You’ve moved into a new house. You hate moving. (Does anyone enjoy it?) All the packing and unpacking. Rearranging furniture, and knowing it will be rearranged again in another month. Discovering the million little flaws that you hadn’t when you first toured the place, or had it inspected. But here you are, having again moved and working with your partner to get this place set up.
You’re working on your bedroom first. Uncoiling bubble wrap from around bed posts, and trying to fit the frame back together again. You want to find the right place for the bed, to situate it so you can wake up each morning and look out that picture window onto the beautiful scene. But it’s already evening and you can’t get a good look out that window. You know what’s out there though. And you keep pivoting the frame, trying to find a “right” way for it to occupy the room. But so many configurations don’t work at all. You thought the room was big enough to put it any way you wanted, but it’s like the geometry keeps changing. Like the room wants the bed to fit a certain way. And the boxes keep getting in the way. Perhaps you should unpack those first after all? Get them out of here?
But so many of these boxes are empty. And there’s trinkets and junk strewn all over the floor. You don’t recognize half of it. Is it even yours? Did the previous owner of the house just up-end their own boxes on their way out? And where did all this toilet paper come from? It’s on rolls, but it’s also still wrapped and half the size it ought to be.
You notice a tiny door, more like a ventilation grate, that connects your room to the next one over. Through the slatted door, you can see your sons playing in the next room over. Their playing nicely and you don’t want to disturb them. But you’re also bothered by this door. Why didn’t you see it before? Your partner seems fine with it, even thinks it’s a little endearing.
You exit the room to the hallway that connects to that next room. You peek in. That room seems enormous. Much deeper than the master bedroom, and with rooms behind it. You follow the hallway to the next room, this one seeming impossibly wide, and already fully furnished with three mismatched beds. At the end of the hall is still another room. This last room is also fully furnished, and again with mismatched beds and antique dressers. You glance up and it has no ceiling, just an expanse of twilight sky. You enter the room. At the far end, you notice it has no closets. Instead it has two doors that go into the same bathroom. You pass through the bathroom into another hallway, and at the end of the hallway is a fire escape door. Nudging it open, you walk out into the lobby of what could be a hotel or a mall, complete with a sign post for a D.C. Metro station.
The door snaps shut behind you. Your sons follow close behind you, the door locking behind them as well. You bang on the door. People in the lobby are staring at you and mumbling to themselves. There are signs next to you about the historic nature of the home on the other side of that door. Your partner eventually opens that locked door and you all slip back into the house.