No Smoking

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addict, addiction, ashtrayShe was suspiciously happy when she drove her car into the parking lot. She was practically bouncing up and down in her seat when I asked her if she were there to see the trees. I was glad to see someone so excited to walk the trail.

She was polite to me, answering my questions with yes, ma’am and no, ma’am.

She was concerned with the people in the car behind her, which included her passenger’s mother. She wondered if the mother had money to pay the parking fee, seemed ready to pony up if the folks in the other car had no cash.

She was acting like a really nice person.

She parked her vehicle near the front of the lot. All I had to do was turn my head, and I could see it. She and her passenger got out of her car and gave parking advice to the driver of the second vehicle.

I glanced over and saw a plume of smoke. My eyes followed the smoke to the cigarette, followed the cigarette to the mouth of the suspiciously happy woman.

I took a few steps closer to the smoking woman.

Excuse me, ma’am, I said. I have to tell you that smoking is only allowed in your car with the windows rolled up. The fire ban is very strict right now.

The woman wasn’t happy anymore.

She said something along the lines of Are you shitting me? She sounded angry.

Then she spat out, I have a five month old baby! I can’t smoke in the car!

Since 2008, it’s been illegal in California for adults to smoke in a car when people under 18 are present.

Maybe the once happy, now angry, woman was referencing that law, or maybe she was concerned about the infant’s health. Or maybe she was just using the baby as an excuse because she didn’t want to smoke in the car with the windows rolled up. In any case, she seemed really mad.

Well, you could not smoke, I told her mildly. Or you could sit in the other vehicle (I gestured to the small pickup the passenger’s mother had arrived in) to smoke. Or you could take the baby out of your car before you get in to smoke. (The passenger could have supervised the baby while the driver sat in the car and smoked.)

She’d quit listening to me. She was pissed off because she couldn’t have her cigarette when and where she wanted it.

I went back to my chair. I wasn’t glad I’d ruined her day, but I was glad I’d stopped her from adding to the fire danger.

Image courtesy of https://www.pexels.com/photo/dirty-addiction-cigarette-unhealthy-46183/.

About Blaize Sun

My name is Blaize Sun. Maybe that's the name my family gave me; maybe it's not. In any case, that's the name I'm using here and now. I've been a rubber tramp for nearly a decade.I like to see places I've never seen before, and I like to visit the places I love again and again. For most of my years on the road, my primary residence was my van. For almost half of the time I was a van dweller, I was going it alone. Now my (male) partner and I (a woman) have a travel trailer we can pull with our truck. We have a little piece of property, and when we're not traveling, we park our little camper there. I was a work camper in a remote National Forest recreation area on a mountain for four seasons. I was a camp host and parking lot attendant for two seasons and wrote a book about my experiences called Confessions of a Work Camper: Tales from the Woods. During the last two seasons as a work camper on that mountain, I was a clerk in a campground store. I'm also a house and pet sitter, and I pick up odd jobs when I can. I'm primarily a writer, but I also create beautiful little collages; hand make hemp jewelry and warm, colorful winter hats; and use my creative and artistic skills to decorate my life and brighten the lives of others. My goal (for my writing and my life) is to be real. I don't like fake, and I don't want to share fake. I want to share my authentic thoughts and feelings. I want to give others space and permission to share their authentic selves. Sometimes I think the best way to support others is to leave them alone and allow them to be. I am more than just a rubber tramp artist. I'm fat. I'm funny. I'm flawed. I try to be kind. I'm often grouchy. I am awed by the stars in the dark desert night. I hope my writing moves people. If my writing makes someone laugh or cry or feel angry or happy or troubled or comforted, I have done my job. If my writing makes someone think and question and try a little harder, I've done my job. If my writing opens a door for someone, changes a life, I have done my job well. I hope you enjoy my blog posts, my word and pictures, the work I've done to express myself in a way others will understand. I hope you appreciate the time and energy I put into each post. I hope you will click the like button each time you like what you have read. I hope you will share posts with the people in your life. I hope you'll leave a comment and share your authentic self with me and this blog's other readers. Thank you for reading.  A writer without readers is very sad indeed.

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  1. Pingback: Excuse Me, Sir | Rubber Tramp Artist

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