24 April 2010 at 2:15 pm
I had to go to the DMV for work. I don't mind waiting at the DMV if I'm getting paid for it.
A man sat next to me and asked what I was reading, which is pet peeve number 1. I didn't make eye contact, didn't look up, just raised the book so he could read the title himself. I don't trust my voice in situations like this anymore; I can get pretty bitchy about this sort of thing.
A few minutes later, he asked if it was a project for school.
"No," I said. "Just a project for life."
And I went back to reading. I was at the DMV getting paid to read; this I could handle. Waiting at the DMV talking to some stinky, older, destitute man is unacceptable. I blocked him out and focused on the words, reading each one instead of speedreading like I usually do, concentrating and avoiding the energy of someone trying to talk to me.
He said he'd just spent nine months reading some book that was 1200 pages. I couldn't understand what he said, and didn't want to invite more conversation -- it was the tempest or the testament of something? I said, "Mm."
His number was called, and he stood up, said it was nice talking to me, and took care of his business. I overheard him -- he was asking for his driving history. Why would anyone need that? A job, I guessed. I could have easily found out for sure, gotten to know this stranger, forged a connection with someone I may or may not ever run into again, but I'm really trying to finish this book so I can send it to Esp before she caves and buys her own copy.
And then my number was called, and I went on to take care of the title transfer for the veggie-fueled 1982 BMW, the company car I can drive whenever I want.
There are so many different lives to lead in this world, and I am doing just fine here in my shy little sphere of creature comforts and safety nets, my little shack on the side of the road well traveled.
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