The Time I Was Charged With Grand Theft Auto

Several decades ago, I still had my old walker I.D. in my wallet. It was expired, and cut open, so it was invalid.
A runaway friend of mine, who’s identity I won’t reveal, I’ll just call him “Joey”, because everyone called him Joey, used it to avoid getting identified. Back then lots of people had nicknames, or fake names, and you might not ever know their real name anyway. I knew his, but we never used it, because he was 16.
Joey, who was from Richmond, used my walker I.D. to get a job under my name.
He picked one up at the Subway sandwich shop on P Street in D.C. It was the same one I would later sleep on the roof of.
Joey was a good worker, but had a knack for misadventure. So did I, and we would constantly escalate our troubles, feeding off of each other. It was Joey who was with Danny and I when we had to beat a guy up to recover my knife. It was Joey and I who spent an evening flattening cop car tires in Georgetown, being chased by police, and playing football with a dead, frozen rat. It was also Joey who hit someone in the head with the rat, spilling it’s entrails all over the guy.
I ended up leaving D.C., to go and clear my head after a bad relationship and a mental breakdown. I never got my walker I.D back.
I went back to Dale City, where I found work. I was getting 40 hours a week, but was barely surviving. It was going to be another week before I got a check.
One day I noticed a slow leak in my tire, so I had it plugged. That didn’t work, and every other day it would be flat again. I didn’t have the money for a new tire, so I went out one night around 230 in the morning, looking for another car like mine. I eventually found one in a nicer neighborhood, so I pulled over. I got out, jacked up the car, and took a tire. Then I lowered the jack, put it on my car, and took my tire off, before replacing it with the newer tire. To prolong discovery, I jacked up the other car again, and put my leaking tire on it, then I drove away. I’m not proud of that moment, but I had to be back at work the next the day.
After things normalized, I fell into the routine of work. I started picking up odd jobs there and ended up working 45-53 hours a week.
My driver’s license needed to be renewed, so I planned a trip to the DMV on my day off. When I arrived, the line was ridiculously long, with an hour and a half wait. I went to the desk, got the the papers I needed, and stood in line. An hour and a half later, and it was my turn. I got to the window, only to be told I needed another paper.
Mother fucker! I thought. “Mother fucker!” I said.
I went and got the other paper, then drove home. I filled out the paper, and grabbed a dining room chair. It was made of solid wood and fairly heavy. I put it in my car and took it to the DMV. I brought it with me inside, and got back in line, where I sat and stared at the people staring at me. I probably looked ridiculous, but I didn’t care. The noise of the people laughing and commenting drew the attention of the lady at the window. She saw what was going on and decided that I didn’t have to wait.
I knew she was perfectly content with me waiting, but they didn’t want a disruption, so they caved.
Good.
I went up to the window and handed her the papers, nervous that they were going to say I needed something else. She started typing information into her computer, and then got a funny look on her face. She seemed embarrassed.
“I’m sorry, sir. We can’t renew your license.”
” What??!”
“You have a uhm…”
“What!!??”
“You have a charge for stealing a car.” Her face was red from the embarrassment.
“What???”
“In Richmond.”
“You’re fuckin’ kidding me! I haven’t been to Richmond in a year!”
“Sorry, sir.”
It took me a day or two to piece together what may have happened. I called up to D.C to get a hold of Joey.
Sure enough, he had stolen a car and been busted. The only I.D. he had was my old walker I.D., and the cops thought he was me, so they booked him under my name. He had tried to tell them he wasn’t me, but they weren’t having it.
Once I had all of the information, he assured me that he would straighten it out. True to his word, he did. I returned to the DMV and got everything done, after a lot of explaining and few phone calls.
I made Joey promise to get rid of my I.D., and never use my name again.
As far as i can tell, he never did.

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