social security

prompt for today is describing a public place. The twist is without adverbs. I had to check to see what an adverb actually was so that

might be a problem

I spent the morning at the DMV in downtown Albany with my 85 year old mother who recently moved up here from Maryland. Yes she is still driving. She has to get her license and registration changed. I went to downtown Albany because the manager there is one of my patients and he promised me he would get me in out. We would have gotten in and out, if not for the fact that my mother’s social security card was so old (from about 1952), they didn’t think it was the actual card, only the stub. There was some argument and several people looked at it. A no go. So she couldn’t get her new license today, but she did get her registration and New York plates. The new blue and orange ones

So on to the place I am going to describe. My kind friend, the patient gave me directions, just down the road he said, to the federal building where we will find the social security administration. There is a lot there where you can park. Well there was no lot but I did find street parking. My mother and I had walk a couple of blocks in the pouring rain. She walks  slowly. I have to keep stopping so she can catch up.  have or had. I should probably say I had to keep stopping.

When we entered the building there appeared to be a line. there was a man in a uniform and one of those machines you have to walk through and a place to put your belongings on a belt that goes through another machine. A man was sitting there looking into a camera. the guy at the gate was short with a sturdy build. Close cropped black hair, open face. I think most likely Italian but I should probably not make that assumption. We were about three behind. He and two of the other security men there were giving directions to the woman and her son at the front of the line. All three of them had something to say. Pointing to the horizon. Just over there you take 787. Get off at the Washington ave ext. Building 12. This took more time than you would think and I was getting cranky because my feet were wet because I wore sandals for some reason even though it was raining and also my coat was wet.

We got through security after promising that as far as we knew we had no weapons and we took the elevator to the fourth floor. There was another security man there who showed us how to use the touch machine to get a number so we could wait to be seen on long wooden benches. There were similar benches at the DMV. The touch screen was a challenge for my mother. The guard prompted her and touched it for her when her finger didn’t do the job. She jabbed at it instead of pressing.

We sat down. They called our number rather promptly. The security guard was an older man thin with white hair and a mustache. He pointed a head to us. Around that post , side window.

A nice young man sat behind a plastic window. He looked to be from India. But again I should not generalize because I could obviously be wrong. He asked us our business. He had a pleasant smile and white teeth. Brown eyes and thick black hair.

My mother gave him her social security card. So what is the problem he asked. This is a social security card. In case you are confused it looks like they got it all wrong at the DMV. The card was good after all. We went through the process anyway, not wanting there to be a question about it. A wasted trip and now at some point we have to venture back to the DMV. I don’t plan on going to downtown Albany again, friend or no friend. i will go and wait at the DMV at the mall where I live.  At least there, I don’t have to worry about being assaulted in the parking lot.

So that was it. Our trip to the social security administration. the man at the next window was applying for disability. I learned that he had been what he considered disabled for three months. We left and walked back in the rain to the car.


About jensiper

I like to write now and then
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3 Responses to social security

  1. Gabriele Stehle says:

    OMG, jenni, I could read these pieces of yours all day. I don’t think you need to worry about adjectives, never mind what they are. You’re not prone to use, leave alone overuse them anyway, the way you write. Such clear, minimal prose. Not sure you are aware of it and I hope I’m not frightening you when I tell you that your writing is more and more moving towards story telling territory with these flash pieces. Something has changed, maybe it’s that the pieces start getting longer but it’s not just that. Especially this and the Red Sweater one, they have a sense of completeness about them that seems new to me. I love that your public place holds so many interesting people and funny little details. Especially love mother’s jabbing at the touch sceen. Very sweet detail. I can almost see her glare at that useless thing.

  2. Pingback: Day Eight, Yes I’m Late | Be Inspired

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