With a benign neglect cultivated over years of unremarkable civil service, the woman picked up the faded pink plastic handle of her trusty hole puncher and eviscerated my New York Driver’s License leaving a gaping ironic hole where the expiration date once laid idly reminding everyone of a distant future yet to be realized.
I had not anticipated the groundswell of melodrama a simple trip to the DMV would have evoked within the tattered remnants of my soul. The DMV veteran handed back my mutilated identification and I was whisked down a long highway of memories. I remembered taking the photo at a random DMV in Peekskill, NY in 2006 after a scenic country drive to a small town next to Briarcliff Manor for reasons still known only to very few. This mugshot-esque photo would serve as my identification for the next decade. The photo is a monochrome and expressionless portrait of the person I once was, youthful features offset by steely eyes (the effects magnified by oh so fashionable gray contact lenses.)
Like too many other things in my life, my new license was built on a lie, reinforced with an omission and finished with a veneer of pithy optimism manifesting in the form of a well worn grin. (They encourage smiling in your driver’s license photos in this state. WTF?) All of a sudden as abruptly and unceremoniously as I had left the Empire State I was similarly done at the DMV. Off into the sunshine with a hole punched into my former ID, a piece that will forever missing. Perhaps the same piece that has always been missing. The insatiable void that no amount of money, infamy, gluttony, debauchery or glory real or imagined was ever able to fill.