Monster

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My big mouth has gotten me in trouble throughout my life. I’ve gotten better at keeping it closed, but if I start talking without thinking, I can really make an ass of myself.

It was a day like any other in the parking lot, not particularly busy. A car pulled in, and I stepped over to it. A man was driving; a woman sat in the front passenger seat. The window on the back drivers side door was up and had enough of a tint to keep me from seeing the backseat.

I asked the man if they were here for the trail and he said yes. I told him about the $5 parking fee.

As we spoke, I heard grunts and groans and growls coming from behind the closed window in the back. It sounded nothing like a dog, so I thought there must be a kid or two in the backseat playing around and making funny noises in hopes of freaking out the lady talking to the driver.

I should have said, What’s going on back there? or Do you have kids in the backseat? Instead, I opened my mouth and what came out will haunt me for the rest of my days.

Do you have a monster back there? I asked. I thought it was a funny thing to say. I’ve met plenty of kids who like to pretend to be monsters. I swear, I thought there was a kid back there playing.

The man used his control button to roll down the back window. In the backseat sat a young girl of about ten years with obvious physical and mental developmental disabilities.

That’s our special needs daughter Amelia, the man said happily. That’s how she communicates. We adopted her two years ago.

Needless to say, I wanted to sink into the ground and never be seen or heard from again. I felt like such an asshole. I would never purposefully refer to anyone with a developmental disability as a “monster,” but that’s exactly what I had just called the girl. Why hadn’t I kept my big mouth shut?

I stammered and stuttered and sent the family on their way.

I sat at the front of the parking lot feeling awful. What I’d said was not what I’d meant. Then I thought about how awful the parents must feel when complete stranger said ugly things about their beloved daughter. How could I make amends for what I’d said?

The man and his daughter came walking by later. I decided I should apologize.

I’m sorry for what I said earlier, I told the man.

What did you say?  he asked pleasantly.

Was he playing with me? Did he just want to see me squirm? (If that’s what he wanted, I knew that’s what I deserved.) Did he really not know what I’d said? If he didn’t know what I’d said, I certainly didn’t want to repeat it. Why hadn’t I kept my big mouth shut? I was only making things worse. Again, I wished the earth would swallow me whole.

I hemmed and hawed and stammered some more. I don’t remember exactly what I said to the nice man and the sweet girl he doted on, but it was apparent to me the monster was the person wearing the uniform, not the one looking at trees with her father.

I did learn a lesson from my rudeness: I don’t make any cracks about what’s going on in the backseat until I see who’s sitting there.

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.

One Response »

  1. We all make mistakes in our life, but as long as they are without malice, I believe they will be forgiven & learning from them it is truly a blessing to us.
    Don’t feel bad about it, you’re only human.

    My regards. Lucy.

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