Since I have no intention of returning to Indiana, I decided it was high time to turn myself to the task of getting a new state ID.
On the first day, I had it in my mind that the DMV was located at the number 700. I walked one way up the street, passing from the 500s through the 600s, attempting to exude confidence though surely I was studying the buildings far too closely for a "local." But no matter. I would not miss this even 700! The heat was quite intense, and I wondered what kind of tan line I would get from the purse strap hanging diagonally across my bare shoulders. I passed a Subway sub shop, then a boarded up building, and, abruptly, a small business with the number 709. I blinked as I continued my walk, not wanting to seem as though I had no idea where I was going. If I was wearing a dress in this temperature, I was going to at least look smooth. Yes. But when I hit the 800s, it was absolutely certain I had completely missed it. The desire to appear like a beautiful young woman out on her lunchbreak, confidence as high as her hemline, well, all that sort of thing had to be scrapped. Down the street I went, this time on the other side. The sun had me feeling peevish, and I was beginning to recognize people I had gone by before.
Again I could not find 700, so I returned to the side of the street I had started on. I resolved to pay much closer attention, but again that number eluded me. Though surely I had been heading in the right direction one way or another, I decided to stop and ask for "directions," all to reaffirm that the number 700 did, in fact, exist. It was time to forget my second delusion, the hope that perhaps I looked like a beautiful young woman out for an afternoon walk. I stepped through the nearest circular door, and as soon as I saw the marble flooring and the highly polished columns, I realized that this was not a place where I could go around and around before pursuing business. The stone desk gleamed, and the attendants wore clip-on bow ties. I reflected upon this, and decided that maybe my skirt was a little too short.
Their directions were, in fact, incorrect. Following their suggestion and not my inclination took me back to the 500 block, and feeling rather irritated, I decided to forget this for the day and get a library card instead. But this was also a failed attempt as I did not have any proof of address on me at the time.
The next day dawned just as hot. Before heading out, I checked the address of the DMV, and discovered that not only was I looking for a building similar to what I had seen in Indiana and not what I was likely to find in downtown New City, this place was located at 300, not 700 as I had previously thought. While this still did not solve the question of 700's whereabouts, it was no longer my problem. Also, I decided to ditch the "beautiful young woman" attempt altogetherwith, as it was just too steamy to worry about skirts, wind, lack of pockets, and so on.
300 proved much easier to find, but this attempt was foiled when I realized that apparently, state agencies here have not advanced in their methods of payment since the early 1940s, and the concept of "credit," "debit," or "plastic" as functional tender is not present. Money order? Who the hell pays in money orders these days? I resolved to return to the DMV the next day with my checkbook. I would become a resident of this state, goddammit, no matter what strange tradition, like inability to accept cash, was tossed in my way!
On the third day, this hope was saved by a kind old man. I brought everything with me that I could remember having to need to establish identity back in Indiana, but here, they wanted two proof of address, and I had only one. Dreading having to wade through the stuffy heat for a fourth time, I was just about to keel over on the linoleum floor, but he seemed to feel sorry for me. He asked if I had a checkbook, and said that he would make that work for me. Really? Really! Hooray! I perked up and surrendered my checkbook and my Hoosier card immediately.
The lady who took all the pictures was small, amazingly hushed, and wore a nametag that gave her no identity other than "Apprentice." She spoke very quietly, and as there was a fine assortment of background noise (complete with beeps and printing sounds), I could not fully understand what she was saying. I had to guesstimate by her gestures and expressions. That movement, that meant I should push my glasses up, I think, and that, well ... hmm. I think that one meant that I should go sit and wait. Did she say "ten minutes" ...? Well, I no longer have my Indiana ID, so I shall wait for as long as necessary. I'm not walking out of here today without a card in my hands!
And then, I had it. I turned it over a few times. The flourescent lighting caught the many holographic marks on the card and made it a little difficult to pass judgement on the photo, so I kept it in my grasp as I walked outdoors. I studied it for a few minutes. I concluded that my forehead looked a little round and my teeth uneven, but other than that, and with all the bad lighting and weird equipment considered, it was a very fine photograph for a new ID in a new state.
My mother and I went out with Mr. and Mrs. Dance to a little Thai place for dinner the other night. The brick building sported a new coat of red and yellow paint, but the first thing that caught my eye was a sign saying "free cake." Overall, the food was quite good, and the presentation surprisingly nice for a small family restaurant. The waiter brought the cake after the meal, but he hesitated before setting a plate in front of me. He looked towards me and laughed uneasily. "I am not sure if I should serve this to her," he said, shifting his gaze to the others, those with wine in their glasses. "It has a little bit of rum in it, and she looks so young!"
Little bit of an update.