He Was Just…Odd


The other morning a family came off the trail. I believe they were a father, a mother, and a young adult daughter. I have no recollection of what the man looked like. Both women were average size; both were pale and freckled; and both had bangs and long, straight hair down nearly to their waists. On second thought, they could have been sisters, but I feel confident they were related.

They approached me and had some questions I couldn’t answer, things like which tree on the trail was the tallest and which one was the biggest around. That information is not included in the brochure we give visitors, so I sure as hell don’t know.

As their questioning ended, my co-worker returned from whatever he’d been doing, and the older woman said, I just wanted to let you know…We saw a man on the trail, and he was just…odd.

My co-worker and I looked at her with great interest. An odd man on the trail? Such a situation could add some excitement to our day.

I told him good morning…,she trailed off, not telling us if he had responded by ignoring her or telling her to go fuck her mother or in some way between the two extremes.

My co-worker and I waited for her to describe some odd behavior.

He had grey hair in a ponytail and a beard, and he was wearing a white shirt, she went on (un)helpfully.

Maybe he had come from the campground and was just out for a morning walk, she speculated, still not explaining what she found so odd about the guy.

Then the man (husband? father? brother-in-law?) with the women said that as the guy walked over the bridge, he had hit on the railings.

This behavior did not strike me as odd. Unusual perhaps, but not really odd. There was no report that the man was talking to himself or invisible others. They didn’t say he was fighting invisible monsters/mobsters/dragons/aliens. They didn’t complain that the man was exposing his genitals. What was so odd about him?

We just wanted to let you know…He was just…odd.

Had these people never been to a city, never seen any real oddness?

They certainly didn’t realize that my co-worker and I are probably two of the oddest characters they’ve ever met. We’ve just learned to hide it pretty well during short, public encounters.

I spent the rest of the day hoping the odd man would emerge from the trees so I could meet him, but I never noticed anyone fitting his description.

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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