I had more than enough proofs of everything! We used a jury summons, bank statement, I had my student loan, cable bill, phone bill. I was so relieved and I was given a receipt with a letter and number. It wasn't too crowded.
A computerized voice called out letters and numbers. She said G5, I was F33? The computerized lady said A23, G23 and finally F17.
I was slightly anxious. For fifteen minutes they didn't call F anything.
There were 28 numbered booths lined up. Behind the desks unsmiling women helped anxious folks.
In front of me A group of very young looking girls with two babies, one baby was being held by a girl who looked 14. She had a front pouch but held the baby. The baby was little little baby with a blue blanket. The other baby, a twin? Was in a car seat on the metal bench we sat on. She had her friends helping her. One of the friends sang, "Babies having babies." In a loud voice.
A woman in business attire walked by, her friend came out of the testing room. "I failed!" "Oh no!" "I can come back and retake the test tomorrow. I got a 16 out of 20. Missed it by one. I don't know what is wrong with me." Too bad. I thought. When they finally called me, I was ready. I smiled at the unsmiling woman behind the desk. there was this black binocular looking contraption on the desk and a computer screen. As the woman typed my information I was supposed to read the screen and make sure she was putting in the right information. She gestured to the binocular thing. Time for my eye test. I guessed. I looked in it without touching it with my face. "I don't see anything." "Mumble mumble." "Ugh I have to touch that thing." There was a white strip and as I leaned my forehead on it i saw the familiar eye chart letters. I was distracted about the fact that thousands of pimply foreheads were at one time on that thing. I read the last line and passed the test. I wiped my forehead with a baby wipe. "Mumble, mumble." "Time for my picture?" I put my chair against a the blue wall and I'm not sure what my face did. Flash and over. She handed me the papers and pointed to the right. "Should I go now? Over there?" "Mumble mumble!" I found the testing room. A row of desks and computers. Another line.
The woman makes eye contact and speaks clearly. She takes my papers types and types something into a computer and hands my papers to someone else who looks at my paper and types on the on the computer. He says my name and says computer 3.
The computer was a touch screen. I knew the first ten and then I had to skip four questions and when I went back to them I got the first wrong, the second right. The I got the big red rectangle! 16 out of 20! I failed. I didn't know the hand signal for left turn! FAIL! Go back to the beginning. I sat down with a group of others on school like desks. Some folks looked dejected like me! I failed by one dang question. A woman who was taking the test at a computer stands up and raises both arms in a victory sign. "Yes!" She yells in the quiet room. F you lady. Dang show off. How could I fail? I remembered the questions and wrote them down on the driving manual that I should have read more thoroughly.
I went home and I took the test online, i read the manual and got 19's and 20's on the on line test.
I felt so dumb. The woman called my name and handed me my papers. She said I could come back the next day. I could only shake my head and take the papers.
Hello! I am a Haitian American writer and visual artist.
My writing has been published in various anthologies and literary journals. My collages have been been exhibited in galleries, libraries and cafes throughout New York and Maryland.