Cabin in the Woods

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.

10 thoughts on “Cabin in the Woods

  1. Your Butchness
    Very impressive; I would have been done at the ten minute hike in the dark! I wasn’t even thinking slashers; SPIDERs and all manner of slithery things come out at night. YIKES. Color me impressed!

  2. Ha!
    This is a GREAT entry – had me laughing and yet still impressed. . .
    Im a femme, and own a cabin in the woods myself, about 8 hours north of Vancouver, BC and two hours from any real civilization and 30 minutes from any other human being, way out and off of a Canadian logging road. I go there by myself. I face all manner of potentially scary stuff. I fix things. I sometimes get scared of stuff (there is lots of stuff to be scared of for real – like the mountain lion who was found to be diving through people’s windows, the Black and Grizzley bears who use my mile-long driveway as their path to the water – or maybe, to be fair, I am using THEIR path as a driveway to my cabin – or diseases one can get from handling the prolific amount of rat and mouse poop – not to mention the critters themselves who occasionally make it inside and rampage across the bedcovers in the wee hours – or heavy things that can fall on one or tools that don’t work when one is in compromising situations or flat tires that turn out to be rusted on and its a 2.5 hour walk to the nearest human that might be able to help – a awl,k, mind you, through said bear/cougar country. . . and then there is ones own sanity – or potential lack thereof – that anyone who spends large amounts of time in solitude understands. . .)

    . . ..and I face and (so far, knock on wood) handle all these situations mostly fairly proficiently and even excitedly anticipate returning to do it all again, several times a year.

    BUT – and here is the thing – I DO THESE THINGS LIKE A FEMME. Ok, yes, a strong femme. A brave femme. A fierce femme even. and NOT like a butch. My bravery has no swagger (which Im guessing, even when running too fast to get back in the cabin, and even if you didnt FEEL it – you HAVE), my fixing things has no edge and though I can drive a chainsaw, there is no bravado in my doing so. I am quite sure that even my boldest fixing of things would do nothing for my femme pals, in *that kind of way*, whereas your struggle to close the window, even without being there to see it, lends a certain kind of wobbliness to my knees. . . not that Im *looking for* anything here – my own butch really fills me up in every way – but there is a kind of across-the-board HOTNESS to BUTCHNESS for us femmes – and all this is really just to say that I fully agree:
    “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!”

    • Maya,

      You are one bad ass femme. I can’t believe you do all that by yourself. You must be committed to those times of solitude! I love the way you describe you using a chainsaw vs. me, and that you give me credit for running into the cabin with a swagger (I’m not so sure!). Again, thank you, thank you, for the compliments to us butches. You rock.


  3. Hi! Was wondering where this cabin in the woods you went to is? Anyway I can get the contact info, would be amazing!! Thanks.

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