Each day I pass the same six houses. Six sisters in a row, cut off from the rest by a bridge ramp. Five are abandoned, one burned out, the others boarded up. But the sixth, the end house, has a neat green rug on the front porch and curtains in the windows. On warm mornings, a woman sits outside on a plastic lawn chair facing the sun. She is immovable as a homesteader, calm as a duchess, and alert as a guard dog. Today I passed the house in the afternoon. A school bus stopped and let out a boy, maybe 12 years old. He waved goodbye to his friends, strolled up to the house, and walked inside as if he lived on Easy Street. As if his neighbors were not rats and arsonists and the lost ghosts of industry. As if he had a lawn in front and a swimming pool out back. I want to buy them that house with the lawn and the pool, but I can't. I want to slip a hundred dollar bill under their door on Christmas Eve, but I owe everyone money. I wonder if there'll be lights in the window.