Early April. Buds on trees. School and work canceled for the foreseeable future. Nobody leaving the house except for emergencies. My young daughter is bored, I miss my mistress, and my wife can barely stand looking at the two of us. To keep the peace, I arrange two full days of daddy-daughter time in the basement. We saw and hammer. Measure twice. Cut once. Sawdust covers our clothes. The floor. I convince myself I am a good father. The project, I tell my wife, is a dollhouse. And by the second evening, we do produce a two-room abode. And, yes, once we have all the sanded pieces together, colored the rooms in marker and paint, arranged the plastic furniture, I carry the structure to my daughter’s room and say, “Fill it with imagination.” But beyond pleasing my daughter, beyond distracting her and giving my wife a breather, I use the dollhouse project to quell my own frustrations and loneliness, for the two rooms my daughter and I build are miniature elements of my mistress’s apartment, reconstructed from memory. There’s the living room, where we sometimes watch television. The bedroom, where we roll around and I feel young. My daughter’s toys are more Goodwill than Pottery Barn, so the furniture isn’t completely correct. But the placement is as exact as I can remember. The walls the right colors, or at least the colors I think feel right. I even add a mark on the floor. An inside joke. The time we knocked a candle onto the carpet. Singed the fiber. And after my wife and I put our daughter to bed, after we read her a story and she drifts off, I lie to my wife. Say I want to watch our girl sleep. Say it brings me comfort in these confusing times. My wife doesn’t care. Anyway, she likes having the whole bed to herself. So I stay in my daughter’s room and crawl to the dollhouse. Place my hand inside the small rooms. Concentrate. Imagine. Replay memories. I text my lover a photo. I wait for a response. Her across town, locked inside. Me, illuminated by a Doc McStuffins nightlight, locked inside. In this way, I can’t feel her. But maybe she can feel me trying from afar. Feel me not forgetting about the life we’ll never share.