Septemus 54

A Time for Di7cipline


I’m going to have to rethink my whole approach to being. I can’t just let everything fly out of me anymore. I’ve got to develop my intention.

I’ve noticed that the universe has a knack for pointing out the next lesson, and sometimes, its finger isn’t subtle.

I was jogging after Lucas left, just to clear my head.


It feels good at night, when it’s silent out to settle into the rhythm of my feet on the pavement. I was just finding my cadence when I heard Panda’s voice, loud and clear:

“Sept? I’m sorry I bit your not-friend. He made you sad and angry. He hurt you, so I hurt him. Is he ok? It was only a bite, honest. I didn’t eat him.”

So that’s what happened to Lucas. My sister bit him? No wonder I flashed on Panda when Lucas was rubbing his arm.

This is so not right, on so many levels.

Panda picked up my feelings, even though I wasn’t sending to her. I’ve been like some rogue broadcasting tower that hasn’t figured out frequencies yet, spilling all my emotional junk to the pagotogo.

This is not OK. They’ve got their own stuff to deal with. Plus, this is my, like, my personal stuff.  I really, really don’t want to share my private angsty teenage garbage with all my siblings. They’re just kids; I’m a hot mess. This is so not right.

Yobaska. I am so embarrassed.

I’m glad Pops was there to talk after I finished my run and got out of the shower. I told him the kids were picking up everything I felt–I left out the part about Panda exacting my revenge on Stupid Nose.

“I’m just going to have to shut myself down,” I told Pops, “like a switched-off robot.”


“I don’t think that’s the answer, son,” he said. “You’ve got a gift. It’s not right to turn off your natural form of communication.”

“But it’s like a data dump,” I said. “That’s not communication. That’s spillage.”


He listened. I explained.

I have to get this under control. I’ve decided to stop for a while. I will keep on communicating telepathically with him, and with my baby brother inside of him, because we live together in the same physical space, and I can’t shut off my feelings at home. But until I figure out how to get control over this, I’m not going to be broadcasting to the pagotogo. Not even songs.

“Not even if they need you?” Pops asked.

Oh. Why does it have to be so difficult to do the best thing always?

“OK,” I replied. “If they need me, yes. I will practice sending to them directly, just the song, with just that specific information. The rest of the stuff, I shut off.”


So now that I’ve decided the best thing to do, I’ve got to figure out how to do it. I’m going to work some meditation time into my day. And yoga. And I think I’ll read those Buddha books Pops got out for me. And also the Bhagavad Gita. And maybe Walden. And Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.

I think I will visualize a cone of crystalline light around me–energy passes in through the top and down into the earth below my feet, but nothing escapes out the side.

Later on, once I’ve got this under control, I can experiment with lifting the cone when I’ve got a specific message to send out to a specific person. Or maybe I bore a hole through it, so the message comes out in a laser point. But that’s going to come much, much later. I’m entering preschool, and lasers are college.

But that still leaves Panda and the consequences of a bite on the arm. Biting someone is not OK, even if she is awesome for wanting to stick up for me.

I decided that I would write her an actual, physical letter and mail it to her. It’s a chance for me to practice discipline: communicating the old-fashioned, labor-intensive way, when just sending it out there would be so much easier.


Dear Panda,

I got your message, and I’ve got lots to say:

Firstly, you are one bad-ass sister! You are most awesome. Thank you for sticking up for me.

Secondly, thanks for telling me the truth about it. That’s just one more way you’re awesome.


Thirdly, it’s really not OK to bite somebody. I mean, if you need to protect your life or someone else’s, maybe you can bite–for protection. But not for revenge. For one thing, revenge is hardly ever needed. For another, there’s almost always another way to make things right. Or at least acceptable.

Fourthly, Lucas really didn’t do anything wrong. He just chose somebody else over me. He’s free to do that. And besides, I never told him how I felt in actual spoken words. Pops says spoken or written words are important here. We can’t always rely on transmitted feelings without them.

That’s why I’m writing you instead of communicating the other way.

I’ve decided I won’t be sending thought-messages for a while. Not until I figure out how to do this better. But I will keep listening. I’ll always listen. And if you need me, for anything, or if you even just want to say, “Hi,” I will always hear you. You’re my little sister!

And thanks for asking after Lucas. He is OK. His arm is just a little stiff is all. I don’t think I’ll be seeing him much anymore. But that’s OK, too. Or it will be. Eventually. When I grow a new heart. Just kidding. Not really, but it will all be OK for sure.

You know why? My pops is going to have a baby, and I’m going to be one busy bagoto! I will mail you a picture once the little guy is born. Oh–good news! The baby’s extra-terrestrial, too!

Stay cool, my paPandagoto!

Your brother (and your biggest fan),



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Author’s note: Many thanks to Thymeless for sending Panda’s message! Follow Pandora’s Box to keep up with Panda and Harmony’s thoughts and lives.

Shift 30: Spice


Aadhya decided we should all go to the Spice Festival.

“Culture!” she said. “You need to sample all the world has to offer!”

She’s bought tickets to take us all to the ballet over winter break, and we’re going to the Art Center, too. But our “Exposure to Culture” started with Spice.

So, after cross country practice, instead of riding the RT to YOTO, I walked down to the Spice District. I got a piece of cake at a café and ate it outside while I waited for everybody to arrive.

I’d asked Yuki to come, and she was the first one to join me.

She showed me the Spice Festival website on her phone, and we looked up a recipe for habanero brownies. The hotness rating on the Scoville scale was 300,000 for the brownie!


“That’s one hot brownie!” Yuki said.

I bet her that I could eat it. “I am, after all, last year’s Chili Champion!” I reminded her. I was wearing my shirt to prove it.


Yuki and I went to check out the festival before Aadhya and the other kids arrived. I entered a garlic-eating contest and won a new shirt for this year’s festival. It’s got garlic heads on it. I think it’s almost as cute as the chili pepper shirt.

“You really look at home here,” Aadhya said to me when she came. I guess maybe I might. I mean, last year when I was living at the San Myshuno park, I used to come here a lot, and my school’s here in the city. Our cross country team runs past this park a couple times a week for practice. I know my way around. I guess it sort of feels like home, too.


Marquise had brought his homework along.

“You want to check out the rest of the festival with me?” I asked him.

“Maybe after I finish this geometry stuff,” he said.

“I can help,” I offered.

“Nah. Not yet at least. I gotta figure it out myself.”


That same person that I met last year at the festival came, the trans-person.

“Hey, I remember you,” she said. “You were last year’s Chili Champion.”

I was glad she remembered me. Of course I remember her. I think about her now and then. She’s inspiring to me.


“So, how come I never saw you around here since last festival?” she asked.

“Oh, I had to move out of the city,” I told her.

“I’m sorry to hear that,” she said.


“No! It’s a good thing!” I said. I told her I’d gotten into a program that was helping me, and that I’d come here with the other kids from the program. I didn’t tell her all the details, but she must have picked up on my enthusiasm because she seemed really happy for me.


After she left, Donnie came over.

“What was that you were talking to?” he asked. “I couldn’t tell if it was a guy dressed up like a woman or some kind of ‘roid-rage feminazi!”


He didn’t just say that.

“Tell me you didn’t just say that, Donnie.” I said.

“What?” he laughed. “I thought it was funny!”

“Moron,” I said.


A little while later, Aadhya joined me.

“I couldn’t help overhearing you and Donnie,” she said.


“Yeah, well. He comes from Oasis Springs. I guess it’s to be expected.”

Then, Aadhya went all “why-do-you-think-that” on me. I just said I’d met enough kids at Oasis Springs High to last me a lifetime.

“You can’t judge,” she said. “If you judge everyone from Oasis Springs based on your limited experience, then how does that make you any different from anyone else who judges others?”

I couldn’t listen at first.

“I just hate them all,” I said. “They’re so closed-minded.”

“This isn’t the time,” she said, “but we’ll want to talk more about this sometime.”

She went on to tell me about something she’d noticed during meditation. Her mind kept following specific patterns of thoughts. Even when she’d sit down to meditate and tell herself, “Let your thoughts follow different routes,” she would watch, and they would still follow the same routes.

“I learned about the mind,” she said, “in feeling it. I could feel the thoughts rise, and watch them follow the same patterns, even when I willed them to take a different route.”

She said that’s what minds are like. And until we learn to have a moment’s pause in between the thoughts, then we have very little control over them, and sometimes, they control us, even determining our beliefs and assumptions.

“It’s rather sad, really,” she said. “Worthy of compassion. For ourselves and others.”


I don’t know. I guess it’s something I could think about sometime.

But I didn’t feel like thinking about it that night. That night, I felt making a statement. I got my tablet, found this really cool meme, and posted it on my Twitter page, tagging @DonnieDeMan.


Let’s see what kind of new thought patterns this starts.


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