Septemus 16


Dear Sept,

Today, everything is right.

You’ve been smiling all afternoon.


I told you about some of the bizaabgotojoto I’d met at the forums and their bizoopagotogo.

“They’re all really nice,” I said. “One of the little guys only likes chicken nuggets! You want to try chicken nuggets sometime?”

“Ah, it depends,” you replied. “What’s it made out of?”


“Uh, no thank you. I’ll have mine made out of faux.”

“Faux?” I asked.


“Yeah!” you replied. “To-faux!”

You’ve got a good sense of humor when you’re happy, Sept.


“What do they have to kill to make tofu, anyway?” you asked.

“Kill?” I replied. “Nothing. It’s made of soybeans.”

“Oh,” you said. “So they kill beans.”


I guess you have a point. I’d never stopped to think about it, but all the soybeans that go into making tofu are, in a sense, killed. They’re cooked. They’re not allowed to sprout and grow into the plants that they have the potential to grow into.

“Dang,” I said. “Here I thought I was making the ethical choice.”

“Sebastion, it’s OK. Don’tfeelbadSebastionwhenyoueatthetofu–”

“Spaces, Septemus.”

“Don’t feel bad because what would have been the cute little bean sprout is now part of you. Andyou’reverycutetooSebastion. It’s just transfer of cute.”

Aye, little bug. You keep me thinking. Now I’m going to have to think about transference of energy and the global footprint of growing soybeans, and where do the ones that go into the tofu we buy grow, and how are they grown, and maybe, if it all comes down to energy transference, we should go ahead and eat chicken nuggets, anyway. Or even real BLT.

I was thinking all of that while I was washing the dishes, and then when I turned off the faucet, I heard you singing from the other room.

It was that same haunting song you’d sung a few days before:

“It’s empty.
It’s empty.
It’s all gone and black and empty.

“When the sun is not the sun
and Night sucks all the light
and then the little ones are gone
And it’s all gone and

“It’s empty.
It’s empty.
It’s all gone and black and empty.”


I looked in on you, to make sure you were feeling OK. You looked wistful, but you didn’t look sad.

I thought of the songs we sang as little kids. London Bridge falling down. Pockets of poseys, ashes, and we all fall down. Old women who live in shoes and children who starve. Horrid, wretched memories of our collective history of war, fire, starvation, abuse–entire torrents of cultural trauma–turned into songs for little children–for what reason? To inure us to the horrors of our past? And does this song fill that same function for you? Do you have, in the memory of your DNA, the recorded experience of seeing a black hole suck up the sun?

So much of you–who you are, and what you’re doing here–still remains a mystery.

You were calm and peaceful when you finished singing.

“Sebastion, can I read to you?” you asked.

Of course I said yes. You pulled out your school workbook. You read. You forgot to speak aloud the words you were reading, but I heard them all the same. It was a story about Steven Hawking, “who was born 300 years after the death of Galileo.”


At this same moment, I realized, 99 other little tykes, each one a mystery, fill their bizaabgotojoto with wonder.

Now that I’ve finished this letter, I’m heading back to the forums. I’ve got to see what all these other parents are thinking.

Sleep well, moon-munchkin. Your siblings are sleeping, too.

Your pops,


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