Spend too much time in the desert and your eyes turn blue.

In 1992, I believed this because of Dune, the computer game dad and I played.

At the time, I had the pathological desire for blue eyes inherited by some unfortunate daughters of the south. But my eyes were green. “Like olives,” said dad. But I did not want eyes like olives. I wanted to move to California.

Our computer sat in the far corner of the playroom. Six years later, dad would hire a painter to turn that room into an English countryside populated by princesses. The idea was that my brown-eyed half-sister was one of the princesses. In the corner where the computer once sat, an actual swing hung from a freshly painted oak tree.

When mom and I moved out, she bought a computer and installed Jeopardy. Twenty miles apart, dad and I again met online. Mom would give me the answers, though, along with an early indication of how well suited the Internet is to deceiving your spouse.

Later, I learned the real reason your eyes turn blue in Dune is from consuming “the spice”—“a resource capable of creating or destroying the empire,” “a poison, so subtle, so insidious, so irreversible”—but no one needs another metaphor for the Internet.

Kelley Deane McKinney eventually made it out to California to work for an internet company. She has since returned back east.