You’re at a co-worker’s party. You spend most of the time chasing your kids around the house as they zip up and down the stairs and between the people engaged in the conversations that you’d like to be engaged in. You catch some smiles and a few one-liners as you get close enough to them, your colleagues, friends, and would-be friends. There’s only some mild frustration over this.
Then someone asks if you’ve ever been to this house before, and you explain that it (in fact) used to be your house. That you lived there a few years ago. Called it home. Paid the mortgage. They’ve done a good job fixing it up, you explain; a true enough statement considering that only slightly more than the address has stayed the same since you last crossed the threshold.
But you decide to share a secret with everyone. You point out the side window. See that? Between this house and the next one over is a ramshackle building: siding that is cracked and peeling (and some of it hanging off), broken windows, rotted trim, a pile of shingles around the foundation. You explain that “the secret” is that that building “belongs” to this house. It looks like someone else’s house (perhaps jammed in a little too close to the property line) but it could not be part of this property.
Only it is. It is neither a shed nor a garage. It is simply a second house on the same small urban plot. You lead a small group over into the house and navigate its interior. It is (unsurprisingly) in an even worse state than when you had last sworn to clean it up or tear it down. The floors are all slanted. Broken glass and jagged metal litters the floor. Mold covers everything. And that’s when you notice that you’ve come over here in bare feet.