Septemus 52

Not in 7o Many Word7


If it was all in my daydreams, then why do I feel so sad that it will never be?

Pops asked if I ever told Lucas how I felt about him.

“Not in so many words,” I replied. But he knew in every whisper of every feeling that passed between us. And he reciprocated in feeling.

Pops said that for most people, certain things have to be spoken to be real.

“Not everyone trusts their feelings, son,” he said. “Not everyone is even aware of them. We might be kind of a primitive species, but we seem to rely on the spoken word, rather than on the shared feeling.”

What would I have said, if I had dared to speak?


“Lucas, I know you’re older than me, but not by that much. Two years, and I’ll be done with school, and we can run off and set up house together.”

I don’t think I would have said that, even if it’s what I wished every time I saw him.

“Lucas, do you own bunny slippers?” Best left unsaid.

“Lucas, your hair. Can I touch it?”

This isn’t helping.

“Lucas, I think I like you.”


I could have said that. I thought it. I felt it. I know he felt it, too.

Pops says that this is a rite of passage. “Not that I’ve had a lot of experience,” he said, “but you remember reading Young Werther, right? Or, those Shakespeare sonnets you’re always thumbing through? I mean, this is the stuff that fuels literature.”

I can see why. I feel I could write a novel.


Pops says the one lesson that comes out of all of this is that the young protagonist always loves again.

“Pops?” I asked. “You know what Werther did, right?”

“Actually, I never finished reading it,” he confessed. “It was too much for me.”

I didn’t have the heart to spoil it for him. “If you ever do finish it, you’ll discover he might not be the best role model in a case like this.”

I had to chuckle. Werther was extreme. Think of all those romantic novels: Wuthering Heights, The Little Mermaid, Cyrano De Bergerac, Of Human Bondage, Great Expectations. The shelves of every library are lined with Great Loves that Never Were.

What made me expect that my Great Love would be any different? It doesn’t make it less that it never got to be. Now it’s something that waits for the novel I might write one day. Blue Bizoo.


The feelings we shared were just as strong, even if they never did get translated into words.

I could translate them now, write out how I feel, and how I felt, and share all my imaginings about aprons, soap bubbles, and long, tan arms.

But I’ll let them be. It’s OK not to write them, not to speak them, not to give them shape, anymore than I already have. It’s OK to let them sort of fade away.

I might watch over them next time… hold them in reserve until I know the person I’m feeling things for is worthy. If I’m going to feel that way about somebody, I need to know that person won’t ditch me the moment he finds out who I am. If I’m going to feel that way about somebody, I’d better make sure first that he’s got an open enough mind to be able to feel that way about me, even after he knows how I came to be.

I didn’t come here to be dissed. I didn’t come here to be rejected and tossed aside, looked over, and unrequited. I came here to love and be loved.


I’ve got a father who loves me unconditionally. I’ve got all my pagotogo, one of whom I’ve even met, and more I’ll be meeting soon. I’ve got kids at school who don’t make fun of me, though they don’t know the truth of who I am. Still, they know I’m from someplace else, and they accept me for that.

So one guy chose someone else. So what? It’s not the end of the world. I’ll get through this. I’ll find somebody else, who also might look cute in bunny slippers.

I don’t deserve to sit around moping all day. I’ve got other things to do. I’m going to be a big brother soon, and my little brother deserves a happy big brother, not some old, washed up, moping around sort of guy. And besides, I’m better than that.

Heck. Lucas doesn’t know what he’s missing.

I might be a bizoo, but I am one hot bizoo.


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Author’s note: This is my 1,000th post on this blog. Thank you for reading it!

Whisper 2.23


Dear me,

Jaclyn’s been writing to me. In fact, I get a letter from her nearly every day. I’m not going to ask her to stop writing. I’m not going to reply directly to her letters, either. They’re just little things: “You looked so cute concentrating in class.” “Maybe we could study together–do you think?” “You should give me a shot.” I just smile, fold them up, and put them in the back of my sock drawer.

It’s not that I’m not interested. I’ve thought she was beautiful since the first time I saw her. And she’s got a style that draws me in. The thing is, even if Shannon and I don’t have the simplest or most straightforward of relationships, I kind of want to be true to her. My mom was true to Dante even beyond the grave–she was forever faithful. And growing up, I always admired that. I think it set up an expectation in me: I want that same thing.

The other night after class, Jaclyn walked across the quad towards me. I got the feeling she might make a move.


I was wondering how I’d respond if she did. I mean, I really like her, so I didn’t want to out-and-out reject her. At the same time, I was thinking of Shannon. Still, I thought, if Shannon has lost interest in me, it would be a shame to deny a chance to get to know Jaclyn on a different level.


But before Jaclyn had a chance to do more than say hello, a woman approached to ask me for an autograph.

I felt so relieved!

Saved by the fan!


And then, as soon as I handed her notebook back to her, I got a text from Shannon, inviting me to a party.

I was so excited–she wanted to see me! I told Jaclyn I’d catch her in class tomorrow, said goodbye to the fan, and dashed off to where I’d left my bike.


When I arrived at Shannon’s, she was talking to a young guy I’d never seen before. He didn’t look like he was from around here. Maybe he’s Swiss? He was wearing lederhosen.


“Is your name Franz?” I asked him.

Shannon giggled.


“This is Kristoffel,” Shannon said, and she chuckled under her breath. “He’s here for his Junior Year Abroad.”

Wilkomme,” I said.

Danke,” he replied, sullenly.

Shannon was doing everything she could to keep from breaking out in laughter, and I was torn between trying to say the most ridiculous things I could think of, to see if I could get her to lose control, or to keep it together out of propriety.

My manners won out in the end.


Eventually, Kristoffel wandered into the kitchen in search of beer, and Shannon and I were alone.

She seemed actually glad to see me.

“I really thought I was going to lose it there,” she said. And we both laughed.


“I thought you didn’t want to see me,” I confessed. I told her everything: how I felt disappointed at our reunion, when she didn’t seem at all excited I was there. How I was hurt when she told me not to write anymore. How all the signs seemed to point to her not caring for me.

“Oh, crud,” she said. “It’s not like that at all. It’s just–Oh, man. I’m so bad at these things! I don’t know how to do this. I’ve never had something like this before. This is all so foreign to me. I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to hurt you.”


She explained that when she saw me the first time, it just felt natural to her–like this was where I belonged. So why make a big deal of it? And then, why write? When I’m here, and we can talk, why bother writing?

I really tried to see her perspective. I decided not to try to explain mine–at least not at this moment. You see, I was able at that moment to realize that her way of looking at things is so different from mine. She’s not a romantic. She doesn’t like flirting or big showy gestures. But that doesn’t mean she doesn’t feel love.


She told me I was the first person she’d ever loved in this way. I knew that. She was my first, too. But then she told me that that was different. I would have lots of others after her. She wouldn’t. This was it, for her.

“I’m so sorry I hurt you,” she said. “You gotta know that wasn’t what I meant. You’re such a part of my life that being with you is normal now. It’s not that I take you for granted. It’s that I’ve…” She searched for the right word. “… I’ve incorporated you.”


I didn’t really get what she meant. I still don’t exactly get it. But I definitely picked up that this meant something to her. It was significant.

Later that night, I was out skinny dipping in the moonlight, and Shannon came down to the pool.

“KaZAM!” she yelled. “Marigold Tea! You rock star, you! Light of my life! Everybody! Listen! Listen, you old Moon! I love this woman!”


She watched me while I finished swimming and put my clothes back on.

For the first time, I finally realized it. Shannon Arkers loves me, and I was a fool to have ever doubted her.


Stay true,


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Whisper 2.22


Dear me,

Now that Shannon’s said she doesn’t want me to write her, I don’t know who to write.

What I want to say, I don’t want to share with anyone, except Shannon. But she says it’s silly for me to write, since she’s right here. If I’ve got something to say, say it.

Only how do I say it when I don’t know what I want to say?

That’s the beauty of writing: I can explore, shift around, pose it one way, pose it another, and maybe, on the fifth run through, I’ll stumble upon my truth.

I can come upon what’s true for me through painting, too. I wonder if Shannon would let me give her my artwork?


While I was back home, I felt so close to Shannon. Through my letters, I felt we’d found a new level of intimacy. I shared things with her that I’d never shared with anyone. I let her see my inmost heart. Sure, her replies were often single words–but I could feel her through the writing, as if each stroke of her pen carried her to me.

Now she says don’t write. And I have a feeling I’ll hardly see her while I’m getting this degree.

I’m confused about what we are.

I’ve decided while I sort out our relationship–what it means to me, what it might maybe mean to Shannon, and what’s going on to create this weird distance between us–I’ll meet some other people. It never hurts to make friends, right?

There are some neat people at campus this year. I like the guy Kenyan. He’s got a rad Afro and a really intense gaze.


He came over for a bonfire party we threw, and I found him out watching one of the squirrels. Reminded me of the stories Mom used to tell about Uncle Shea.


Melvin Moon is pretty cool. He says his uncle Anoki knew Mom.


Jaclyn in still here. She’s still working on her phys ed degree. I’m really happy that we’re in the same degree program now. We have classes together, and we’ve been talking about squeezing in some extra workouts. I’d love to train her.


I’ve been hanging out with all my dorm-mates, too. Campus life feels so different to me, this time around. I’m actually meeting people and doing all the typical college things.


Like soccer.

I met this interesting-looking older guy who reminds me a lot of the famous artist Harwood Clay. This guy’s not an artist, though. He’s another phys ed major, back for a second degree after a long career as a pharmacist.


He knows Shannon. Everybody knows Shannon, it seems. I invited her over to our bonfire party, and she spent the entire time out at the bonfire, talking to all my dorm-mates.


And that brings up what I don’t get. Wouldn’t you expect that she would want to spend time with me, even if we were part of a group? But she doesn’t seem to. I never see her alone.

I don’t get it. I really thought that we were something to each other. I knew not to ask her to go steady–I mean, she was always really clear that her freedom is the most important thing to her. But I thought we enjoyed being with each other. I guess I sort of thought we were maybe in love with each other.

Now, she seems to be talking to everybody but me. And she asked me not to write.

I wish our social lives could be as simple as the squirrels’. They race around, chattering in their little squeaky clucks, and play tag and steal each other’s acorns and generally have fun causing mischief. And obviously, their attempts at romance work because back when Mom was a student there were only two, and just tonight, I saw five of them.


If I were writing Shannon–which I’m not, and probably never will again–I’d write something about charm. I’d write about how I feel when I’m around her, which is that I could spend every moment with her, listening to her stories, looking in her eyes.


She has this way of looking past my shoulder when she laughs that I find completely and utterly enchanting. I’m charmed.

Since I’m not writing to her, I’m left circling around my own feelings of disappointment. If I were more more interesting, or more of a rebel, or more intelligent, or better read, or less naive, or more adventurous, then she’d be charmed by me.


But as it is, I can blow my pungi all I want, and the snake remains in the basket.

I’m trying to work my way around to something positive out of all this, but all I feel is bummed out and confused. What did I do wrong?

I guess I’ll just end with what Mom used to tell me when things were tough:

Hang in there.



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