I may not exist. Let me explain. Three days ago, while voting for whoever I think should be our next president (I know I just gave away my registered political affiliation, which means nothing to me because I consider myself an independent) I was asked if I have a different picture ID than the one I showed them. I asked “Why? What is wrong with this one?” The lady volunteering at the voting post replied “This one expired last November…”. I was startled. “What?!” I looked at my driver’s license and it said “Expiration Date 11/30/11”. A thousand thoughts came through my mind. How did I miss this? What kind of penalty does this involve? I have been driving illegally all this time? How can I work without my driver’s license? I was then freaking out and went right to the driver’s license place the next morning.
First I tried to renew my license on the internet before the next morning, but could not because it was already expired. Once I arrived at the license place, I was told they have a new policy that stipulates that I need my birth certificate. My poor wife, who just had major knee surgery three month ago (the time that I should have renewed my license), drove me back home so that I can get the stupid birth certificate. Once I returned to the driver’s license place, I was told that my birth certificate was invalid because I was born in Puerto Rico, and all puertoricans were mandated to renew their birth certificates two years ago because of some ridiculous acts of corruption. Of course, I have not renewed my birth certificate either, so I did not have a valid drivers license nor a birth certificate. My beautiful wife then drove me to work and I had to go through the embarrassing moment of having to explain to my subordinates ( I am a manager) that I could not drive at work (which is one of the requirement at work) because I let my driver’s license expire last November. My wife (the greatest in the world) continued to research more about how to obtain a birth certificate in an expeditious way, and found out that I need a valid driver’s license to be able to obtain a new birth certificate.
Now I don’t have a birth certificate because I don’t have a valid driver’s license, and I can’t get a driver’s license because I don’t have a valid birth certificate. It is an unfortunate cycle. What a mess! I spoke with my brother who lives in Puerto Rico who will try to help me obtain the birth certificate with my father’s help or a lawyer. Then he jokingly said “I guess you don’t exist anymore….!” Maybe he is right. In the eyes of the civilized world, if I don’t have a birth certificate or a valid picture identification card, I am nobody. How ridiculous this society is! I can almost relate to the thousands of undocumented people who are not worth of recognition because they lack the necessary paperwork to be accepted in this society. Being “nobody” or “nonexistent” is definitely not a good feeling. Now I have to depend on my wife to drive me everywhere, and swallow my pride as well. Oh, well, I guess I have to suck it up until I am able to renew my license and then I will be somebody again.
Update: I still don’t have an ID, because I don’t have a damn Birth Certificate, because it just takes too much time to obtain one. Since I don’t have an ID, my parent has to get in the middle of this and help. I am still a nobody in this society. Can’t drive to work, and neither during work (which is required). I feel embarrassed, helpless, and invisible. This is truly getting ridiculous.
Update: I finally got my ID.. I am somebody now. If I would not have asked my dad to obtain my Birth Certificate, I would not be driving at this time, and would still be living this trap. But those days are over. I exist…. again (I guess)