If a butch is butch in the woods and there is no one there to experience and witness her butchness, is she still butch?
I recently went away on a yoga retreat and spent the weekend alone. I am pretty sure it’s the first time in my life that I went anywhere like that alone – on purpose (not for work, or to see family, or something like that). My thoughts around that and how empowering it was are for another blog. For now, let’s focus on an isolated cabin in the Santa Barbara Mountains.
I’m alone. I’m a brisk 10-minute hike uphill away from the rest of the people here at the retreat. After I checked in at the lodge, I went to my cabin on a little John Deere cart – certainly a butch vehicle. Where can I get one of those? Anyway, I got into my cabin and immediately opened all of the windows to allow for maximum light and wind. The windows are those wind-out kind with a crank that are very popular in Florida. After unpacking, I take off for all points north (and by “north” I mean hiking way up the hill) and the retreat activities. On the trek to the lodge, I realize just how far away I am from the rest of the folks.
I returned to my cabin in near blackness (but for my giant, very butch, Mag light) and got an even better feel for how isolated I was, after 11 that evening – tired and quite ready for bed. First order of business: close the windows. Second: make my bed. Third: go to sleep because yoga starts all over again at 7:30 in the morning. Well, I got stuck on the first order of business. I was able to close the first two windows easily. Twist and done. Then, the third window. It turns… and then it turns and turns, but the window, she is not moving. Uh-oh. I turn the crank a little harder (because as all good butches know, force is the way to fix things) and the crank comes off in my hand. What the?
Ok, remember that it is after 11 at night. I’m tired. I did yoga, I meditated, I hiked down the hill in the near dark. I want to go to bed. And, it is cold. And, quite dark. And, I’m all by myself in a rickety little cabin in the woods. I think this is how slasher movies begin… Although I have never seen one; I hate scary movies.
Alright, Butch, butch up now and figure this out. I whip out my buck knife and use it to screw the crank back on to the window. Good. Now I try to turn the crank again, but this time… nothing. Double uh-oh. Shoes on, out the door, I trudge over to the window in the dark with my Mag light and Buck knife and see if I can figure out what is wrong. Something must be stuck, or jammed, or the flux capacitor must not be working right. Not seeing a clock tower nearby, I decide that I need to fiddle with some things. Not really knowing what I am doing, I fiddle and then try not to run back inside. After all, it’s not butch to run inside like a little girl, but it was very dark and creepy out there now. Shoes off, back inside, over to the window and the crank does turn, but only to open the window wider. Great. I am actually losing ground. After confirming that the crank is on properly (I think), I put my shoes back on, grab my Mag light and head back out into the dark over to the window.
I think I did this two or maybe three times. Each time getting a little more freaked out. It was cold, so I didn’t think I could handle sleeping with the window wide open. Plus, everyone knows that slashers can only come in through open windows. If I can get the window closed, the lights off, and all my body parts under the covers, I will be safe from all manner of evil.
On my final trip outside, I realize that there is a little wheel at the base of the window arm and it is off the track. I was able to coax the wheel back into the track. I cannot tell if it will work from outside, but I keep a good thought as I sprint inside (no one saw me sprint, so it’s ok). Shoes off, back over to the window and hallelujah! The crank turns the right way, doesn’t fall off in my hands, and the window swings slowly inward. I let out a sigh of relief and hurry about the rest of my business to get safely in bed.
So, this was very butch, no? In extreme conditions, under pressure (including a small amount of fear) and I was able to pull it together, to fix the mechanical thing standing between me and a peaceful night’s sleep – and the slashers. If my gorgeous fiancé had been there, I know she would have 1) expected me to be able to fix it, which I like, and 2) still been impressed that I had done so. But she wasn’t there. So, if a butch is very butch in the woods and there is no femme around to see her being butch, is she still butch? Hell, yes!
It’s butch to fix things, in the dark, in the middle of the woods, without the proper tools. Be butch.