I walk through the door into a waiting area full of dejected eyes glued to the floor. “Is there–” I begin to ask, but one kind soul shakes his head and says, “No one’s in line, go ahead.”
I approach an empty desk and scan the room. All the workers are helping someone. All except two. They appear to just be chatting behind a booth, but I don’t know if they’re talking about something business-related or not, though, so I reserve judgement and wait patiently by the desk, studying road signs on a poster.
Then, one of the workers walks over from behind the booth. She looks at me in such a bizarre way that it feels like she’s staring through me. It doesn’t even feel like she’s looking into my soul. It’s like her government-sanctioned eyes have had so much power vested in them by the state that she has no need to take anything beyond a cursory notice of us mere mortals. She as ks nonchalantly, “Sir?”
Intimidated, I stump humbly forward to make my petition for a new licence. She starts to glare at me.  I turn around wondering what could possibly be wrong, what sin I may have committed. I see the man who had answered my question from before walking to the desk. I back up and watch the woman hand him a form.
Damnit, I think, I knew I shouldn’t have tried to be social today.

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