An Essayby Jayne Anne Phillips
I’m a commuting professor who spends the school year in a sliver of gaslit New Jersey suburb. I’ve lived here for approximately seven years, in fall and winter and spring. The family across the street bought their house, which was run down and drab, the summer I moved into my own small Victorian. Actually, they were not a family at the time but a couple. I think I met them once, or waved hello from my driveway, but I don’t know their names. Their house is the view from my second-floor window, a window whose wooden sill functions as an extension of my leather-topped writing desk. If I’m here, working at writing or teaching or paying bills, their house is what I see when I look up from my notebook or computer.