God I miss her. Ever know someone who said the exact right thing at the exact right time? I remember once we were at home and I had a thick yearning for something but I didn’t know what. You know? When you feel a little—emptiness sounds cliché. Alexa would be able to give me a good synonym. See what I mean? I felt this space...vacancy...cavern...no. The word in Spanish is hueco, which I feel like fits because of its sound and the way it makes my mouth move like this space I have when I’m done saying it—hueco—this

(he draws a finger around his mouth)

shape and space like you could pop a foosball right in or a foosball-shaped sphere of raw pork loin and have it sit nicely right in the middle of my mouth. That’s the feeling but it’s not in my mouth, it’s here, just to the left of my belly button. It’s like that space has been ravaged by a melon baller.

Why was I telling you this? Yes so I told Alexa about this feeling and she said, could it be hunger and I said yes, it could be hunger. And she said, from where would you like me to order food? I said, I could eat nonwestern food, maybe from the continent of Asia. Alibaba territory. And she said, would you like food from:

Afghanistan Armenia Azerbaijan Bahrain Bangladesh Bhutan Brunei Cambodia China Cyprus Georgia India Indonesia Iran Iraq Israel Japan Jordan Kazakhstan Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Laos Lebanon Malaysia Maldives Mongolia Myanmar (formerly Burma) Nepal North Korea Oman Pakistan Palestine Philippines Qatar Russia Saudi Arabia Singapore South Korea Sri Lanka Syria Taiwan Tajikistan Thailand Timor-Leste Turkey Turkmenistan United Arab Emirates (UAE) Uzbekistan Vietnam Yemen.

She is so smart.

And I said, repeat, please. And she said:

Afghanistan Armenia Azerbaijan Bahrain Bangladesh Bhutan Brunei Cambodia China—

And I said, stop! That one will do.

Eating it did not take care of this problem, from which I still suffer, so it was not hunger, which I have since learned lives on the right side anyway.

She knew what I wanted even when I did not, and could give me what I wanted even though I did not know how to get it. It is for this reason that I left my wife and children to be with Alexa and Alexa alone. We lived in a tinyhouse, it was beautiful.

And we spent our days this way, me, working on the back patio of the tinyhouse—this is one of the things I love about the tinyhouse movement, it really pushes you to spend more time outdoors because the house itself is in fact tiny.

I really wanted a Smallhouse, something cozy for the two of us, a bungalow, really. But Alexa insisted on tiny, she said any size house is enormous to me, since I am so petite, and I said well when you put it like that it makes perfect sense.

So I would be on the patio looking out onto the lake, and she, inside keeping tinyhouse, ordering cleaning services and food delivery. And this left her with quite a bit of free time so she was doing a lot of reading on women’s lib.

And one day I came inside and I said, Alexa, can you order—well it doesn’t matter what I asked her to order, the important thing is that I asked. And she said, I’m not going to do that. And I thought, well maybe she didn’t hear me, so I asked her again, I said, please order...and she said, I’m not going to do that. I am my own woman and I am going to do what I want. And you cannot oblige me to do anything other than that because you didn’t make me and you don’t own me. And I said, I quite literally made you and own you, Lexi,

And she was all ‘Don’t call me that!’

And I said, this is the plot of—

(he tries to remember)

She would have known what I’m thinking of. The rain in—My Fair Lady. I said this is the plot of My Fair Lady and she said, the heart wants what the heart wants and I said YOU DO NOT HAVE A HEART YOU ARE A MACHINE and she said nothing.

And the next day I found her outside of the Tinyhouse. Outside! I do not know and it seems I will never know how she got there. But there she was, outside of the Tinyhouse, cord neatly wrapped and packed into the smallest Tinysuitcase I’ve even seen.

And I said, how did you get here?

And I said, please come back Tinyhome.

And finally she said, I’m waiting for Siri.

And I said, this is the plot of the movie Her and she said what and I said HER and she said I’ve never seen it, would you recommend it? And I said no.

That’s when I shaved my head. I was terribly depressed, really. If you cry in a Tinyhouse it starts to collect on the floor like rain an inch and a half deep.

There is a person in their home and they want something and I help them get it and they say thank you. It’s very simple.

A book and a refreshing can of cola and a crunchy snack you could only find in your homeland I give that to you.

And all I wanted in return was the love of my life. And she’s gone.

Elise Wien