It was almost 90 degrees and I had not gotten much sleep the night before. I knew I had to go to the DMV anyway, because St. Edna the Sex Mobile needed license plates and to be properly registered. I was expecting it to be a mildly miserable experience, like most trips to the DMV, but what happened next made me start wondering if luck is on my side. It made me feel like I really am on my own hero’s journey and may have just met my mentor.
I grabbed a number: 180. Number 130 was currently being called. Knowing there were 50 people ahead of me, I settled into one of the few open seats and started playing Blendoku on my phone. I felt a sneeze coming on and politely covered my mouth and squeaked out a high-pitched “achoo!”
A few people said “bless you,” including an older gentleman to my right. Then he told me he was an ear doctor and could tell by my sneeze that I was congested and asked if I wanted any advice. I appreciated that he asked instead of just offering, so we talked about sinuses for a while and about how his grandmother had a very loud sneeze that would startle people. Any time someone would sit in a chair near us he nodded and said hello. I could tell he was genuinely friendly and liked humans.
Eventually our numbers were called and we finished our transactions around the same time. I went out to the parking lot with new plates for Edna and he was parked a few spots away. “Is that your new toy?” he asked as his eyes lit up.
“Sure is. Her name is St. Edna.”
“St. Edna? I like that. Like Edna St. Vincent Millay?”
“That’s who she is named after!” I was excited that someone had made the connection without me pointing it out.
Then this kind stranger told me that he had lived the RV life for 12 years. He asked what work needed to be done on it and I told him. It turns out he has most of the parts I need, and he was going to donate them because he has a new 30 foot trailer and doesn’t need them any longer.
He also had pliers in his trunk that would get the rusted old New Jersey plates off Edna , just in case I didn’t have any with me (I didn’t). He asked if I wanted help removing the plates and I said yes. Now, normally it would weird me out that a stranger was paying attention to me in the DMV parking lot, but this guy was like Mr. Rogers. He told me about his son (who is around my age), his hearing clinic, and his land on the Washougal River. In fact, he said, he had an RV spot on that land that has water and electricity hookups and I would be welcome to stay there any time I wanted, free of charge!
We chatted a while longer while he walked around Edna to makes notes of what he has that might work for her. He also reached up into her outdoor light fixture by the back door and knocked out a hornet’s nest. Whoa. This dude is like the dad I never had but always wanted, and I met him at the DMV!
I got his business card and promised to email. I will definitely be following up. There is a lot to learn when being new to an RV lifestyle, and now I know a friendly fatherly figure with land, tools, supplies, and advice (that he always asked if I wanted to hear first). A mentor who uses consent language, reminds me of my childhood role model, and who offers me free parking on a beautiful river that is only 40 minutes from work? What a lucky day!