Now Serving

I’m gonna be here awhile. And the floor is cold.

A less-than-smooth move on my part the other night has left me with a mandatory visit to the DMV. I was loading the groceries into the car and set the outgoing mail and my wallet on top of the car so they wouldn’t get buried on the seat. You can see where this is going already, can’t you? :)

Needless to say, off I drove, stuff still on top of the car. For aways anyway. It only occurred to me what I’d just done after already reaching home. Tina and I had planned on going to the movies; off we went to retrace my path instead.

Now serving number 196 at counter 2 …

Finally, a real live human came on the line and she was so compassionate that all was quickly forgiven.

We checked with store security and lost & found and then searched by foot. Bean was so good to me, incredibly thorough in her searching and minimal chastising for my absent-minded move. She found all three pieces of mail- two Netflix movies, their outer packaging crumpled and dirty and tire-marked, but the discs unbroken (yay!) and more importantly, a document intended for the release of some design work I completed for a company recently. Not a spec of dirt on that one (big yay!). No wallet, though. So back home we went to deal with the cancellation of credit cards and such. I found myself to be remarkably calm, enough truly bad stuff happens to people each day that this was hardly worthy of getting all hot and bothered. That is, until I began calling to report lost cards. After a total of seven attempts at entering my account number, and apparently failing, I lost it. F___ this and f___ that and on I went like the true longshoreman’s daughter that I am. The condescendingly smug electronic voice on the line announced that I would be connected with a “relationship agent” shortly. I can see entering the number in wrong once, even twice, but seven times for a number I know by heart, no way, José! Finally, a real live human came on the line and she was so compassionate that all was quickly forgiven. The remaining calls were gravy following that first one, and I was done in a total of twenty minutes. Not bad! Will miss that wallet, though. It was a gift from Bean, an Alice In Wonderland wallet from Disneyland, with vintage drawings, all worn and aged in look not like the lame psychedelic versions I see for sale at any local mall. The very worst? The loss of Starbuck’s gift cards. WAAAAAAAAAAH! Three, all with nice balances on them.

Now serving number 197 at counter 4 …

I think every ugly sneaker on the planet is congregated in this room. There’s a biker standing to my left and I can smell the leather of his boots. Other than that, it smells dank in here, and stale. Everyone I see looks like the watered down, slightly less vibrant version of someone else I once knew. It’s really the perfect place to sketch. That woman standing off to the side, skirt slightly askew, shining brown hair hanging down her back, her stance has an awkwardness to it, like she can feel eyes on her that she’d rather not. The squat little woman wearing black and blue horizontal striped stockings pulled over her very full calves that disappear under what looks like an Oktoberfest get-up. My, she’s either just off work from some German deli or she takes serious pride in her heritage. There appears to be only one person in the room with fashion sense. And today, it’s not me. He’s off in the corner, looking like he just walked off stage after performing with some Boho-indie band, and is here scoping subjects out for new lyrical content.  

Now serving number 198 at counter 5 …

There’s a math problem here, I just know it. X amount of ‘s called per Y minutes = total average wait. Something to that effect. My bum is asleep. A man has just entered the building on his cell exclaiming, “Dude! You should see this place! I am now officially clinically depressed.” He’s summed up the atmosphere of the room, crammed with people. He’s continued to prattle on about plans with someone named “Audrey” and is sharing his opinions on everything from global warming to the latest South Park rerun. “Sign of the times, dude, sign of the times,” he says. Outta the mouths of babes, as they say, as he’s certainly a sign of the times with his intrusive phone conversation echoing throughout, reaching a captive audience. And not a babe, but rather, a mechanic.

Now serving number 199 at counter 1 …

I was loving the social experiment his reign had become!

While I’m here I’ll tell you my thoughts on the latest season of American Idol. I gotta say that I was mildly bummed to see that little Sanjaya fellow go. In prior weeks, Tina has pitched a regular fit just short of death threats over him taking the space of a more worthy contestant. She’s theorized the same widely reported ideas by the media that his success has been in part to call-ins from all the outsourced jobs in India, Sanjaya being of Indian descent. A great singer he is not, projection being his problem, a lack of it, that is, but his thousand watt smile and gorgeous crop of hair gave him a charismatic draw. I was loving the social experiment his reign had become! Tina insists that American Idol is a singing competition, and therefore should produce a winner with true talent. I insist that it’s American Idol, that in our music industry filled with many a performer displaying only average talent that’s then been over-produced and highly packaged for mass appeal, who better to reflect that than a winner with only average talent as well. After a handful of seasons, I liked seeing how the public manipulated the voting results with various websites and media personalities persuading their viewers to vote or not to vote for this person or that.

Now serving number 200 at counter 4 …

The toddling child just down the way with the big dark eyes has pulled off his sock and triumphantly flung it to the middle of the room. I’d almost join him, if I was wearing socks. He’s the only bit of joy I can see in here. This place smacks of a social statement waiting to be made. All here waiting for a similar goal, we are, together, but alone. Solitary. There’s a man sitting next to me, his face a little more than a foot from mine, as it’s a tight fit in here today, and yet, I’ve only just noticed his presence, having been lost in my writing. How sad to be so close in proximity and yet so disconnected. Life is meant for risk to some degree and I can’t think of a better one than that of connection to those around us. That said, a man has opened the door for a woman entering and a brief smile flashes on the faces of each. For the most part, though, everyone looks so glum, and I wonder do I as well? I feel anything but glum, a tad melancholy in reflection, but nevertheless, bursting with inspiration. Inspiration has not ceased for weeks now, it comes from everything! In a book title I read, in the lines of a scripture in Psalms, down a road I mistakenly turned down, from a used tire lot filled with stacks and stacks of towering old tires with blackberry vines growing up and over their tops, from the written words of an old friend, from flowers from my dad on May Day. From this room! I love, love, love the diversity in this room! Every color, nationality, and background imaginable. The best are those who have a complexity due to the mixing of race. Take the little boy to my right with the jet black hair, porcelain white skin, and grey (neato!) eyes. The woman he calls “Mama” displays fair hair, freckled skin and brown eyes. Must contain this desire to create awhile longer … get me to a canvas to release some of this pent-up need for visual exploration, I must paint!

Now serving number 201 at counter 3 …

… my number is 331. ♦

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