Broken Box

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A pickup truck pulled into the parking lot entrance. I approached the driver’s side. The driver rolled down his window. I told him there was a $5 parking fee. He responded, Is your box not working?

He was talking fast, and I was sure I had misunderstood what he said to me. I said something like Pardon me? or maybe What was that? or perhaps Excuse me?

He said it again, a bit more slowly. Is your box not working?

At that point I was just standing there looking at him blankly. Finally I said, I’m sorry. I don’t understand the question.

Are people not putting money in the box (he pointed over my shoulder) to pay for parking? Is that why they had to get someone out here to collect money? Because your box isn’t working?

I looked over to where he was pointing and realized the “box” he was talking about was the iron ranger, the long metal tube where folks deposit their self-pay envelopes (with $5 in them) when there is no attendant on duty.

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This is the iron ranger.  The opening where the self-pay envelopes go is at the top. On the white strip below the opening are the words “Pay Here. (I took this photo.)

(The iron ranger looks absolutely nothing like any box I’ve ever seen.)

I explained to him that the iron ranger has been working fine, but attendants (like me!) collect payment during busy times.

(Actually, I’m not sure the iron ranger does work fine. I think it’s way easy for people to overlook the fee when there’s not a human person standing in front of them asking for payment.)

In any case, after he drove away, I realized I had missed an opportunity. The first time he said Is your box not working? I should have gasped How dare you! and slapped him across the face.

When I got called into the boss’ office, this would have been my story:

That man said something lewd to me, and I reacted without thinking. I know I shouldn’t have slapped him, but he was talking about my vagina! He asked me if I’m not having sex because my vagina is broken! The nerve of him!

My co-worker and I had a good laugh about the whole situation, but it’s probably for the best that I’m slow on the update and didn’t make the connections box=vagina, is your box not working=why aren’t you having sex? until after the man drove away. Slapping visitors is probably not a good way to get myself rehired next summer.

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.

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