I Didn’t Like It

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The rush of midday in the parking lot had mellowed out into a slow afternoon. I was sitting in my chair, reading, when I heard a little voice to my right say, Excuse me.

I looked over. A boy child about six years old was standing there. I said, Yes? or maybe just looked at him expectantly. He made some word sounds that my ears heard as gibberish.

His mother-type person was walking far to my left. She understood what the boy child said, or thought she did.

What did you just say? the large woman in capri pants and tank top bellowed. Get over here right now!

The boy child was at her side immediately, and I heard him say feebly, It was a joke.

I don’t think it was very funny! she told him.

By the way the woman reacted, I wondered if the cherubic tween had suggested I fuck my grandmother or said something something rude about my appearance.

You just saw some amazing things! the mother-type person told the boy child, then went on to call him something along the lines of ungrateful or unappreciative.

He tried to tell her again that he’d only been joking, but she told him she didn’t want to hear another word our of his mouth.

Whatever he’d said to me sure had made that woman angry.

Ten minutes later, a giant motor home stopped on the roadway leading to the exit. If there had been any traffic, the motor home would have blocked it. I recognized the driver from when he pulled in. I’d told him to park before he paid me because I didn’t know if he’d find a spot for the behemoth he was driving. I couldn’t remember if he’d paid me. Maybe he had stopped there in order to hand over the parking fee.

I walked over to the motor home and asked the driver if I’d collected the parking fee from him. He said I had. Then he said, since you’re here…mutter mutter mutter…He called someone from the back of the RV, and the boy child from earlier came to stand between the driver’s and passenger’s seats.

I could tell the boy child had been crying. His eyes were huge and watery and his face was streaked with tears. He stood very straight and said, I’m sorry for my behavior. (It was obviously a rehearsed speech.)

I said something like I really didn’t even understand what you said, but thank you for apologizing. The whole situation was super awkward for me.

The woman in the passenger seat was not the mother-type person. The woman in the passenger seat seemed like a grandmother-type person. After the boy child had escaped to the back of the motor home, I again expressed bewilderment over not having understood what the boy child had said to me. The grandmother-type person stage whispered We thought it was very rude. He said he didn’t like it.

What? All of that brouhaha because the kid said he didn’t like the trail?

If the kid didn’t like the trail, I think he’s entitled to express that. If I had understood him to say he didn’t like the trail, I probably would have said, Oh, I’m sorry to hear that or What didn’t you like about it? I would not have been personally offended that some kid barely old enough to scrawl his name did not enjoy a trail I did not build and do not maintain.

My job brings me in contact with a variety of rude people of all ages. People hold me responsible for what they see as the (many) failings of the Forest Service. Some people think they can talk to me any old way they want. Finally someone apologizes and it’s for something I din’t even understand, something I wouldn’t have been offended over even if I had understood it.

And, what if, as the boy child told the mother-type person, he was only joking? I hope this incident does not deter him from a career in comedy.

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. After all these years of watching kids and their parents, I’m convinced that weird parents produce weird kids. Even if people are relatively normal, they become creepy at the moment of conception (or the moment of donating viable sperm).

    Sometimes it’s hard to understand what a kid is thinking. They haven’t had the ‘input’ that adults have had, so the results they come up with can be odd. This is understandable. OTOH, I don’t understand most parents at all. They don’t seem to hit much middle ground; almost half of them don’t care about their kids at all (they were accidents, after all), and think buying them ‘stuff’ replaces love, attention and teaching. The other almost-half go the other way, and dominate their kids horribly. What to think, what to do, what to say. They seem to think the kids are programmable, like computers, and they never learn different. Good parents are rare. Unfortunately.

    p.s. Do you have the ability to change the text here from gray to black? It would be much easier to read.

  2. One time I got in trouble from my mother(that did t happen much) when I told her I didn’t like the minister’s sermon…..I had heard it before I said. Firmly she said, ” who said the sermon was just for you? Maybe someone else needed to hear the sermon and hadn’t heard it before. I have thought about her response over the years. I expect she was seeing a trait in me that she didn’t want to encourage…..in college the house mother said to me …..”you want your cake and eat it too”. Well, yeah …my mother was caring and wise….maybe this mother brought her family all this way, spent time, effort and expense to this beautiful place and the child just wanted to play games on his iPad. What? No light show park lady? When do the fireworks start? I used to carry on when my daughter would fall asleep when we started out on family excursions. As parents we push our kids to experience things that extend their knowledge and appreciation of the beauty of the earth. It’s a delicate balancing act.

    • I hear you Jennifer. I really do. I think your mom was really wise to explain to you that you weren’t the only one with wants and needs.

      It’s difficult to figure out what kind of family dynamics are going on with strangers. Maybe the kid had been not liking everything they saw and did and the mom was at the end of her rope. I felt awkward about the whole situation.

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