Carry Me

Standard

It was a weekend afternoon, and my co-worker had left for the day. A car pulled into the entrance to the parking lot, and I approached. The driver, the sole occupant of the car, was a very plain looking man, probably in his early 50s. I gave him my standard little talk: This is the parking lot. The trail begins across the street. The parking fee is $5.

With extreme seriousness, the man asked me if I were going to carry him on the trail.

Sometimes people (particularly male people) ask me questions, and I have no idea if they are serious or just trying to get a reaction (shock, laughter, outrage, a slap across the face—who knows?) out of me. I try to keep my reaction to such questions what I think of as no-nonsense pleasant. I pretend they are asking a serious question (even when the question is obviously ridiculous), and I answer their question in an equally serious manner.

So I said something along the lines of Oh, no sir. I won’t be carrying you. I did not smile, smirk, or giggle. Why should I pretend a question is funny when it’s really stupid? It’s much more fun (for me, at least) to pretend the question is for real.

He pursued his line of questioning. I wasn’t going to carry him? Really? He had to pay $5 and still walk? His expression never changed. For all I know, he was serious and he really did want me to carry him. There are a lot of weirdos in the world.

But I stayed pleasant, yet no-nonsense, detached. No sir. I won’t be carrying you.

He finally coughed up the $5 and drove away to park his car. He must have gone out on the trail, but I didn’t see him, and I didn’t think about him again until he returned to the parking lot after walking the trail. He stopped to ask me some questions. (I don’t remember now what his questions were.) He was very calm and seemed entirely serious. He hung around me for quite a while, for so long that I was getting uncomfortable. At one point I even walked away from him in mid-sentence so I could collect the fee from an incoming car. I thought he’d be gone when I turned away from the car, but, alas, he was still standing next to my chair.

We talked about the trail and the trees some more and finally—finally!—I could tell he was wrapping it up and would soon leave. He said he’d enjoyed himself, but really, it would have been better if I’d carried him.

Nope. Never going to happen, I told him.

If the joke (if it were a joke) had ever been funny (which it hadn’t), it had now moved into creepy, and I was glad to see him go.

After he left, I wondered if he had some kind of R. Crumb fetish where he fantasizes about tall, big-breasted, big-thighed women giving him piggyback rides.

(According to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Crumb,

R. Crumb, is an American cartoonist and musician. His work displays a nostalgia for American folk culture of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and satire of contemporary American culture. His work has attracted controversy, especially for his depiction of women and non-white races.

 

I guess my thighs might qualify me as an R. Crumb type fantasy woman, but I’m not tall, and my breasts are not nearly big enough.)

I really have no idea what that tourist guy was all about. Maybe he gets off on being carried around by women in brown polyester-blend pants. Maybe he’s a man baby and wanted to pretend I was his mommy.

I don’t know what his story was, but I was glad to see him go.

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.

4 Responses »

  1. This story made me laugh out loud! …and goes right along with a FB comment I made yesterday on my page about being “logical-minded” and the challenge it presents for me on occasion. I take what someone says at face value and if someone were to ask me the question this man did of you, I would also respond as if he were serious. In my working life, I learned to laugh some things off, to make light of something someone said (which didn’t always turn out well), but in my mind, I would still be contemplating the actual words. People are funny, aren’t they? I say they’re odd ducks… and we’re all odd ducks. 😀 Great story!

    • Glad you liked this story and that it made you LOL. I particularly enjoy making people laugh.

      I *think* this man was trying to be funny, but I’m not 100% sure about that. He was certainly an odd duck, whether he actually wanted me to carry him or not.

  2. Thanks for the cartoon example. I had no idea who the artist you referred to was, but that cartoon really sums up a possible explanation for that guy you met. People are so freakin’ weird.

    • I hope R. Crumb does not sue me for using his cartoon. I am glad it was helpful to you to have a visual example of what I was writing about. It’s kind of hard to explain (and believe) the work of R. Crumb without a visual example.

      Yes, people are weird. I know that to be true.

      If the guy really did want me to carry him, I guess I give him props for asking. I mean, how can we get what we want if we don’t ask? But he should have stopped asking after I said no the first time.

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