Boots On The Ground: Days in the Life of an Average American Nobody
Up at 6:30 AM. Showered, dressed, and cooking breakfast by 7:00 AM. Eggs, toast, fruit, and coffee ingested. Boots on, and laced, and out the door by 7:35 AM. Drove to the county seat and made two stops there. Then off to the Department of Transportation (DOT) center located across town by a now near-empty shopping mall.
Slowed onto the highway off-ramp at approximately 10 AM. While waiting at the stoplight at the bottom of the ramp, a woman was seated on a street meridian just ahead. She was wearing blue jeans, a hat, mittens, a soiled winter coat, and holding a sign. The sign was a petition for money and at the bottom, in red letters, it said: “Any amount will help”.
Near the woman, in a perpendicular line of cars that were about to enter the on-ramp of the highway, an obese lady in a mini-van quickly searched her purse then handed some cash to the sign-holder. As I drove off, I saw the porcine and smiling driver glowing with the satisfaction of having her sins self-atoned for that morning. It was a beautiful act of virtue-signaling that I found ironic as I drove by a restaurant less than a block away with a help-wanted sign prominently displayed in its front window.
Upon arrival at the DOT center around 10:15 AM, I drew my number from the dispenser. It was 96. In looking around the room, I saw there were no empty chairs. The place was packed. As I glanced upwards over a veritable riff-raff of humanity, I saw six terminals of which only three were in use. Over each one there were electronic red digital numbers – all in the low sixties. It meant I had to wait for over thirty people ahead of me.
For the next hour or so, I noticed how the middle terminal was being monopolized by what appeared to be either an Algerian or Moroccan interpreter. I speculated these were the nationalities because those whom he represented appeared to be from North Africa as they spoke to each other in French. It was just an educated guess.
In any event, at least four of the foreign language speakers had drawn numbers in sequence far prior to me and the DOT employee was having great difficulty understanding the interpreter’s… shall we say… thickly accented English. I found myself wondering how these people would assimilate into our area without being able to speak English, let alone their capabilities of driving a car and navigating city traffic.
One of the male (previously mentioned) future Democratic Party voters, likely delivered here courtesy of Catholic Charities USA, had a little ebony-skinned girl with him who cutely kept pestering a teen-aged gal and her mother in the adjacent terminal. The mom and teen didn’t quite know what to do. They were trying not to be rude but clearly wanted to focus on their business with the DOT employee. The little girl’s father, wearing a frayed red white and blue sweater, was oblivious.