Voices from the Porch

Posted on June 23, 2020


Life in the Boomer Lane has been, for the past few months, spending an inordinate amount of time on her screen porch. The porch has become her window to the world. On her porch, she can appreciate the outdoor air, without regard to rain. She can watch the never-ending stream of dogs and owners, parents and baby strollers, runners, power walkers, bicyclists and those on the way to the supermarket two blocks away.

She and Now Husband start each day on the porch, catching up on the latest inexplicable actions being perpetrated by either the virus or the president. Both act from one need, simpy to feed themselves at the expense of others. In the evening, she entertains socially-distanced friends on the porch, who disect the same news about the virus and the president, and then, after a glass of wine, gratefully branch out into any number of other topics that have nothing to do with human misery.

The screen porch, it has turned out, has become a magnet of sorts. One dinner with several people turned into a gathering of about ten, with (socially-distanced) people on the porch, the outdoor porch, the driveway. A neighbor stops by on some mornings, as part of his daily dog-walking duties. Neighbors who run, stop running. Neighbors who walk stop walking. LBL has now placed a folding chair in the driveway for such visitors. She is about to place a a second.

She has been told, “I kept hearing voices from the porch, so I decided to stop” or “I’ve watched you everyday when I run, so i decided to stop.” She now watches the people who go by more closely, when she is on the porch alone, reading her book. Most people look at the porch as they pass. She believes they are admiring more than the architecture

You’d think LBL would be self-concious that her conversations are being overheard by others, or, if not directly heard, then at least noticed. She isn’t. She feels, instead, a tremendous gratitude that she is able to continue a form of safe human interaction, at a time when so many others have been limited to the confinement of their apartments or condos. Having a backyard or a porch was a bonus before. Now it is a luxury.

Like everyone else in her personal orbit, LBL is experiencing both Virus Fatigue and Trump Fatigue. She doesn’t have the ability to make either of them disappear, but, depending on her mood, she can step onto her porch and either vent or pick up her book and pretend that neither exists. On her porch, she is in control of the world. For the time being.

Posted in: life