An alert clerk told me my driver's license expires this month. Then a few days later a second one noticed too. Immensely grateful for their attentiveness I said, "Thank you" to both of them while thinking, "Crap."
That again. Will they never leave me alone? I drive more making sure the truck is legal than I do running errands with it. I don't like to drive. This is going to take planning. Preparation. Mental preparation. I must prepare myself for entering a sweaty unhappy crowd.
I intended to go Monday. But something came up. My plants needed watering.
Then I intended to go Tuesday but something else came up. I got hungry.
Today I made up my mind not to let these emergencies that keep happening get in my way again so off I went boldly facing adversity. This took a lot of visualization. I know exactly where to go, where to park, how to deal with what I already encountered at least a dozen times.
My plan was make it easy as possible, drive straight down Broadway then straight up Mississippi to the well know location.
Right off the bat, pulling out the alley then immediately onto 11th then immediately again onto Broadway a driver honked his horn at me and another driver who suddenly parked where people turn right, crunching us all in, yelled back at him, or at me, "FUCK YOU!"
When I got to DMV the parking lot was nearly entirely empty. This was too good to be true. Turns out, it really was too good to be true. They moved. They changed, consolidated actually. The building is quite old and they're phasing it out. It's like Sears. Now they use only a small portion for people who must take a driving test, and for motorcycles. I must go somewhere else farther away. Someplace that handles even more sweaty unhappy people. The two clerks with little to do gave me instructions. But I could not see it. They're terrible at giving instruction. I came very close to abandoning the project, what the heck, I have the whole month. But I was in it now, this is the day, so decided to carry on.
Keeping directions simple as possible, I still could not visualize the new place nor its area. I didn't recognize the street names. The saving grace is the streets are arranged alphabetically. The clerk asked me, "Do you know where Casa Bonita is?"
Of course I do. Everyone who's ever watched South Park knows where Casa Bonita is. That fairly well pinpointed the place.
Colorado wisely decided not to call the new digs DMV anymore on account of that name having such a bad rap. Now DMV is consolidated into State Revenue office, with no mention of DMV. The place is huge. Much much larger than the capitol. It's sprawling. And so is parking. It's set in a park like landscaping. People are having picnics making a day of it. And every single parking spot is taken. I prepared myself mentally for entering hell itself. There are several very large entryways that all read, "State Revenue Office." None of the entrances to the block long building say anything about automobile licenses. I must take my chance. All handicapped spots were taken. I parked quite a distance away from the middle set of doors in the back and made note of the surroundings so I can find my truck again when I'm finished as you do in a shopping mall.
Entering the building from the outside I heard over loudspeakers, "Number R-847 to station 15," for the benefit of people waiting outside and I thought to myself, "Ooooooh shit! Brace yourself Bud. Calm yourself down. Breathe. Breathe."
Young families speaking Spanish passed me right up and dashed inside in front of me. It wouldn't make any difference.
Inside I encountered a lonely woman behind a very long counter. No line. No activity at all. I just walked right up to her. She gave me a ticket that read, "1-198." She told to go into the room behind her and take a seat and wait for my number to be called.
The room behind her is vast. But not all seats are taken. Work stations fill the perimeter.
I slipped off my backpack. Sat down in one of the chairs. Unzipped the backpack and removed my wallet and phone, preparing myself for a long wait. Within 30 seconds my number was called to go to station 6.
I was NOT ready for that. I looked around and found station 6. A gentleman patiently waited.
The soft spoken man in work station area asked a series of prosaic questions. He administered an eye test. The test seemed a bit bogus, the letters were shaking and the last letter on the row was some kind rune. "That last one isn't even a letter." The man didn't respond to that. He said simply, "You pass. Walk over there. He nodded to the direction immediately behind his own area.
Within 30 seconds my number was called again for me to be photographed. They also fingerprint the index finger.
I was out of the place with a new license in no more than 4 minutes, 5 minutes tops. I could not believe how fast they processed me.
I went in after everyone else in the room and left before them. I think they jumped me. I think their policy is to prioritize handicapped people. They gave me priority most likely based on my pathetic appearance clunking in with two sticks.
We must give them a lot of trouble collectively. They want us out of there quickly. That's how I'm processing this experience.
[Pro tip: Buy two canes for driver's license renewal.]
I told the woman taking the photo, "Thank you for making this painless."
She looked directly at me, for once, and she said, "Thank you for that. We don't hear it very often."
I'm OUTTA HERE! And with joy filling my heart.
I left, and the roads that were such perfect aggravating bastards on the way there with all kind of reconstruction all over the place, with busses, and very large trucks, and traffic lights stopping me constantly, and pedestrians daring to be hit, opened up widely for me on the way home and with no interference at all, no whacked drivers, so that I could speed all the back quickly and without interruption.