I am once again licensed to drive, after three days of being a non-entity. Right in time for the car, at long last, to be fixed.

Why did I postpone this simple operation for four years? I have to say, the whole time I was in the DMV my heart was racing. Would I have the proper documentation? What weight would I tell them? Would I pass the eye exam? Would they let me pay the $10 fee with a $20 bill? Would I pass the test? (Would my picture be shitty? Actually it's not so bad.) Would I be revealed as fraudulent? (A fraudulent what, though? Driver? Citizen? Person? Patriot?)

If a basic encounter with the state apparatus reduces me (a white woman in her 30s with fluent English and a lot of educational and cultural capital, whose job does not depend on her being able to drive) to a quivery mass of fear, how does it feel to be in there if you're not sure you'll be able to read everything on the test?

(Don't tell me it makes me more nervous because I'm supposed to get it. Maybe that's true, but don't tell me that.)


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