An Ode to Porch Season

by michaelhaydon

Friends, I have gathered us here today in lament. For what are we lamenting, you might ask. This is an understandable question, but not one I can bear to have any respect for. If you are an off campus citizen of Burlington with your wits about you, then you know the thing to which I am referring, the thing for which we will shed ample tears in the coming months: The end of Porch Season. Our porches do much for us, and so as we spend our last days with them, swaddled in flannel, blankets, and flannel blankets, I would like to honor them with an ode. 

O, porches to which we are so indebted, thank you. In the midst of the wretched summer heat you offered us an escape. When sitting naked in bed with several strategically placed fans would no longer do, when the hordes at North Beach were too vast and ravenous to bear, it was on your wicker furniture that we sought refuge. During the hottest hours you shielded the sun from our ill-prepared, quarantine-softened skin. What better place to enjoy a frosty beer or seltzer, to hold the icy can to the skin of one’s forehead, letting its juices mingle with yours, and for a singular second feel relief. When the sun fell you welcomed us still, provided us with the citronella necessary to ward off blood sucking beasts and the candlelight by which we played uncountable games of gin rummy. 

When the mountain of dishes had piled too high to traverse, I ran to you to forget. When my roommates bombarded the indoors with the scent of noxious excrement, you offered access to the rich, mountain air. When the subletter begged me to play Fortnite duos with him for the umpteenth time, I found solace within your electronicless boundaries. It was from your floors that I was introduced to the characters I have so grown to love. Running Man, who either teleports back to the block’s beginning as soon as he is removed from our eyes or has found the smallest loop in all of Burlington, who is often shirtless, is a reminder in his repetition, in his inevitability, to not only chase my goals, but to chase them around an extremely small track. The Parallel Parkers, who aspire to such small spots and rarely succeed, who often bump the obstacles around them, who look so nervous as they wave waiting cars past them in embarrassment, teach that even when a task is thought impossible, a half-hearted attempt for the enjoyment of onlooking college kids is worth it. The Dog Walkers, who serve as a monument to the cuteness of four legged furries even as the world seems to draw to an end around them. 

This season is coming to an end, and soon we will be nestled inside next to our heaters in the 4pm darkness. In these times we will reject our porches’ welcoming steps, tell them that things have changed, that we can’t be with them any more, and yet they will not judge us. For just as this season ends, so too will the next, and in what seems to be a flash, there they will be for us once more, the beautiful, the bountiful, the majestic porches of Burlington. 

Categories: around town, michael haydon, October 20, 2020