Septemus 22

Dear Sept,

What a night! I’m guessing when you read these letters, ten, fifteen years from now, you’ll remember this night.

This was the night you discovered your new favorite thing in the world.

Miko invited us to join her in the city. As soon as we got off the light rail, you said, “What’s that?” and you took off for the karaoke bar.

We could barely keep up.

You headed straight into one of the rooms, hit the ON button on the machine, and launched into your number.

Your song went like this:

“Look around!
Look around, little ones!


“It’s a big world,

“Big world,


“Look up, little ones!
Look up! Look up!

“It’s a big sky,


“A big sky,

“And you might feel
Kinda all alone
Like you wanna cry
Sort of lonely sigh..

“And sometimes
People do die
And you’re all alone
And you’re only one.

“But don’t cry!
Little one.
Because you’re not alone
‘Cuz I’m here
And we’re near

“And it’s a big world!
Little one.


“A big world
Just begun…

Little one.”

Miko and I applauded.

“Oh, squeegee!” you said. “Thankyouverymuch!


Miko sang next. She sang “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun,” but she turned the tempo to slow and really drawled it out.

I liked her rendition of it. It was mournful in a meaningful kind of way. Existential. I’m not so sure you enjoyed it.

“Fun is sort of boring, isn’t it?” you said to Kizuu.


You can Miko both insisted I sing next. I didn’t really want to. But no one else was there–just you, Miko, Kizuu, and me.

So I got behind the machine, made my selection, and crooned my tune.

“Sailors fighting in the dance hall
Oh man, look at those cavemen go
It’s the freakiest show
Take a look at the lawman
Beating up the wrong guy
Oh man, wonder if he’ll ever know
He’s in the best selling show
Is there life on Mars?”


“Now that’s music,” you said. “Right, Kizuu?”

And Kizuu answered, “Meeoright!”


I like singing for you, moon-munchkin.


Your Pops

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Author’s note: Hat-tip to David Bowie for Sebastion’s musical selection, “Life on Mars.”

Septemus 12


Dear Sept,

Sometimes the look on your face is enough to break my heart in two.

I kind of wish I hadn’t told you about the plan to look for your bizoopagotogo. Maybe if I’d kept it all secret, then disappointment wouldn’t color our lives.

A little kid shouldn’t have to be kept waiting.

We still dance to make the waiting pass.


It doesn’t work as well as it used to.


You’ve been having trouble with the atmosphere, now that your limbs are longer. It’s hard for you to breathe sometimes.

The suits the agency sent seem to help.

But there are still a lot of mornings when I can tell you’re in pain.


I wish I could help you more.

SebastionwhatamIdoinghere?” you asked me the other morning.


“Spaces, Sept,” I reminded you. We’ve been practicing with your speech so that it’s easier for other people to understand you.

You took a deep breath.


“Sebastion, what am I doing here?” you asked.

I was feeling happy. Having you around, even when you’re sad, I don’t know, son. It just warms me.

“Right now, you’re dancing with me, son,” I said.


“It’s not what I mean, Sebastion,” you answered. “I’mtalkingbigquestionwhylikewhyherenadwhynotsomewhereelseandIdon’tbelong and where is everybody?”


“I don’t know, kid,” I said. I wanted to tell you about this kid I read about who’s been hacking into government computers, including the agency’s, and posting what he finds on bulletin boards. But I don’t want to get your hopes up.

We keep dancing.


It’s not bad every day.

Sometimes, you sit in the park in the sun, in your white suit, and you look happy and peaceful.


You’ve still got that little toy cat you had as toddler. Kisuuu, you call her, and you ask her all sorts of questions.

I’m glad you’ve got a friend, even if she is made of plastic.


You’ve been with me so long now, that I feel you belong. I never wonder what you’re doing here–or if it was some kind of accident. You’re here, with me, and you belong. And no amount of existential angst you feel could dim the way my heart rises up when I see you, son.

After all, I spent half my life wondering where I belonged, too. And it’s only been since you arrived that that question, for me, has ceased to be.


Your dad,


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Septemus 10


Dear Sept,

You’ve been pretty mad at me lately.

Sebastionyousendletterbutnolettercomebackwhy? What. FOR?”


“I can’t control everything, Septemus,” I replied. It’s weak. I know. I’m your bizaabgotojo, so I know, logically, I should be able to take care of everything you need. And if you need to see your siblings, I should be able to find them for you, right?


It seems that way to me, too.

Sebastionyouthinktheyallblackcrashexplodeknockgonetoo?” you asked me.


“Septemus, I’m sure not,” I replied. “Look. You were Number 77. Out of 100. That means there are 76 before you and 34 after you–”


“–Right. Twenty-three after. Ninety-nine, Septemus. They’re still out there. We’d have heard something if they weren’t.”


“But they no tell,” you said, for once not running your words together. “The agency don’t tell, and I am the last bizoopagotogo.”


I am sure you are not. It hasn’t been that long. I mean, when you’re a little tyke, like you are, sure it seems like a long time. But when you are an old guy like me, eighteen months isn’t that long to find somebody.

Look how long it took me to find you.

Your bizaabgotojo,


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