Lydia saw me walking through the kitchen and called me over to where she was sitting folded upside down in a nearby chair.

“Come look at the house I made this morning in Minecraft,” she said.

I smiled and tried to find a way to sit down next to her. This was a common routine in our house. Lydia spends most of her days designing houses in various video games, or drawing blueprints in one of her sketchbooks that are scattered around on every couch chair and table, or digging strange mansions out of snowdrifts in the backyard, and I spend most of my days being given tours of these various works of modern architecture.

She angled the tablet in my direction and showed me the dark, stone-walled dungeon that she was calling a house today.

“See?” she asked, as she moved through a corridor lit by torches and entered a large dark room lined with boxes.

“Yes,” I said, squinting at the screen. “It’s very nice. A very nice house.”

She nodded in agreement. “Yes. Okay.” and she took on her real estate agent voice as she started the actual tour. “So, we will start here. This is the burning room,” she said in her sing-song voice. “This is where I burn things.”

She quickly started walking through a doorway into the next chamber of the house and I had to jolt myself out of my shock and tap her hand. “Whoa whoa whoa, what? What is that room?”

Without looking up she repeated the statement in the exact same tone, “This is the burning room. It’s where I burn things.” And then without pausing this time she was already through the door and in the next room, which coincidentally looked identical to the first room. “Okay, and this is my relaxing room. It’s where I relax.”

“Um. Okay. Weird,” I said.

“Yes,” she agreed, clearly not listening. “And up these steps is the front door. She walked outside. “And that’s the house.”

“Wait, so your house… It’s just two large rooms? One for relaxing and the other for burning things?”

She looked up at me and shrugged as if confused by the question. “Yeah. They were two different rooms.”

“Well that’s good at least,” I said. I glanced around at the living room we were currently sitting in. “Would you say that this is the relaxing room in our house?”


“Huh…” I stood up and put my hands in my pockets. “Huh…” I said again, “Well, thanks for letting me look around inside your… house.”

But she didn’t answer. She was already hard at work expanding her Burning Room. The room for burning things.

I slowly walked out of our “Relaxing Room”, but as I head up the stairs into the hallways I glanced nervously at the different doors. “What’s up?” Clara asked, when she saw me standing outside Lydia’s bedroom staring off into space.

“Oh, nothing…” I said. “Just… You know. Trying to decide if there could be rooms in our house that I don’t know about yet.”