But, I'm glad I did it.
See, thanks to my buddy Steve, my car was at the dealership waiting to have the ignition interlock device installed. It was scheduled to go under the knife at 2pm. What they told me on the phone--when I eventually spoke to a person--was that I needed to go to Springfield first before I made an appointment to have the device installed in my car.
Check out Mr. Jump-to-conclusions.
OK. This would take some finesse to pull off, but I had confidence and I had clarity.
And, I had my checkbook.
I also possessed a little piece of paper that said my suspension was up.
So, I took the Peter Pan to Springfield. After walking a couple of blocks, I found the registry.
The registry has received a bad rap over the years for making you wait forever to get through their line. I did not find this to be true. In fact, with dizzying speed, I was whisked through to the front of the information window. Then, before I even had finished stating why I was there, I was handed a sheet of paper and told to fill it out and take a seat on the bench.
That's where I got to wait.
For an hour and a half.
And the whole time I'm waiting, I'm realizing that my car is having a state sanctioned device installed which I do not yet have authorization to put in. But best not to think of the negative unknowns. Best to just sit and stare at the door.
For an hour and a half.
Check out the guy on the right. He was waiting to take the road test with his buddy. I bet yours truly-- the long-haired, goateed, burly white-boy with the "Ireland" jersey and the "Polska" hat-- must have been a pretty funny sight to see. Let alone, the fact that I was taking a picture of a closed door.
"It's for my blog."
Good thing I don't give a rat's ass what my incongruous appearance portrays on the outside. I know that what's pulsing and firing within the fleshy confines of my head and heart are aligned.
I was eventually ushered in to sit uncomfortably at a desk with a dour man in is late 50's.
He said, "How are you?"
To which I replied, "Fine thanks, and yourself?"
So, I sat. I sat and I patiently waited and watched the man punch in numbers and letters and stare at the screen like a doctor who's getting the test results back from the lab. He had a gigantic, four foot tall, clear plastic barrel, filled with salted pretzel rods behind him. Just looking at it made me thirsty.
After an interminable sixty or so seconds, he finally spoke.
"You're familiar with Melanie's law?"
"Yes, I am." And I waited for him to tell me that Melanie's law stipulates that I have to wait two years to get my license like I've been dreading.
"You know about the interlock device?"
"Yes I do."
"Well, Mr. Johnson, I'm going to have to ask you to step outside while I get you up to date."
"Um ... do you need any of my documentation?" I said nervously.
"No, because your suspension is up. Now please step outside sir."
It's funny when people tell you something that, under normal circumstances, would be perfectly understood. A simple phrase like, "your suspension is up."
But when we get put into nerve wracking situations, they seem like the total opposite.
When he told me my suspension was up I was immediately crushed.
Oh no. Two years of hitchhiking hell.
Wait a minute! Oh my god. My suspension is up. That's great news!
So I waited. He came back. He gave me the paperwork and told me I could now make an appointment to have the IID installed.
Gotcha. Thanks. Will do.
I scurried on back to NoHo and hopped on my bike. I trekked on over to the Installation store and was greeted by the store's congenial owner, Jesse. He had me sit and watch a 20 minute instructional DVD on my new accessory.
The Linda Carter lookalike explained the ins and outs of my new device. She told me that, on behalf of her and everyone at Smart Start Inc., she hoped I'd have a "positive interlock experience."
It was, and is, all so surreal.
Then came the hard part. Kind of like seeing your ex and her new beau for the first time in public. You've heard about them from every last person in your social circle, but you haven't seen it for yourself and kind of hoped you never would. That way you could pretend it wasn't real.
And then you see them together.
And you just want to cry.
To be continued ...
And no, the firemen didn't have to come rescue Fluffy. She made it down nice and easy after posing for a few would-be photojournalists along the bike path.
I must admit, sometimes I also feel like a cat stuck in a tree. Except, like Fluffy, I'm not really stuck, I'm just looking at the world from a different point of view.
Thanks for reading.