Forgotten Art: Gee-Jay – Tad 2

A reply to: A letter from Tad


Greetings and Salutations, Thanatos Dustpine!

We (that would be the both of us, Gee-Jay, in other words, Giuliana and Jasper) like your name!

For the sake of fairness, reciprocity, collaboration, and turn-taking, Giuliana (also known as Gee, among a host of creative and inspired nom de plumes), has decreed that I (that would be me, Jasper, also known as Jay, or the old bearded one) must write this letter.

So. Here I am at the keyboard, writing while Giuliana, also known as Gee, yada-yada-blah-blah, dictates what it is that I should write while it is my turn to write the letter on behalf of Gee-Jay.


On behalf of Gee-Jay, we think you’re funny.


No, really funny. As in side-splitting, hysterical, better-stop-before-the-Grim-Reaper-comes funny.

First, we were tickled when we read, “spiky but not unfriendly.”


But it was, “Names condensed into sounds that are like letters in your alphabet,” that just about slayed us, and “I do not know if that is a proper way to start a letter,” that fairly did us in.


Actually, I (Jay/Jasper, you know the rest) became a bit concerned for my young friend (Gee/Giuliana, and so on and so forth), and so I left the room for a moment before reading on to give her a chance to compose herself.

When I returned, she was deep in thought, something that is not at all unusual for Gee. (She asks me to write that it’s not at all unusual for me [Jay/Jasper, etc.], either.)

And you, our new friend, Tad? We (Gee-Jay, ad naseum) would like to know if it is or isn’t unusual for you to be deep in thought. In fact, Gee (you can recite it by now) reminds me that you wrote, ” I do spend quite a lot of time for thinking…”


“Time for thinking”–that has a nice ring to it.

In fact we think that we would like to start a club called “Time for Thinking” club. Would you like to be in this club with us?


Giuliana says that the title sounds a lot more intelligent that the former title of her other club, which was called “Stop Bullying, Stupid,” but is now called “Now!” and is a club that it also about pirates.

After we finished reading your letter–and didn’t die of laughter, I’m happy to report–we wanted to know what was so funny about it.


“I think it has to do with saying something very obvious, ” I suggested, “like Gee-Jay being our initials, but saying it as if it’s surprising or not obvious at all.”

We tried it out.

“Your shirt is actually a t-shirt!”

“Yours is, too!”

Not funny.

“It’s because the words are formal!” Gee suggested. (She is very perceptive, my young friend.)


I read aloud from your letter again:

It is a safe assumption that one needs time to write. Though sometimes I wonder whether – if contained properly – timelessness actually grants more time. Or at least takes away schedules. Then again, that might only work for beings who exist in a state that is not bound and guarded by time.

“It’s beautiful, right?” said Giuliana. “But funny, too.”

And I had to admit she was right.


Gee reminds me that I have lapsed into writing from myself, when I’m supposed to be writing from the both of us.

We both think that beauty and funny can go together, but we don’t think that being beautiful makes something funny, nor that being funny makes something beautiful.

We read a little more: ” I am not funny, at least never on purpose. I just do not seem to have a knack for it… And I do not think that I am very smart either.”

When we finished chuckling, Giuliana said, “It’s because it says one thing, but it’s really not the way it is, but it says it in formal language and kinda beautifully, and so we’re lulled into believing it, while we know it’s not like that, and so the way the two feelings don’t fit has to come out in laughing!”

And we think, maybe, that Gee is right on this one.

But we don’t have the knack for that type of humor.

We tend to go in for knock-knock jokes.


We are very touched by what you say about Gee being able to continue writing Dusk Mann, Tad. And we also thank you for the kind words you said about him. Gee wants to tell him about you in her next letter. She thinks that he will like knowing about you, even if he can’t write back.


Gee suggests that I (Jasper, also known as…) try writing to some of those that I’ve said goodbye to, also. I’m not sure that I will. I speak to Bess, my wife, often, though she left this realm nearly a decade ago. I still feel her with me, always. I don’t have an explanation for this, except that I feel there’s more to a person than the body that houses them, and when that body fades, what’s more doesn’t.

We are curious about universes without time or space, which you propose might possibly exist. We feel they might, too. It’s not something we’ve thought much about, but intuitively it feels that it could be a possibility.

What we want to know is if consciousness needs time–or space–in order to exist. We’re looking into the work of Giulio Tononi, Christof Koch, and Max Tegmark to see what they have to say on the matter. So far, we are fairly certain that Tononi and Koch hold that consciousness requires the presence of time, while Tegmark posits that it requires space, but we must admit that we don’t understand their mathematical equations well enough to be sure.

Giuliana assures me that she’ll be able to understand the math when she’s twelve. I assure her that, for me, it is likely hopeless.


We, Gee-Jay, would like to know if you, Tad, would like to join our “Time for Thinking” club, and if so, if you would enjoy thinking about the puzzle of consciousness, time, and space, with us.

We are happy (as in delighted) that you are our pen pal. Already we feel very cheerful, and we know that these smiles will return every time we think of, “Names condensed into sounds that are like letters in your alphabet.”

With that, we are hoping to be clever and sign our letter with something other than “sounds that are like letters.”

I (that would be me, Jasper) will sign like this: %(*)%

And I (this is me Gee, that would be Giuliana) will sign like this:  dsajkpwaorijwapeindklcxpidrheiawmvdmfg @@ aseprieam ## amkdfpaewi 56g967

Or you can call me Tazer.

Over and out,

With affection,

And gratitude,

And ponderings,

And it’s already way past time for someone to go home,



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Forgotten Art: Gee-Jay – Tad 1


Dear Tad,

We want to be your pen pal. We are me–you can call me Gee–and him. You can call him Jay. Together we’re Gee-Jay.


We have a very good reason for wanting to be your pen pal.

Actually we have five.

One is that we like to get hand-written letters! We think that too much technology is stupid. We like technology, sure, because video games. But we also think it’s stupid because we like books and pipe organs.


I also like rocks. When I say I, I mean me, Giuliana or Gee. And when I say he, I mean him, Jasper or Jay. And so when I say we, I mean us, Gee-Jay.

OK. Reason number 2.

I, that would be me, Giuliana or Gee, was very sad.


I mean really super sad.


And he, that would be Jasper or Jay, asked me what was wrong. Why was I so sad?

It’s because I miss one of my pen pals. I had this really great pen pal. His name was Dusk. Maybe you know him? Anyway, he can’t write me anymore.


It’s not that he doesn’t exactly exist anymore. He does. Or maybe not. I can’t really tell. I think maybe he died.

I’m still writing to him, but I don’t think he’ll ever write me again. He says that where he is now, time doesn’t exist, and I figure that you need time in order to be able to write. What do you think?

We, that would be me and Jasper, or Gee-Jay, like to read about time.

Right now, Jasper is reading me a book called The Fabric of the Cosmos, and we’re thinking about, “Can the universe exist without space and time?”

I, that would be me, Giuliana, think yes. And he, that would be Jasper, thinks no.


What do you think?

So maybe that’s the third reason we want you to be a pen pal, because we want a pen pal who can write to us about questions we don’t have answers for.

But back to reason #2.

When he (Jasper or Jay) found out that I (Giuliana or Gee) was sad because my (that would be Giuliana’s) pen pal wasn’t writing anymore, and was, maybe, possibly, probably dead, or at least existing someplace without time, then he (Jasper or Jay) thought that I (Giuliana or Gee–OK, you get the picture now, right?) would be happier if I (you know, me) had a new pen pal.


So we (Gee-Jay) looked through the pen pal profiles and we found yours.

And Jasper said, “A spiritual guide!”

And I said, “A gardener!”

And Jasper said, “A gardener!”

And we both said, “That’s the one!”


So reason #4: A spiritual guide.

And reason #5: A gardener.

Back to why do we (well, really him, Jasper or Jay) want a spiritual guide?


Well, he (Jasper or Jay–you know) says that at his age, he’s seen a lot of coming and going. Mostly going.

He told me that his wife passed. (That’s what he says instead of “dead.”) And his brother. And his mom and dad. And his grandparents. And his uncles and aunts. And five cousins. And his brother’s wife. And his great-niece’s mom. And about twelve friends. And wow. That’s a lot of passing.


I felt surprised because he isn’t often sad. But sometimes he is sad. And he says I should write that sometimes we’re all sad, and when you get to be his age, it’s time to make peace with comings and goings, and that’s where a spiritual guide can come in handy.


Do you know anything about Buddhism? He (that would be Jasper, also known as Jay) talks about Buddhism a lot.

It seems like a lot for a kid like me to think about.

But he says that we will do this together, and it will be OK because I (that would be me, Giuliana or Gee) will get what I need out of it, and he (that would be Jasper or Jay) will get what he needs out of it, and together, we will both be able to learn and share, and then we started to wonder, what will we be able to give you?


Jasper says that I can give you funniness, because he doesn’t know anyone who’s funnier than me. He also says that I am fun. Both fun and funny.

I say that Jasper can give you smartness because he is very smart and he has read everything. Or if he hasn’t read it, he will. And he will even read it aloud to you.


That is really nice, to sit next to someone and have them read. It’s like the voice is the connection.

Jasper says that if you write, the energy of the voice somehow enters the words, and then the connection forms that way. I think it’s true because I felt connection to Dusk, my pen pal who is now where time’s not.

Jasper says that you said that you are asking for connection. And that is something that we (that would be Gee-Jay) can give you.


Because Gee-Jay is all about connection.

But we’re also all about mystery. Especially those mysteries that can’t ever be solved. It’s because we (that would be Jasper or Jay and Giuliana or Gee) are very curious. You might say that we live for curiosity.


We hope you choose us for a pen pal!

And if not, it was fun to write you anyway. (This means we both had fun, me–that would Giuliana–and him–that would be Jasper.)


Adios, amigo!


p.s. Jasper told me what your name–not Tad, but the other one–really means, and I think it’s cool! (This is from me, Giuliana or Gee.)

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