Ode to the DMV

By August 17, 2010 culture, language No Comments

This week’s On, In, and Around Mondays is inspired by my trip to the Department of Motor Vehicles to renew my license. Once again, prepositions take center stage.

Where are you writing from this week? L. L. Barkat invites you to tell all about it in the post series On, In, and Around Mondays. She calls us to “write from where you are, telling what is on, in, around (over, under, near, by, . . .) you.” Check out other posts from this week’s participants.


On a Tuesday in central Illinois around lunchtime I visited the DMV where you get sucked into a time-warp vacuum.
Fluorescent lighting, heavy from above, is the likely cause, casting its sickly glow upon this microcosm.
We stand in lines and sit in rows, all neat and tidy, eyes fixed in blank stares on bored faces.

Across the way, one woman holds The Idiot’s Guide to Tarot. “Literally,” my inside voice comments.
Behind me I hear the friendly conversation of strangers reminding me we are humans in this production line.
Over the counter, along the walls, a smattering of posters provide needed but unread information.

After some time, a familiar number is called, stirring me out of my trance.
As a strange fake accent comes and goes, it delivers singsong questions about my mental capacity to handle the rigors of driving; I tell my mouth not to smile but inside I’m all giggles.
If the DMV wanted a theme song, Weird Al would pen it with stanzas about similar fluorescent spells found inside airports and post offices.

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