Nothing to Work With

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Just when I thought I’d heard it all…

It was the Saturday before Labor Day Weekend, and while we weren’t having a slow day at the Mercantile, it was slower than normal. There were only a few customers in the store when the fellow approached the counter.

He seemed to be in his mid-30s and had short dark hair. When he began talking, his accent gave him away as a non-native speaker of English. His lack of English words when he tried to express himself reinforced my first impression.

He asked me about the hot springs. I told him everything I knew about them.

Then he said, We are staying…up…somewhere. Can we get there…in two hours?

During my career in the National Forest, I’ve had lots of people ask me all kinds of questions, including some really stupid ones, but always, always in the past the questioners gave me something to work with. This guy? …up…somewhere…is just not much to go on. Hell, that’s nothing to go on.

Sir, I said, shaking my head. I don’t know where you’re staying. You don’t even know where you’re staying.

It is true, he said sadly and wandered away.

If he had told me the name of a town, a campground, a region even, I may have been able to help him figure out how far it was from where he was staying to the hot springs, but he gave me exactly nothing to work with. I’m good, but I can’t perform miracles.

I took this photo.

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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