“On a scale of one to ten,” I asked my Patient Husband, “how creepy would this be?”
He said, “With zero being ‘not creepy at all’ and ten being ‘I’ve already called the cops’?”
Yes. It’s now Real Estate season. Signs are popping up on the roadsides faster than dandilions, and because I’ve been driving a lot lately (and stuck in interminable intersections in some REALLY nice neighborhoods) I’ve begun looking at houses and wondering what they’re like inside.
Writers like crawling into other people’s heads and living their lives. That’s just baseline creepiness for me: I’ll ask myself “What would it be like to live in a postapocalyptic world if all I had for shoes was what I’m wearing on my feet right now?” and in about fifteen minutes I have a rough outline of a story where someone’s hiking from Washington DC to New York. Most often these things get discarded, but sometimes they turn into stories.
Lately I’ve been looking at these two-hundred-year-old farmhouses and wondering how they feel inside. How it feels to standin a house that’s not linear, where the house itself goes at a right angle — or two right angles! How it feels to stand in an attic that meets itself in a T with windows on three sides.
And here we are, me stuck at red lights in neighborhoods I could never afford, looking at these curious homes with signs proudly proclaiming “Open House Saturday.”
Meaning I could go inside one of these houses to research floor plans. To experience existence in a house where all the rooms aren’t contained in a rectangular floor-plan.
I said, “So how creepy would that be?”
My Patient Husband, who I don’t believe has ever wondered whether he could walk from New York to Washington in the shoes he’s currently wearing, said, “I think that’d be pretty creepy. The social contract with an open house is that you’re there to consider buying it.”
So I guess for now I’m going to be stuck with YouTube walkthroughs of old famhouses. In fact, forever, because that two-hundred-year-old Victorian with the T-shaped attic just isn’t in the budget.