High Maintenance


I was walking down the incline leading to the restrooms. I’d been at the front of the parking lot putting self-pay envelopses into their holder, and now I was heading down to the restrooms to check the toilet paper supply.

I saw the woman open the restroom door, look inside and squeal with disgust. Look at that! she said to her male companion.

Oh no, I thought, imagining what the woman was seeing in there to cause such revulsion.

Where do you even wash your hands? the woman asked her companion in utter disbelief.

Theres no water here, I told the couple. No water in the campgrounds on this mountain either. That’s what the drought’s done. There used to be water here, but now the well’s dry.

The woman looked at me increduously. The fellow was grinning slightly.

What did you see in the restroom? I asked the woman. Did someone do something gross?

No, she said a little sheepishly. I was just being high maintenance.

I chuckled when she called herself high maintenance. She didn’t look high maintenance–no high heels, no elaborate makeup or fingernails or hairdo, no inappropriate-for-spending-time-in-nature clothing–but standing in the doorway or a restroom that’s not really dirty and making sounds of disgust does make a person seem high maintenance in my eyes.

If you enjoyed this story, check out my book Confessions of a Work Camper: Tales from the Woods. It’s all about my two seasons as a camp host and parking lot attendant at a very popular trailhead.

I took the photos in this post.

About Blaize Sun

I live in my van, which makes me a rubber tramp. I like to see places I've never seen before, and I like to visit the places I love again and again. I like to play with color. I make collages and hemp jewelry and cheerful winter hats. I take photographs and (sometimes, not in a long time) write poetry. All of those things make me an artist. Although I like to spread joy and to make people laugh, my wit can be sharp. I try to stay positives in all situations, to find the goodness in all people. But I often feel compelled to point out bullshit when I smell it. I like to have fun, to dance, to eat yummy food, to sit by a fire and share stories. I want to know what people hold dear and important, not just make surface small talk. This blog is a way for me to share stories. This blog is made up of my stories, rants, and observations, as well as my photographs.

2 Responses »

  1. Hi ! I have a question & is… if there is no water to flush the ‘ toilet ‘, how does the solid matter gets away from from the place it was ‘ deposited ‘ ?? Thanks for the info. we all can learn from one another, can’t we ? My regards. Lucy.

    • Hi Lucy! Thanks for your questions. Yes, for sure, we can all learn from each other.

      A pit toilet is basically a hole (the pit) in the concrete floor covered by a tall white plastic tube with a cover and a seat. The cover is lifted and the person sits on the seat and is sitting above a deep hole. The solid matter (and the liquid matter too) simply falls into the deep hole. If you’ve ever used an outhouse or a porta-potty, it’s the same concept. Just like a porta-potty, pit toilets are pumped out when they get full. A big truck comes all the way up the mountain and pumps all the solid and liquid waste out of the pit toilets and brings the waste…well, I don’t rightly know where they bring the waste. Probably to the same place where the waste from porta-potties goes.

      So if one wanted too, one could look into the toilet and down into the hole and see the deposits left by others. Here’s a story about little girls checking out the contents of a pit toilet: http://www.rubbertrampartist.com/2016/06/16/little-girls-in-the-restroom/

      Here’s a story about a young woman who did not know how pit toilets worked: http://www.rubbertrampartist.com/2016/08/23/how-do-they-work/. Maybe that’s more common than I thought. I will be more patient next time someone asks.

      Thanks for reading and leaving a question.

I'd love to know what you think. Please leave a reply