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Until a couple of years ago, my home in Second Life was with one close friend, and it was a fairly large home, a two-story beach house with an indoor spa, a patio dance area, and a lavish skyhouse of floating disks with a cascading waterfall and flowers everywhere.

But when we sold our land to a friend, I had to seek out my own home in Second Life, at a time when I wasn't really doing very much. I tried at first to have no home, but I found that vagrancy didn't suit me very well, even though I wasn't around much. I finally settled for renting a beach house from my friends Jen and Seven Shikami, the inventors of Seven Seas Fishing, who have a beautiful sim called Flotsam Beach.

I spent about two years there, but was in-world so little that I never finished furnishing my house or taking advantage of the generous prim allowance. Eventually, I began to see other homes disappeared as renters at Flotsam Beach moved on or left Second Life. Where one there were dozens of homes, at least to the best of my recollection, there came to be fewer and fewer. As of today, there are only two: mine and another one across the way. The island's commercial area still seems to be going strong, but the residential area has shrunk to almost nothing. Here's the island today, with some lovely tourist attractions, a big commercial area on the left, and the two houses: mine (the green one), and one you can only see if you look closely, hidden among trees on the right at the end of my street.

Honestly, I'd reached the conclusion that I might be more of a burden than a welcome client for my friends. If they weren't maintaining a residential area any more except for me and one other person, it wasn't likely to be something they wanted to keep doing.

And as for me, I needed a change of scene, for two reasons. First, I had never really finished making my new home my own. My old home, the beach house with the magic elevator and the sky waterfalls, felt like home. This one I never got far enough to make feel like that. What's more, I didn't want the responsibility. I wanted to move somewhere with more residents, somewhere new, and somewhere predecorated. So I packed up my belongings and let my rent expire.

It didn't take me long to pack everything up. It's funny how in Second Life you can just pack everything into your inventory, you don't have to change out of your go-out-dancing dress and heels, and the place is already broom clean without you having to do any work.

The spot I found is in a sim called Ohana, where they have a variety of different pre-fabricated, pre-furnished, pre-decorated homes. There's a tropical island retreat, some modern-looking houses, and so on. I opted for the city loft. It felt a little exciting, even though it's mostly pretend, to feel like I was moving from my quiet home by the sea into an apartment in the big city.

The apartment exceeded all my expectations, actually. It's very private, not actually in the middle of a bunch of residents at all, but there are resident-only areas in the sim, so I'll be able to go to the beach and the nightclub and maybe meet some of my neighbors. It came furnished not only with a complete living room, bathroom, and kitchen, but also with a punching bag (complete with animations), a guitar, an easel for painting, a dance pole, and a sex bed. Only in Second Life does real estate come with compromising positions already built in!

It doesn't feel like "me." It's certainly not an expression of who I am. At the same time, it's fun, and it's simple, and I could just vanish from that apartment for any length of time just to come back months later and rent one just like it (as long as the good people at Ohana stick around). I don't need complexity in my Second Life, because the rare times I actually take part in it, I want to spend time with friends or going fun places, not figuring out furnishings or security systems.

I'm still very close to vanished from Second Life. Most of my friends are gone (though I've seen a couple I hadn't seen for a long time just in the past couple of days), and I'm so inattentive to my Second Life that I missed both my fifth rezday and the Hair Fair this year, but as long as I'm maintaining a tenuous hold on that life, I might as well have a little adventure with it.