Getting Passport Photos with Battery Included (visit the blog to find out more)

Ale Llamos
9 min readMay 13, 2021


Getting Passport Photos with Battery Included (dont forget to click all the links and read the captions)

A Tuesday started out inspired. Lots of things to take care of when I am home. Have to talk to the recruiter about getting a real life job. Have to return the plates of my crashed car to the DMV, have to figure out how the DMV is working in COVID have to get passport photos because my passport is expired. That’s the agenda written in blue ink with water spilled on it and a little bit of oil smeared for transparency. Oh, I also have to go to the bank to see if I can get a loan, to cover my credit card debts for a few months until the book comes out.

I am asking myself, how can I be so busy without a job? It’s crazy but now I have surrendered anything that I was and am just following the lead. It’s like walking a dog, the dog pulls you to smell shit or piss and you pull it away. But you’re there to allow the dog to piss and shit because you love them. It’s about being both the dog, the leash and the human at the same time over different parts of the day.

So I go to the bank and there’s a hot teller. Black tight pants blond. It’s like I am dreaming in my own movie. I hope I get her to help me.. But now I always will get the best help possible so a black masked Brian helps me. I tell him I am a writer between jobs and need a loan to stay afloat alone. It’s funny how when you’re alone you can apply to get a loan, you should now borrow from family and friends. I tell him I need it for marketing social media expenses. It’s the only way the characters will be moved to act in the book. He tells me he has just the product and we apply. He also tells me the teller is an English girl who gets turned on by misspellings. Thank god I have my autocorrect turned on. It’s all good and we apply for a life saver loan.

This puts me at odds with the getting a job thing. I don’t want to get a job.. I would rather be Bartleby. But I accepted the interview this morning, and decided not to care what happens. Either way however it turns out is the way it should be. I can enslave myself for hours a day and afford to travel to AirBNBs for weeks at a time perhaps.

I look into Artist residencies, unfortunately COVID has them all out of whack. Plus they are all so far in the future. I decided to go on my own without a residence. Either way it will work out for the best. I am on the fastest path possible to the destination my mind wants to go. Sometimes that means taking the scenic route and doing things properly. I have neglected this principle most of my life like a Russian Actor rushing to hack oil pipelines. If I get the loan, I can definitely live for a few months without working and continue my exploration of creation. I am just hoping the stacks on stacks of content created would start to have a domino effect.

That is the power of writing when you understand how architectural education works. It’s all prophecy, what you design will happen like every word said is kept. It’s biblical. And then multiply that by Instagram and other social media platforms and you’re at Carnegie Hall on Christmas.

So the next chore is getting dropped plates at the DMV. They told me to just drop them off in the drop box. Leave a dollar and self addressed envelope and they will mail you the receipt so you can stop your insurance. I am so happy to stop my insurance, meaning I dont have a car. In fact I barely own anything. My most expensive possession is now probably my 20 year old bike. It’s amazing being free. So surprisingly the DMV experience is great. I called and heard the instructions and all I had to do was show up and listen. Literally in 1 minute I am in and out like a burger joint in fact like Shake Shack.

Next up is passport photos. I drive all the way up route 9 to go to the UPS store near me. Strip mall signage tells a story, the same story of last week, ironically the day of the car crash. I was brought to safety by a tow truck banker. Landing in the custody of Marshalls department store, which was below and across from Famous Footwear where I bought some cool rose patterned face masks. For just a buck is all you need to bring Modell’s into your life if you are across the parking lot from Chase after you have been to Niagara Falls. The signs are all assigned to memories connected to parking lots of other memories creating a looping story week after week day after day minute after Minute Maid tales.

So the UPS guy pulls over a white stand up backdrop and tells me it may not work. And his words come true because the camera battery has died. Nothing I can do about it so I move on and ask for directions to the next UPS store. He tells me it’s behind Hannafords next to the DMV.

So maybe this DMV trip will take longer than I expected. So I drive back down. I am happy I bought a lithium-ion battery pack. Actually, I bought a lead-acid one first and returned because the cigarette lighter did not work. 300 amps less but also 9 pounds lighter. Also happy I did the same thing about my FM transmitter. I had the two dongle pieces and replaced it with an all in one for five dollars more. Worth the two trips to both Harbor Freight and Best Buy to get the right equipment. Similarly I head back to the same parking lot to go to UPS.

This one straight up does not do passport photos contrary to the illuminated sign in the window. False advertising or maybe they realized they just make people smile too much with dead batteries. So it’s a bad situation now because my phone is out of data and I don’t know where the next UPS store is. I call my dad for help but he is golfing. So the next best thing is to find WiFi at Starbucks.

And then just like Icyouaya planned everything happened at Starbucks. Two smoking hot teenagers pulled up in a minivan. Just like the Teenagers song Homecoming. I ordered a unicorn cookie batter lollipop and an iced tall caramel macchiato thanking Heather for serving me. I use up the last $6.85 cents on my Venmo Credit line with a QR coded card and insert in the slot. That starts the percolation process. The ladies next to me take a quick glance into my eyes and it’s on. It’s their time to show me what they are working with and they start dancing like a TicToc video. It’s like a satire on the whole Tik Tok phenomenon; it’s like an hourglass with red sand flipping over. So I made an Instagram Reel of the situation. Art just repeats life after all. Then another beautiful blond in overalls gets up and walks by in perfect harmony. My movie is constantly playing good parts, usually from behind.

At the same time I pick up my wifi and find the third UPS store, manage to get their number and call them, they do take passport photos. It’s amazing what a working phone can do for you. That’s why they call them smart and human fools. So I get to the third UPS and they can do passport photos as advertised. And a bonus, the associate is hot, masked but dressed in back she has a hot waist and tight behind. My lucky day. I tell a stupid joke and make her laugh. She pulls down the retractable white screen and I ask her what movie is playing here tonight. Hint hint there’s a cameo coming up.

So I unmask revealing my naked face at the risk of contracting COVID-19. It’s worth it to get passport photos on UPS. I make some funny faces and cannot stop smiling. I tell her I need her as my resting bitch face coach thinking of her ass. I finally manage not to smile and while the two photos are printing or developing. I snapshot a story of funny greeting cards. The funniest one is a fat cat trying to zip up their jeans because cats wear pants on cards and her pink panties are a visible V shape. This card is really dirty. Even worse there is another naked cat with a phone over its pussy or dick. Thats even more erotic than porn. So I pick up the pictures and the success of the day is done. She tells me I can tap or insert so I keep that in her mind for later.

Then I go see my father. He has no idea what I am doing and I know ideas too. He tells me I need a job and I have to pay off debt. I tell him I have 25 years to pay off credit cards and he does not believe me. I tell him I need the time and I am happy to pay interest or buy attention. All I need is a few months of minimum payments on my 6 or 7 cards that are all almost maxed out and I will be fine. Then I tell him I have an interview Friday. It’s a negotiation but the frustrating fruit of the conversation is that he does not believe that I am pulling this off. He’s had regrets, got fired from IBM with a few years left to get a full pension. Never made it into an executive role and ended up consulting in the end but now he is happily retired. Sounds like my career of 8 years of architecture.

I reflect as I drive home, still not feeling entirely happy despite the many successes of the day. I can get a loan to cover me, meaning I won’t have to take this job. I wonder what news will break first. We are really banking on this Friday.

Then I come home. My mother is drinking wine, barges in my room to get a cigarette with my grandmother on speaker phone trying to read an email about Italian children. If this is not absurd I do not know what is. I wanted privacy but was not going to get it. So we go for a walk and I talk about my plan to pay for social media marketing for my characters. She tells me writers don’t make money until they publish 10 books. I am way beyond that already in a month and a half. Just need some marketing to make it on the bestseller list. One day people will read this. But it will be far after the SEO programs it into google. Just saying its first come first serve around here and I am open for business. It’s a fictional artificial intelligence decoding that will change this military operation into an art installation. That’s the Q spirit at work. Conspiracies are easier to believe than the truth and the truth is conspiracy. Now that’s the ‘sanist’ thing ever written. Now that’s the saddest thing ever written. (Post editing note.. How is sanist not a word? The most sane, is this the first use of it google? )

So she tells me I am an architect, yes that’s true but I cannot do the work anymore. It’s over. I have so much pouring out of me it makes the Fountainhead look like a dripping wet faucet at the Mayflower Motel in Milford Connecticut. It’s like a constant orgasmic orgasm. Creating is fucking over and over again. Fuck its good.

So I tell her I have no plan and that’s the way I want to be. I worked my whole life for nothing, which became everything in order to make a home worth making a killing in. The battle of my father and mother ensued. The anxiety drops, what they were trying to protect me from. It’s just two defense mechanisms playing Sun-Tzu Art of War in my head and when you see it that way it’s ok. It does not matter because I don’t need to follow them anymore. I drew their picture, sketched it and posted it. Captioned it, commented on it and reflected it through a Camera Obscura of the internet. Then like POOF it became reality the next day. That’s how this whole thing works. Future proves past and past is foreshadowing the next wave of pure love which is me.



Ale Llamos

Film Maker screenshot writer working on a memoir