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Eyes and Thumb
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I just renewed by driver's license.

For decades, child, adolescent, adult, I was very nearsighted and had to wear glasses, not to mention being afflicted by astigmatism. I wore glasses every day and even swimming and occasionally went to bed with them.

All of a sudden, within the space of a few months, my vision changed. I looked up at the chart in the DMV without my glasses and I could read the letters. I was dumbfounded; the examiner must have thought me dimwitted, because I couldn't hear his next question and certainly couldn't answer it. I could see! Without glasses!

Still, though, each time I get an eye test at the DMV I am afraid I won't be able to read the chart. And I'm so relieved when I can. Of course, nowadays I have to wear glasses for reading and after reading for a while my vision is blurry until it adjusts for distance again.

I had my picture taken again, too, and a thumbprint scan. My fingerprints must be in a dozen databases--police, Peace Corps, teaching, school bus driving. Here's my thumb--scan it again if you wish. I guess they could have gotten a DNA sample without my knowledge, as well. [I've been watching too much CSI].

At least I was ready for this picture and it looks sort of like the real me. The last picture was taken after I had walked around in a driving rainstorm and my hair was plastered to my skull and dripping down my nose. That's what happens when your birthday is in December. You end up taking driving tests in the snow or in the rain.

My first driving test, when I was 16, was in Connecticut after we had had snow, then thaw, then refreeze. The roads were icy with snow on top. The examiner said, "Turn left and go up that hill." I refused, because I lived in that village and NO ONE tried to go up that hill in winter. He passed me anyway after I explained that we'd go halfway up and then start to slide backwards. Glare ice, remember.

So the worst we get in California is rain. I love it. And my new picture was taken dry. What more can I ask?

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