My new house is a little strange, I’ll grant you. The rooms seem to rotate in and out of existence. Oftentimes I wake to find a staircase I’ve never seen before, just sitting there, and the floors can’t decide whether they’re carpet, marble, bare dirt, or mahogany. But it wasn’t too much trouble. I didn’t even realize I had a roommate until an eldritch creature slithered out of a brand-new closet to talk to me about the last three days.
“Oh, it’s been three days since I moved in?” I asked. “Time flies.”
Ilgilgrit’f’n said, “Most people are begging me for an exit door within eight hours.”
“That sounds distressing.”
“Well, it is,” zie said, “but I’ve rather come to expect it. How are you managing everything so normally?”
I shrugged. “Well, it’s sort of like life, isn’t it?”
“I don’t follow.”
“The house is like life,” I explained. “It’s just a series of rooms to which we can never return. If I leave something behind, I know I can’t go back for it, so I take only what I need and don’t worry about the rest. All of these rooms are really nice. You’ve done a great job decorating the place.”
Taken aback, but also flattered, Ilgilgrit’f’n asked, “Thank…you?”
The house was rumbling again. It was unsettled, shifting around me, and I picked up my knitting back from the couch. Beyond the doorway, the staircase swayed, twisted, and blurred, before turning into another hallway. The wall at my back started oozing shadow. It wouldn’t last long.
Knitting bag over my shoulder, I beckoned for Ilgilgrit’f’n to slither at my side. “Have you ever tried to go back to the same room twice in a dream? You can’t do it. Your brain doesn’t build a house for you to dream inside. You’re just imagining one room after another. So…it’s like that.”
“I thought the house was like life,” said Ilgilgrit’f’n.
“That too. Life, dreams, potato, potato.”
The hallway stretched ever-long, passing a kitchen dappled by afternoon sunlight and taking a left turn right after the den where a fireplace burned in the depths of winter evening. I decided to sit by the fire with my knitting bag.
“Most people go insane with this stuff,” said the eldritch beast.
“I don’t blame them,” I said. I went back to reading my book. “Living is pretty insane.”