Dystopian Departments (The Driving Chronicles, Part 2)

There are three reasons that I've begun driving seriously in the past few weeks, after a year and a half without touching the steering wheel.
  1. I could be twenty by the time I get my license. Not exactly the story you want to tell your kids.
  2. My friends are nagging encouraging me.
  3. If I don't get my license by May, I have to go back to the Texas Department of Transportation office to get my permit renewed.
To be really and truly honest, it's the threat of TX DoT (pronounced: tex-dot) that has me driving the most. This office does not belong in our world. It belongs in Uglies, or The Hunger Games, or The Giver, or Among the Hidden. In short, it's dystopian.

The sort of dystopian world that includes long lines, domineering overseers, subservient citizens, and bare walls.

I have been there twice: once to get my permit, and once to get my I.D. I've waited longer than an hour in this line, standing, with no chairs. Leave your spot in line, lose your spot. Take a cell phone out of your pocket and the woman behind the desk yells at you. Talk above a library voice, and the woman behind the desk yells at you.

I brought a book to read the second time I went. It was Catch-22. Ironic. And then I got in a conversation with this really hot guy who bought animals with his Financial Aid overflow. (Perfect conversation starter, by the way. Bring a book, and a talkative person will ask you what you're reading. I felt very intellectual, reading a book with no picture on the cover and a classic name like Catch-22.)

There is no music playing. The walls are bare white. People stand and shift and have conversations...until the woman behind the desk yells at everyone to be quiet and then there's utter silence.

It's like preschool, only worse. I don't think they're allowed to yell at you in preschool.

There are times where I've wondered what would happen if I just started singing, singing some happy-go-lucky song that everyone knows. Or a Christmas song. What would happen? I want to know if she would yell at me to stop singing. To hear someone stop you from singing "Zipahdeedoodah" is an experience that shouldn't be in America, but I want to know if it would happen. I would feel very adventurous and daring if I did get in trouble.

It's dystopian. And I'd rather not go there more often than I have to, which is why I'm getting my license before May!

So, what's the most eerily dystopian place you've gone to? Tell me...

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