You Need a Booth


Strangers in the parking lot often think they know exactly what I need, and they don’t stand behind the door to tell me.

One afternoon, the trail had hardly any visitors. Only one car was parked in the entire lot. I was getting ready to leave for the day when the family that belonged to the car exited the trail.

The family consisted of three people. I think it was a mom, a dad, and their grown (or nearly so) daughter.

Looking at me sitting in my folding chair in the shade, You need a booth! Dad declared in his East coast accent.

That would cost money, I countered.

Of all the things the National Forest needs, I’m sure a booth for a parking lot attendant is pretty far down on the list. The man probably didn’t consider the permits and permissions necessary to build something on federal land. And who would pay for it? The company I work for or the Forest Service? Obviously this man had given little thought to the implementation of his booth plan.

It could be ten by ten, Dad went on, as if a small booth wouldn’t cost money. Maybe he thought no one would mind something so little.

It would get hot in a booth, I continued my naysaying.

Oh! You’d have an air conditioner, ever optimistic Dad came back with immediately.

Suddenly we’d gone from a cheap shack to one with amenities.

This was getting ridiculous!

There’s no electricity out here, I told them.

You could get a generator! Daughter said brightly.

I kept shaking my head, and I’m sure I was making a face of displeasure too.

I no longer wanted to participate in the conversation (which hadn’t been my idea in the first place). No matter what objections I raised, these people were going to have an answer. I suppose it’s nice to be optimistic, but they saw a need that wasn’t there and didn’t ask me what I could use to make my life better. Instead they told me what I needed, offered no suggestions on how to fund the project, and kept adding “comforts” to solve problems they were creating. Is this how civilization grew out of control?

I guess it might be nice to sit surrounded by these trees, the daughter conceded.

Yes, it is nice to sit in the shade among the trees. I don’t want to be cooped up in a booth. I don’t want to need an air conditioner because I’m stuck in a tiny room with no air flow. I don’t want to listen to a loud generator for hours at a time.

I also don’t want to converse with strangers who think they know what I need when actually they have no idea, but that’s one of the hazards of my job.

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 I have a little travel trailer parked in a small RV park in a small desert town. I also have a minivan to travel in. When it gets too hot for me in my desert, I get in my minivan and move up in elevation to find cooler temperatures or I house sit in town in a place with air conditioning 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.

3 Responses »

  1. Maybe instead of feeding into their comments that you don’t appreciate anyway, simply reply “thank you for that suggestion, I’ll consider it.” They don’t have to know you considered it for less than 5 seconds. I look forward to reading your wonderful writings everyday! thank you for sharing.

    • Kathy, you are right! I am going to try to take your advice. It may be difficult for me. Maybe it’s an ego thing, but I often find the need to point out to people why their ideas won’t work. But yes, maybe this idea will nip those people in the bud. I could also say, “I’ll let my boss know.”

      One thing I am learning to do this season is offer people comment cards, especially when they have complaints. I figure if their complaint is important to them, they will want to appeal to a higher authority than I. If they don’t care enough to fill out a card, I don’t care enough to continue to listen to them.

      Thanks for letting me know you appreciate my writing. I’m glad you enjoy reading my stories everyday. Thanks for reading, and thanks for this comment too.

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