Friday, September 22, 2006

Among Peers In Purgatory

This Letter To The Moon appeared in The Blue Doodle on September 2. Enjoy.


AMONG PEERS IN PURGATORY



Dear Moon,

You have come up two times since I arrived here. For such a crowded place, there is very little conversation. Since you have returned, I may as well write to you.

In the two days I have sat here waiting to renew my car's registration, I have gone hungry and subsisted on very little sleep. I have made idle small talk with any number of strangers, my peers here in purgatory. I have admired wallet-size photographs of grandchildren. I have been offered one last shot at redemption before the rapture – several times.

On my first day here, I asked a lady for her phone number. Now that seems like a bygone time, a youthful memory, a lighter era. By the way, she said no, and then they called her number for the written test.

"Now serving A-10,953."

I think I have about a day and a half to go.

Coincidentally, the cramps I am feeling are identical to the ones I get on long road trips, with nine hours per day of driving. Appropriate, isn't it?

My body and my mind have been taxed to their limit. The mind turns to certain questions when the body is exhausted and no relief is in sight. You might imagine these questions turn on God or the meaning of life. Certainly, that's what I imagined. But no. The question on my mind is simply this:

Do the rich and the famous have to go to the DMV, ever? How do they get out of it? Take that Paris Hilton, for instance. Does she have a driver's license? Where does she take her eye exam? Does she hate her license picture, like the rest of us? Or Donald Trump. I don't see Donald Trump sitting in one of these chairs holding a little ticket with a number printed on it, fanning himself with his proof of insurance and expired registration. Maybe he can do stuff on the internet or by mail, but eventually the DMV calls everyone in. Someday, you have to go the DMV in person. It is inevitable as death. For this reason, I've always thought of the DMV as a legitimate town square, an egalitarian detention center, an agency to whom rich and poor alike are accountable.

Am I wrong about this, too? Do Paris Hilton and Donald Trump have attorneys who stand in line and take their eye tests for them?

"A-10,954."

Take your time with the reply, my Man In The Moon. I'm going to be here for a while...

Sincerely yours,

Ed

2 comments:

Wingtiphsu said...

The Beautiful People are above such mundane tasks.

They pay expendable poor people to stand in line, then pay still others to have those people killed and eaten.

quid said...

Somehow, they actually HAVE to get their own. Possibly the DMV's in Hollywood and NYC open at a fashionably late hour just to assist "celebrity". Why not? Drivers' Licenses at 3 a.m.!!!!