This chapter by onezero


Can you hear that music?

This life that I’ve been given, on a planet where my heart struggles to beat, my blood slows to flow, where I need to wear a suit sometimes, to help me breathe and to circulate this force within me–this life, nonetheless, has become my life. A life worth living.

My one sister will have a child. And another being will come into this home. My niece or nephew will find that life is here, with us. I have so much I want to tell this little one.


My sister tells me I’m going to be an aunt.

The man whose name I don’t yet say, he’s been to see my home planet, my 1,000 mommies. But they did not send a child through him. It takes two gentle hearts, they tell me, and my sister’s heart, though true, has more fire than dew.

He doesn’t mind. He has this new life coming here, my nephew or niece, and he will see his own face repeated in one who will carry through time that look of delight and surprise which I spy on his face from time to time.


“I’m going to be a dad? How did that even happen?”

My day for aging-up came, my birthday. How did that come so soon? This life on this planet moves fast. I do not yet know all the cycles and repetitions of stars and planets. I do not yet know how the genes from that man mix and form with my sister’s code to form a new one, who carries smile and shoulder, finger and ear, trait and aspiration through time.

I have so much to see.

This man across from me, who calls himself our friend, he was young yesterday. How did he transform so quickly? Was this of his own accord?


When did his hair turn gray? It was black yesterday.

I am not ready for the march of time.

These pixels and digits that compose me, they want to stay young.

It is my choice, this is what my aunt Sugar has taught me. It is what I will teach my nephew or niece.

I have what I need in my inventory: the white cup that is there for my choosing.

My aunt tells me it is my choice.


“Good job, onezero! I always hoped you’d drink from the white cup!”

It’s there, in my inventory, for a reason. I understand time and how the only way we can escape it is through timelessness. This is what I have known since I was a child.

And I know, too, that these digits and pixels of mine which live within time cannot move, like my perception does, into that realm off the line where time has no reach.

That is what the white cup is for.


I drank it all. It tastes like life.

I have more time. I made my choice. I feel young, when I escape into timelessness, and so when I dwell within the realm of the chimes, I want my pixels and digits to be young, too.

And maybe, I can feel inspired, too. There’s a blue cup in the inventory, and what better day to feel inspiration than on one’s aging-up day, when one has not aged up, but has unaged back, and starts again what can be new?


True inspiration is what moves us to set our own fate.

Before my nonBirthday Party was through, I found that man, the one whose name I don’t yet say, the father of my nephew or niece yet to be. He was on the roof, studying mysteries.

“Did they speak to you?” I asked him.

“Who?” he said.

“The ones,” I replied. “The thousand ones, when they took you to where I am from.”

“I don’t know,” he said, “If I would call it speaking, but I heard a buzz. In fact, I hear it still, this buzz.”


And now he, too, looks like he is always listening.

“Do you hear it now?” I asked.

And he said yes.

“Is it like this?” I asked, and I sang the song of the 1,000 mommies, through the stars and the space between the lights, and he said, yes. It is like that.

“Nathanael,” I said. “Your name means, ‘Gift of God.’ You are to me a true brother.”

I left him there, with the mysteries of structure under his lens, these patterns that repeat, yet which make new meaning with each new beat.

My nonparty still held sway.

There was this boy, I knew him as a boy, with red hair. He was there.


You’re older now, not a boy.

“I’m young,” I said.

“And you’re blue!” he said.

“I’m an alien!” I replied.

“I dig aliens!” he said.

“I like your tie.”


“Hey, this old thing? I just found it in the back of a drawer.”

This was my choice–move through time forward, or reverse the chimes.


Like my aunt, I chose to reverse.

I have much to do and many to meet. My aunt and I, we are in league to keep watch over those yet to come. We are masters of our own time, in order to guide their passage into theirs.