DMV as Quintessential American Experience

Tuesday morning. I am become R137. Linoleum floors, decked out symmetrical blue and white tiles. Fifty people sit in mismatched lawn chairs. Listen: a patronizingly robotic female voice proclaims the truth of the room, one flimsy paper slip after another. Her voice: the symptoms of Western sexism. Look here. Remember your documents. Here: a squeaky gray box to test your vision. Thick periscope to nowhere. Put your forehead here. Look in deep and read the numbers. Look in deep and discover there your most patriotic self. That self that sits dull-eyed, waiting for recognition, reduction to a card. Take a number. R137. Put your forehead here. Your forehead meets the residue of forehead R136. The creepy, plasticky button presses against your displeased brow. Read the numbers. County. State. Nation. R137.