I’m starting to realize there’s so much about you that I don’t have a clue into. Your inner reality is a mystery.
“Do you know that people are always with us?” you asked me the other night.
“What do you mean, son?”
“Like now! Panda is here! She can see what we’re eating!”
“But she isn’t really here, right? Or is she here, but in your imagination? Is Panda your imaginary friend?”
“No, silly!” you replied. “Malika is my imaginary friend! And she’s not really here, only in imaginary ways! Panda is my little sister! And she’s like… I’m like… we’re sintakoo-lacky-si. I don’t know the word.”
“I don’t know the word, either,” I said.
“Remember when I told you about my first bizaabgotojo?” you asked.
That was a long time ago. I thought back. How did we communicate back then?
“I saw her hands,” I said. “They were blue, right? And I felt them. Cool and soft.”
“Right!” you said. “That’s sintakoo-lacky-si.”
“You mean telepathic?”
“I don’t know the word,” you said. “But it’s when we talk in our heads, and we can send pictures, too. But mostly it’s feelings. We send feelings. And then my feelings are in the lacky-si, and the lacky-si can see through me, the sintakoo! Panda is laughing because she can see you, and she says your face looks mishtu–cloudy!”
“My face looks cloudy?” I asked.
“Yeah! She’s right! Like the sun is hiding! You’ve got eclipse-face!”
“No, son. It’s just my mind that’s eclipsed,” I said. “I’m just confused, that’s all.”
We cleaned up our dishes, and then it was time to choose the before-bed activity. We opted for dancing.
“So, these people who are always with us,” I asked, “what’s it like having them there? Doesn’t it ever get, I dunno, crowded?”
“They’re not all there at once!” you said.
“Can you ask them to leave if you ever need privacy?” I guess I was a little worried. Or confused. Or maybe both.
“I guess,” you said. “But why would I want to do that? These are my brothers and sisters. I like having them with me.”
I watched you while we danced. You got that look I recognize on you so often, your eyes closed, your mouth in a semi-smile, tuning in. Have you been talking with your siblings all this time?
I’m an only child. No siblings. I’ve had a few good friends, but I’ve never had a lover. I think you’re the only one who’s been in my mind with your mind. I’ve never had much experience with being a lacky-si or a sintakoo, and if it weren’t for your abilities that way, I don’t think it’s something I’d ever have experienced on my own.
I realize that I feel your feelings a lot. You’re an open book, so I always thought I knew how you were feeling because you showed your emotions through every fiber of your body. But I’m realizing now that I know what you’re feeling because I feel it inside of me, too.
I wonder if you feel what I feel, too.
I do, Pops.
I wonder what happens to that thing we call boundaries.
They dissolve, Pops.
I wonder what it’s like to live without secrets, openly, hiding nothing and with nothing to hide.
It’s like sintuliyu. Peace.
You looked at me.
SeeSebastion? you said without speaking. AndthiswayIdon’tevenneedspaces,right?
I laughed. “You’re right, son,” I said out loud. “But let’s still talk now and then. I like the sound of your voice.”
And you made that blue rose bloom once more.
“Yours, too, son,” I said.
I like what you’re teaching me.
Author’s note: You can read all about Panda in Thymeless’s story, Pandora’s Box. Many thanks to Thymeless for he beautiful pictures of Panda and for collaborating with me on this!