Broken Box


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.


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

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.

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