Janet Vachon's Glider

Michael Martone


I like it. They don't build them like this anymore. Nylon webbing and aluminum tubes. I had this idea that I would be one of those people who sits on an old lawn chair on her brown lawn and waves to everyone passing by. A human interest story. I pictured myself doing this. I practiced my waving. I live in the white Cape Cod with the pine green shutters the color of the webbing on my glider. I am on the side of the road, the old Lincoln Highway. Once this was the main drag. Now the only traffic are the semis avoiding the weigh station on the new US 30. There are a ton of trucks hauling caskets up from Batesville. BATESVILLE painted in gold on the sides of the black painted vans. I waved and waved. I glided and glided. And then waved some more. It got old after a while. What is a wave after all? I got to think it was more a gesture of surrender. "See," I would say to myself imagining I was saying it to the drivers rushing by, "Nothing up my sleeve!" Empty-handed. It isn't good to sit for that long, waving or not. They say that sitting is the new smoking. I don't know about that. But in the lulls between the casket trucks, I'd walk around. I started taking pictures of the glider with me not in it and imagined what I looked like not there from the road rushing by. What was it I was waving at? Crates filled with crates filled up with nothing. And were those waves I was giving away for free, were they an expression of fare thee well? Or comeback comeback. Wait, wait for me?