On my birthday I found myself driving to a town just north of here to get fingerprinted. There’s a new law in Texas that nurses have to turn in fingerprints within the next ten years. Licensees are chosen at random, so there are some nurses who won’t have to get theirs done until the deadline.
The universe is usually aware that I am quite the slacker and I never get picked for audits or jury duty (knock on wood) or anything, as long as there’s someone else who could go first.
Not this time.
I could have gone to the police station or the FBI (gasp), but as the nursing board states on their website, these fingerprints are often unacceptable and have to be redone. They recommend an identity specialist.
So our cops and FBI are incompetent when it comes to collecting prints? That’s like Crime 101, right?
Okay, I go up to this town and it’s a shitty winter day. The sky looks as if someone removed it in Photoshop and completely forgot to add anything back in. It’s just white and empty. I pass through their historic district and see houses that look like birthday cakes. I’ll go back and take photos one day when there is a sky.
I drive up to the address of the ID place and it’s this ancient brick building that looks like a mental institution in a Stephen King made for tv movie. Great. I get to the front door and I’m still unsure this is the right place, I’m waiting any minute for something scary to jump out at me and hack me with a hatchet or an axe. There’s a plaque near the door stating its historical significance. It was indeed a hospital at one time.
I knew that shit. Knew IT!
Then I think to myself that I have the ability to pick up waves of historical suffering. It’s the strangest thing, I can walk into a house or building and feel good or bad vibes. Maybe it’s just the way a place looks, and I’m imagining things. Don’t care. Whatever it is, real or not, it moves me. Which is great, because I don’t like feeling nothing about something. Indifference leads to boredom, which is, eventually, painful to me.
I mosey down a creaky hallway that has pipes running along the ceiling, ones that groan. There’s a few old mirrors on the wall that when I catch a glimpse of myself, I wonder if it’s really me. That’s how bad those old mirrors are, there’s no clarity in them and there seems to be a halo around every object in them. Then I wonder if it’s just me and the attitude I brought in there. Skittish. Skeptical. Or just the simple fact that I hate antiques and the mirrors know it.
There are several offices in this building. I pass a door for a child psychologist. I’m startled when that door swings open and a woman with a short blonde Kate Gosslin cut looks left, right, then shuts the door.
Pass a local magazine editing office. It’s dead in there. Lights out.
Get to the ID place and go inside. My bedroom is larger than this entire office. All of the artwork on the walls are not prints, but puzzles of Native American scenes. About twenty of them in this tiny space. Someone here likes solving things. That someone is a young black woman who takes mug shots and runs each finger over a glass scanner.
Also in this cramped room are four teachers and a fireman, all waiting their turn. They don’t seem to be bothered by all this. Me? I’m fuming. This thing will completely ruin my option of living a life of crime. Bankers, engineers, maybe even cops, they have a choice, they can commit crimes until they get stupid and caught doing something wrong that leads to their first set of fingerprints. Not us.
I look at the fireman. He probably entered the field so he could learn how to commit the perfect arson. ‘Cause there is nothing as satisfying as burning shit down.
The schoolteachers. Evil milk money thieves. Get them!
A nurse from the local nursing home walks in. Her too, and her kind demeanor doesn’t fool me. I wonder how many patients she’s snuffed out with a pillow for having the audacity to use the call bell?
Millions of unsolved crimes will finally be put to rest after they run all these prints. Those Texas legislators are absolutely brilliant for coming up with this new law. Oh, and this is at no cost to the state. Uh un. I had to shell out $10 for this service. I bet murderers get theirs done for free. Just a hunch.
Later that afternoon…
I came home to a heartwarming sight. Kara made me a birthday cake before she left for work.
All is right in the world again.