Other People’s Houses

I have a confession. I'm peeking through your windows. I've been doing it for a long time, and I have no plans to stop.

Oh, don't worry, I'm not trying to see you naked, or case your house for future thievery – I just like to look into people's windows and see their furniture, and make up stories about who lives inside.

There's a house in my neighborhood with an impeccably groomed yard, perfect flower beds, and a quintessentially cute gas lamp post (an aside: I WANT A LAMP POST), but there's no sense of warmth despite the magazine-spread perfection. It's as if the people inside have empty lives, and the house reflects it.

I imagine that the husband and wife both work long hours. They probably have two or three children, who have unexceptional lives. They aren't a rah-rah family with “My child is an honor student” bumper stickers or a lawn penant supporting their school team, but one of those leftover-from-the-fifties displaced-in-time sorts, the kind who put plastic on the furniture.

In my imagination, they have a house, but they're not home.

And I feel just like I'm living someone else's life
It's like I just stepped outside
When everything was going right
And I know just why you could not
Come along with me
But this was not your dream
But you always believe in me

Another winter day has come
And gone away
And even Paris and Rome
And I wanna go home
Let me go home*

*”Home,” Michael Buble (writer credit to be added later.)

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CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 Other People’s Houses by Melissa Bartell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.