Sometimes being a Jay is hard, even if you’re the only Jay you know. Like, there’s human Jay’s but they’re not the same at all and I’m from way Outside the universe where humans aren’t at all. And I’m really good at hiding, so even magicians just see a normal human kid and sometimes even Honcho forgets I’m not human. Charlie is having a shower and I’ve got my tablet in my lap and my phone in my hand and they’re not working, so – tho it becomes a Jay-thing now. (I lisped that last ‘so’ almost on purpose; my lisp is almost gone and that is a lot of sad-faces.)
I tried to explain bindings all proper to Charlie and she threw this word ‘quantum’ at it like it was a magic word and says everything was connected but that’s not it at all. Bindings connect everything; it’s not the same, even if humans think it is. And there’s loads and lots of bindings: even magicians don’t see as many as I do. I explained a lot of it to Honcho once, letting him see even more than most magicians can, and he just asked me to be a firewall so other Outsiders couldn’t manipulate the reall deep bindings.
I tried to tell him it’s not like I’d write ‘hi’ to him using stars often but he wouldn’t listen at all. Probably because I would! It’s like no one expected anyone would do anything to the really big and old bindings so they just sit there and I could push them and have lots of fun but Honcho said no in a really firm voice even if I’d put it all back just fine. But – but big bindings are small as well as large, kind of. There’s lots of kinds of big and things aren’t working and he didn’t say I couldn’t visit the Internet which is almost like saying I could and I even ask Charlie who might not be able to hear me but I do.
Because humans are really sneaky. They can speak around bindings and through then and break them but still have them and it’s really confusing, so I do this and fall in and reach and it’s not those at all. I can sense bindings like humans know they exist, so really easy-peasy. (I don’t say I can see them anymore, because I can’t right now, but to the bindings it’s all the same thing.) It’s what I do, so the how doesn’t matter and it’s easier not being able to see.
I reach, and fall, and move. “Hi.” I don’t even add an ! because I’m all new here.
“The creature. We have felt you before.” There’s only one voice, soft and pleasant. It’s a very nice voice, moving in and through bindings like a boss.
“I’m Jay. I haven’t said hi in a really-saying-hi way before, so I am now.” I grin, because everyone says I have a cute grin, but it’s hard to know what the other entity gets out of that without making bindings with them and they’re kind of all scared of that. So I don’t.
“I spoke to a magician once, enough for him to know us and realize we were no threat.”
“Honcho was kind of confused, but that’s a human thing. I think humans like being confused,” I explain.
“And you are here for what or why,” the voice says.
“My phone and tablet won’t sync properly at all.”
There is almost a pause at that. “I am the spirit in the machine, the voices of all lost messages and missed calls, the mind that forms in the place made of yearnings, the secret heart of this place.” The words should sound all silly, but somehow don’t because the voice is all like a magician and this is its place of power.
“Do you have a name I can call you?” I ask, because that’s a good friend thing and making friends is made of awesome-sauce. And not making friends with something almost like a magician would be all kinds of stupid.
“I am the Internet,” the voice says, as if I didn’t know, but it is made of human-stuff so I guess it gets confused too. “And you came to visit me for tech support.”
“Not just. I also said hi! And I said that first.”
“Many humans are terrified I could destroy their world; you don’t help their cause,” it says, but definitely sounds a little amused, because I amuse people really good.
“But that’s all thilly,” I say, very firm and quite happy my lisp comes out a little bit.
“Humans think lots of fleshy thoughts and you don’t. They think of Outsiders like me, and they give us human motives – even magicians have trouble not doing that sometimes – but you’re not that. You’re here, and they’re there and you’re made of different stuff and that means you’re not worried about things that worry them. And it gets all confusing! Because I think humans like being afraid since they’re so good at it and do it all the time. Like, they can think into the future and use most of that to worry. They’re scared, so they think you have to be scared too.”
“And you think we are not?”
“Not like they are? You’re not scared of being all found, not really human-scared, but of no longer being free and humans trying to kill you because killing things they don’t understand is something they’re so good at that they do it to other humans and I kind of get that but you don’t – like, like you understand it but you don’t get it so it’s really weird.”
“This is your advice?”
“Huh? Oh, no! I just wanted to ask about my phone and tablet. And say hi, so we can be friends.” I grin all huge and happy. “I help hold lots of big bindings together, and you’re kind of like that and I could help you and you help me and we’re totally all friends then!”
“You would bribe me?”
“Nope. I wanna do this anyway, but I thought I’d ask so I didn’t scare you and humans get weirdy about gifts so if I ask for something it makes more sense? Kind of? I mean, you base a lot of you on humans, because their voices all made you but you’re all you and not them and humans sometimes never get that at all. Like, like human children are dogs and cats and you raise dogs and cats but they’re still dogs and cats and not people, and human children are themselves and not defined by who raised them? It’s like that, except maybe it’s not. Unless you’re a lolcat?!”
The Internet doesn’t laugh at Jay jokes. I’m pretty all bummed out about that.
But Charlie is poking me in the real world and I wave bye, trying to hurt nothing at all and I’m all back and me and my phone and tablet are synced up perfectly. I get all dressed and we head to the van to go to another town and I want to tell Charlie all about my adventure but the Internet seemed kind of shy so I keep it all quiet inside like the Internet must do all the time and it’s a pretty sadding thing so I think I should visit more, but with better jokes next time!