On the corner two blocks over sits an edifice of brick. It looks to be an entire apartment building, but is, as I've heard, inhabited by one elderly woman. I've never seen her, but sometimes the lights are on as I walk past, revealing coffered ceilings and wallpaper and stone fireplaces and inglenooks. The kitchen is bricked into a corner, and that light, too, is often on. I've never seen lights upstairs, but perhaps I walk by at the wrong time.
Ivy masses at the foundation, giving the house a comfortable, established air. The tendrils wind almost to the third story in that tenacious way that ivy has, sending rootlets into any available crevice. Indeed, it's crept into an upstairs window and hangs in a curtain of vines behind the glass. There are many windows set in the verdant walls, all dressed with half-curtains of eyelet, but no others have ivy inside. I study the house every time I walk past it in the evening, as I study all beautiful houses, but now I no longer try to peek into the kitchen or the luxurious front rooms. Instead, I always look at the dark window in the center of the house, where the ivy inside clings withered and dead.
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