Dance Hall Days

Though she was the same sweet Wittgenstein-quoting daughter of Chandler and the 1,000 mommies, when she turned teen, onezero was declared to be insane by those with the authority to make such declarations. Not only that, they also determined that she was a Public Enemy.


“I keep hearing Wang Chung singing that we’re so in phase.”

She seems unchanged to us–still sweet, still listening to far-off music or the whisperings of those from her home planet. Still thinking about the interplay between unity and diversity, the infinite and the mortal. Still examining hidden aspects of everyday life that might escape the notice of those who dance to a more standard beat.


Dance Hall Days: Innocence or Perversity–You Decide… is it me, or is high school homework distinctly simpler than grammar school?”

“I enjoy this sensation of using my mind,” she realized after completing her first essay for high school. “What joy to feel focus and clarity simultaneously!”

Her most rewarding class was Cultural Deconstruction, in which seemingly simple cultural artifacts, such as popular songs, were analyzed and examined for their betrayal of hidden values and assumptions.

For onezero, to whom every cultural work still seemed remarkable foreign, the class was both easy and gratifying. The ease came in seeing what was not obvious to those who were immersed within the culture, and the gratification came in analyzing inconsistencies.


“‘Take your baby by the ears…’ how strange these mating rituals are here. Yet strangely compelling, too.”

She found that, nearly always, there was a gap between the surface meaning and the deeper meaning, and in that gap, she found rich territory for understanding the confines of shared perception.


“My. This video of Wang Chung performing the song is so weirdly fascinating! How odd.”

“You know,” Chandler remarked to Tamarind while they ate supper after onezero’s birthday party, “it’s likely that all this will belong to you, and it will be your brother who will move across the street.”

“I realize that,” Tamarind said. “I was born first. I’m the eldest. I know my responsibility, Dad.”

“But what about onezero? You know how much she hates the mansion across the street. She’s not a snob–she doesn’t simply love fancy things because they’re fancy. She loves home.”

“Don’t worry, Dad.” Tamarind replied. “She’s my sister. And my best friend. This is her home. It’ll always be her home.”

“She’s not like us, you know,” Chandler replied.

“No,” said Tamarind, “She’s more us than we are–she’s what we can hope to be when we finally figure out how to be ourselves.”


Each wondering what it means to be fully oneself.

Sugar, meanwhile, has been a responsible cowplant wrangler. We’ve fenced the cowplant in. I keep reminding myself that she’s got roots, so it’s not like she could be free-range if she wanted to, and so this is more to fence others out. I just bulldoze a section of the fence at feeding time, then patch it up when she’s full. Sure, you can say I’m taking all the risk out of it. And you’d be right. I want to keep my Sims alive and undazed.


“Chunky steak, my little cannibal baby!”

The evening after onezero’s birthday party, Sugar had an announcement to share.

“Well, time for a new aspiration,” she told Tamarind.

“Oh, yeah?” Tamarind replied. “You finished the garden one?”

“Yeah. Not sure what’s next.”

Here’s what Sugar Maple has already accomplished:

  • all four childhood aspirations
  • Mansion Baron
  • Bodybuilder
  • Musical Genius
  • Friend of the World
  • Renaissance Sim
  • Nerd Brain
  • Gardener

She’s got around 33 or 34 traits. Maybe 35. I keep losing count. And, she hasn’t even had her adult birthday yet, though she did have a serving of Youth Potion. I think we’ll have her try for the Collector aspiration, since we’ve already had several Sims complete it, so it will be quick and easy to knock off.


“I think I’ll take up collecting next., Tamarind. You got any inklings for crystals or funny little dolls?”

The surprising thing is that her rapidfire accomplishments are no big deal–not to her or her family members. They’re all accomplished, too. All three kids each completed the four childhood aspirations with two days to spare. And Salix is working on her fourth adult aspiration.

Doug Fir

“This book is so juvenile it’s actually profound!”

Both Doug Fir and Salix are currently working on Nerd Brain. Someone’s always sitting on a loveseat with a book in hand, and it reminds me of my childhood home. I think we even had a loveseat like the one Doug Fir’s sitting in!


“Sal, you sure you don’t want a bite of this cake? It’s ZOOM!”

The family doesn’t agree with onezero’s new official labels. Does it make one insane to be tuned into voices and music that others don’t hear?


“I still hear music.”

And what about sensing shifting patterns of space and time that don’t fit with the linear mundane experience?


When I, you and everyone we knew | Could believe, do, and share in what was true!”

onezero feels within herself pulses of energy and streams of connections. To those authorities who run the tests and assign the declarations, this fits the definition of insanity, and, in fact, her experience lies so outside the borders of what is considered normal rational experience that onezero’s permanent school records are flagged with the red coding reserved for identified enemies of the general public.

It is the public consensus of limited perception that she endangers.To her family, who provide her with home and loving companionship, and who don’t mind occasionally having their minds blown, she offers welcome insights into the inscrutable both within and without.