his thumb and the scary, tattooed bald guy who was obviously high as a kite as he screamed after me, "Hey, you stepped on my bumbo!" (whatever in the hell a "bumbo" is.) I didn't care about getting my photo redone anymore. I just had to get the hell out of there. The walls were closing in and I didn't like to be around these people in the best of circumstances. Finally I got to the doors and pushed them open and felt the warm sunshine on my face. I was free. I was free.

The End


  1. I have to say that in our town the DMV is pleasant. Unlike previous places I have lived.

    Did you see my book review yesterday? I think you would love that book!

  2. You got the doors mixed up. You entered an old horror movie instead of your DMV. I swear I could smell the coocoo's nest all the way here!

    And hey, this is a Bumbo:

  3. Flowing there's an interestingly scary image!
    Since you have not slept well, perhaps you only hallucinated the experience at the DMV!
    Anyway, I hope you don't have to experience that again any time soon.


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