When I was 12 I read a book. It was called American Gods. It was about magic and religion in America. The book took place in Wisconsin. I lived in Wisconsin. I had never read a book about Wisconsin. I reread it about 20 times since. In the book, the main character had several adventures. He went to fictional places and fought battles. One of those places was called ‘The House on the Rock.’ It was a big house on the side of the highway. Inside were violins that played themselves, the world’s largest carousel, and a room filled with Santa dolls. There was the ‘infinity room,’ which jutted 30 feet out over a bluff. Its floors were made of glass. The driveway was lined with stone dragon statues, and the roof had Chinese-style tiling.

            When I read about The House on the Rock, I knew that the author had never been to Wisconsin. Wisconsin had snow and fast food restaurants. We had farms and more farms. The population was 95% white. Nobody would build a place like that here. When I reread the book, I would imagine living somewhere that The House could exist.

            Six years later, my class took a field trip to see Frank Lloyd Wright’s home. Our bus left at dawn. We crossed our state to the far western corner, a place I’d never been before. On the way, my teacher started talking about a special detour, but I was listening to music and missed what she said. I was staring out the window when I saw the first dragon.

            I never read the preface. Not once during the rereads. The author had never said the house was fictional. But I assumed. The violins had robotic arms, which allowed them to play. The Santas scared my best friend. The carousel was not as big as I imagined.  When I found the infinity room, I started crying. Afterwards we ate in the café. I don’t remember how the food tasted. 

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