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Alice grits her teeth, preparing herself. She bends over, aiming her head at a weak spot, and starts to run, picking up a good speed. She bangs her head into the wall as hard as she can and collapses back. The wall remains unchanged, but it seems to have a little air of mockery.

“Ow,” she says, rubbing her head. “It’s no use. I’m never going to be able to get into my living room.”

“Doesn’t it have a door?” you say. “Most living rooms have doors.”

“No, they don’t,” Alice says. “You get into the living room by bashing your head against the wall until it breaks down. Duh.”

“I found this door over here,” you say.

It swings open easily.

“…I feel kind of stupid,” Alice says.

Bob grits his teeth, preparing himself. He bends over, aiming his head at a weak spot, and starts to run, picking up a good speed. He bangs his head into the wall as hard as he can and collapses back. The wall remains unchanged, but it seems to have a little air of mockery.

“Ow,” he says, rubbing his head. “It’s no use. I’m never going to be able to get into my living room.”

“Doesn’t it have a door?” you say. “Most living rooms have doors.”

“I’m just going to have to accept that I have to bash my head against this wall for the rest of my life,” Bob says, “or never get to enter the living room.”

“I found this door over here.”

“There’s no such thing as doors,” Bob says condescendingly. “I have been trying to get into this living room for twenty years. Don’t you think I’d know if there was a door?”

“No, seriously, I just walked in the living room.”

“That’s just because you’re lucky,” Bob says. “Privileged people like you assume that everything is easy for everyone else. Well, it’s not. Some of us have to enter the room by breaking down the wall with our skulls.”

“You can enter through the door too,” you say helplessly. “It’s right here.”

Bob is ignoring you as he begins to bash his head against the wall once more.

You’re talking to Charlie on the phone. “I just don’t get it,” he says. “I don’t understand why I can’t go to my living room like normal people. I think I’m going to stop trying.”

“You can’t give up,” you say. “Quitters never win and winners never quit, you know? You just have to try harder. Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration, after all. The harder you work, the luckier you get. The price of success is hard work.”

“That’s a good point,” Charlie says. “I really should try harder.”

There is a loud crash.

“What happened?” you say.

Charlie’s voice is broken and weak. “I think I have a concussion.”

You’re talking to Dani on the phone. “I just don’t get it,” she says. “I don’t understand why I can’t go to my living room like normal people. I think I’m going to stop trying.”

“There’s a door.”

“No, there isn’t,” she huffs. “I’ve checked.”

“Look, I’ve been through this with Alice, and Bob, and Charlie,” you say. “All of their living rooms have doors, even though they didn’t know it. Yours does too.”

“Other people’s living rooms might have doors,” she says, “but mine definitely does not have a door.”

“Yes it does,” you say. “You’re just not looking hard enough.”

“I have looked through EVERY SECTION OF WALL and there is NO DOOR HERE,” she says.

“Maybe there’s a place you’re not looking.”

“I called the builders! They said they fucked up!”

“No one fucks up that badly.”

“Well, this time they did.”

“You’re just in denial,” you say. “You just need to look harder for the door. Here, I’ll come over tomorrow and we can look for the door together. I’m sure that’ll help you find it.”

“No, you won’t,” Dani says, “Because there is no door! You are solving a problem that is different from the one I have!”

When you go over to Dani’s house, you can’t find a door. But she has to have a door! Everyone does! You wonder if maybe she hid the door in order to protect her self-image of not having a door.

Dani bangs her head against a wall. It does not seem to be an attempt to enter the living room.

Edgar has hired a bulldozer.

“You know,” you say, “there was a door in the wall you just knocked down…”

“Doors are a myth,” Edgar said, “made up by Big Architecture.”

“You destroyed half your house,” you say.

“Yes, but I can finally get into my living room!” Edgar says.

“So can the rain,” you comment.

Edgar waves a hand airily as if to dismiss minor details.

The bulldozer, not properly braked, reverses two feet and runs over a cat.

“It won’t open,” Felicity says.

“Some doors get stuck,” you say. “You have to put your back into it and try a little harder.”

“I’ve tried that,” Felicity says, “and all that happens is I get a concussion.”

“Well, this time you’re doing the right thing,” you say, “rather than the wrong thing. That’s bound to make a difference.”

“I suppose,” Felicity says dubiously, and pushes.

The door swings open.

“…holy shit I’m in my living room!” she says. “Am I going to have to do that every time?”

“Probably,” you hedge. “Most heavy doors don’t get much less heavy.”

She looks around, basking in the interior decorating she never before got to see. “Totally worth it.”

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