Hi! I like saying hi because it’s nice and not a binding and – oh, right! I’m Jay. But if you’re reading this (or hearing it, like I do with text-to-speech) then you probably know all that. Charlie says essays don’t start like this but I’m ‘splaining and not essaying – it’s more a saying, see? :) – and I’ve never done this before at all. Charlie is editing it so this won’t have my lisp in it that might confuse people a little bit. I – oh, right. She says I don’t need to thank her in this too. Man. This is hard, but I’m doing it because of a binding and friendship so it’s fun, too.
Okay. First stuff: I’m not human. I’m from far Outside the universe where things are scary and I don’t like to talk about it much. So I won’t. I ended up in it by running away from things that wanted to eat me by becoming friends with a magician I call Honcho and Charlie, who is my friend too and said I can leave it that when describing her or this might get way too long. Right now my eyes don’t work, and that’s a way-too-long story too but I’m going to use the word ‘see’ for bindings anyway even if it involves a lot more than eyes. Did you know that humans smell before they see and don’t describe smells well because smelling is more primal and humans use vision to describe lots of things? (That was me being all kinda smart!)
I see everything as bindings. Magicians do, too, but I see way down into the core of things and maybe below that; it’s hard to be sure, since I can share what I see but humans can’t process it all according to Honcho. Charlie said this will go bad if I use words like ‘quantum’ or say ‘everything is connected’, but I don’t get the latter because if everything was, bindings wouldn’t hold things together. I’m not sure what a quantum even is. Anyway! Everything is itself. You are you (you could even be the randomgirl who asked me this :)) and I am me and we’re made up of the what make us us instead of being anyone else.
Charlie and I talked it over with words, and she said I have to now explain it better than those words. Also that I didn’t need to tell you we did that. (Or say this, I bet :)) Everything is itself, complete, whole in what it is. You are you, we are now. The word is. We are. Humans have trouble getting that part, but I’m not sure why. Everything that isn’t you is everything else – sometimes a someone else – and bindings are what hold it all together, how you decide what is important to you is based on what you bind to you. Like good memories and bad ones and friends and enemies and humans break bindings a lot because they can only have so many at once. Like there’s only so much attention or so much of you to go around? Like that. Not like that, a little bit like that.
So! Friendship is a binding. It can be small or big or huge and it’s where you expand who you are to include other people and they do the same to you. So you’re you, your self, changes. I mean, it doesn’t, because you don’t stop being you – that would be silly! – but your understand of who you are changes, I guess? It’s not always easy and sometimes people don’t want bindings, even with me :( (I had Charlie put that bold because it’s a really sad face.) Oh. Charlie said I can explain it like the idea of a ‘true name’. That if you know someone’s true name, you can control them, only that’s not real at all. It’s more than connection, because it’s a binding. You connect part of you to someone, and they can do the same if they want to and – and – and you can be friends :) Like we are!
(Charlie said I couldn’t end that with more than one exclamation mark.)
If you’re me, you can make bindings Do Things: like I could bind a door to me so it opens without touching it, or snow to someone so that a snow ball hits them really hard but humans mostly don’t do that. Even magicians don’t; their bindings to the world are more asking it to do things and the world saying yes, but I don’t need to do that since my bindings work on deeper levels. Charlie said it’s like everyone else uses computer languages while I speak in machine code, but I don’t know what that even means. I’ve never even tried to talk to a coffee pot except that once and the explosion wasn’t that big. (It turns out coffee pots can work really fast like microwaves if you ask them to, but it’s pretty smelly and explodey a lot.)
So, to me, friendship is an Important Binding because it means you make someone part of your life and they make you part of theirs in turn. It’s not easy-peasy as some bindings are, but that’s part of what makes it important? And to humans, if something is hard, that’s what gives it power so they use bindings badly sometimes. You make hope into a weapon and friendship into a wound and I don’t really have words for what you to do love, but it can be pretty mean and not-nice in many not-nice ways but you can be really good too. You can make bindings without even wanting bindings back at all and that’s really huge and special and I get all happy inside like a warm burp. Charlie says that’s not the best word to use, but humans don’t really have a word for that. Kitten or puppy maybe? I dunno. I just know bindings are what I am and humans can do them and I try and help humans to do them better so we can all be awesome!