Step Back

Standard

I was in a suburb of a large metro area, at a gas station in the parking lot of a supermarket that is part of a big chain. I walked up the the booth to pay rather than run my debit card through the reader and risk identify theft or a drained bank account. One person was already standing at the window, waiting for the attendant to return.

The person was presenting a female gender identity. She was younger than I am, and dressed in tight clothes. She didn’t mind showing off her body.

I took my place in line behind the woman. I was standing the normal distance I would stand behind a person in a line in front of me. I don’t like people all up in my business, so I try to avoid  getting all up in the business of others. My desire for space means other people have space too. However, my definition of enough space was different from this woman’s.

She turned around, quickly looked me up and down and said, Could you take a step back? I don’t like people too close to me.

What could I do? I took a step back.

I didn’t feel like I was excessively close, but she used her words (if not quite politely, not exactly rudely either) and made a not unreasonable request. It was a strange request, maybe, but not an ureasonable one.

I did wonder if my underarms were particularly smelly that day or my clothes particularly dirty. (I usually dress decently and deodorize my underarms before I go to the big city, I swear.) Maybe the woman likes space in any situation, but I did worry that somehow I specifically was offensive to her.

She seemed satisfied with my one step back and went about her business with nothing more to say to me.

 

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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