Discomfort hung heavily in the air as I quickly found my seat against the back wall of the large and very open room. A slew of people sat in silence, eagerly, yet patiently waiting for their name to be called to end their misery.
“This is a great people-watching spot.” I thought as I glanced to my right. An attractive 20-something woman was sitting there looking slightly perturbed, very likely due to the elderly lady seated next to her who was coughing every minute or so. “I don’t have a cold, just a chronic cough” she insisted. I held back a chuckle.
To my left, a mother and 3 daughters, one of whom was there to get her first “official” license.
A solid 90% of the occupants of this tortuously silent building were 60+. “What a true representation of Maine” I responded to that observation.
I shot my gaze forward, to the two very chatty ladies running the show. They seemed to be getting the job done fast enough. “Just call my name” I thought.
An acquaintance of mine walked in and sat next to me, making it a bit more comfortable having a familiar face in the sea of strangers around me. After a polite greeting and an exchange of “How have you been?” ‘s, we too sat in silence.
It wasn’t too long after that a guy walks in the room and finds a seat next to us. It was then that he did the unthinkable, something you should never do in a group of silent strangers. He opened his mouth… and spoke. He kept trying to converse with my buddy, but he wouldn’t have it. He quickly whipped out his phone and played a few levels of Candy Crush. “Smart thinking my friend, smart thinking.” I smiled.
One half hour goes by, not a minute where the elderly woman on my right hasn’t gifted us with tiny molecules of mucus and possible disease and the man to my left hasn’t let out a very dramatic sigh and/or words in hopes of a conversation.
I’m a very patient person and certainly not violent, but after a period of time I was beginning to get quite restless. I really wanted to look that guy in the face and ask why, at his age, he hasn’t learned the gift of silence and politeness. Adult ADHD? I dont know, I just couldn’t stand hearing his sighs of negativity.
The young guy who signed up just before me was called, and my eyes lit up. I turn to my buddy and tell him, “We’re up next.” He looked quite relieved as well, presumably knowing that he wouldn’t have to sit next to Negative Newman for much longer.
One of the boss ladies stood up. “This is it, Jake.” my buddy says.
“Let’s hope so.”
“3..2..1” he starts counting down. I found it hilarious. After a flip of a page, the lady says George? No one stood up. Anna? Again, not a stand was taken.
As I stood up triumphantly, “Sweet Victory” started playing as I begin walking up to the boss lady in slow motion, while looking Jack Reacher cool in my leather jacket. The elderly people clapped and cried, my buddy rooted me on as I stopped at the attractive, now disease-ridden young lady, stood her up, swept her off her feet and planted a kiss right on her.
I finish my renewal in no more than 5 minutes, now sporting a brand new, much less murdery picture of myself. As I walk out the door, I nod to my buddy, about to head up for his turn to get out of there.
Even in situations like sitting at the DMV, it’s important to look around you and enjoy yourself. Unless of course you are Negative Newton. Please go home Negative Newton before I verbally abuse you.