# 9 The Outhouse
During the light of day an outhouse in Arizona gives one pause for thought — especially if it is old, cobwebby and pack rat nested. But in the hot, dark night, one cannot help but dread what might be crawling about . . .
Each night I set off for my outhouse armed with a flashlight, London and a roll of toilet paper. If I left the roll hanging on its holder a curious updraft would gently send it spinning and eventually floating out the doorway, and the next time I went to the little house I would find it necessary to pull reams of t.p. streamers from the surrounding cholla, barrel and saguaro cacti. If I left the roll of paper sitting by the hole and the wind blew, the paper disappeared into the abyss altogether, buffeted along by gusts coming through the wind-blown slamming door.
One morning I scrambled halfway down my butte to the outhouse and found the door had come off its hinges and taken flight in a wild windstorm. After cautious exploration I found it nestled amongst a bed of cholla. I dragged it back to the outhouse, but I could not make it stay in place.
Modesty demanded a solution: just in case a cowboy rode closely by, I stepped into the outhouse holding the door sideways, then I pulled and leaned it against the doorway of the little building. Delightful! With only my head above the door I could gaze out over an early morning vista, and watch London herding cattle he found at the base of the butte.
During the day while people stared at porcelain bathrooms, I gazed at cactus and cottontails, coyotes, and whatever else chose to walk, crawl or slither by.
At night while people stared at light bulbs in their porcelain bathrooms, I watched the rising moon and falling stars, while I listened to owl hoots and coyote calls.