Op-Ed: I Survived the Thompson Center DMV

By: Ian Molnar


I’ve been to hell. It’s not fire and brimstone; it’s beige carpeting and beige-er chairs. It is where souls spend an eternity in torment. It lures you in with bureaucratic threats, and keeps you there with its demands that you wait. It is the Thompson Center DMV.

The trip is doomed from the beginning as you first have to look at the Thompson Center, a difficult task for anyone who has eyes. It is monstrous building seemingly designed by a child with an overactive imagination and shitty taste. It looks like somebody vomited malort all over an array of solar panels. It actively makes me want to be less kind to the earth. Let's see what's inside!

What you see is a cacophony of closed and closing storefronts, manned by people so beaten down by life they’re mere outlines of themselves. At least most of them have a respite from the torment in the form of a window to the outside world. Unfortunately, the DMV offers no such luxury, because it’s located in the basement. Because when you have an institution that’s known for depressing people, why not take it a step further and put it beneath the earth. When you’re in the Thompson Center DMV, you’re in life’s basement.

When I walked into the DMV, I was filled with the common dread that we all face when tasked with filling out useless paperwork and conversing with jaded employees, which is heart-wrenching even before you consider how much waiting you have to do. I waited so long that I forgot I wasn't already dead. Then again, in a lot of ways, I actually was. It was indeed a dead zone, isolated from the beauty of the outside world. In the only place where being on your phone the entire time is justified, it was fucking useless. That’s a trick only Satan would pull.

I emerged 3 hours later from the DMV as a changed man, with a new outlook on life. I had experienced death, and lived to tell the tale. Ground level is a beautiful place, and I intend to stay here for a while.