Felix Yz (pronounced "Is") tells the story of a 15-year-old boy fused at the subatomic level with Zyx, a hyper-intelligent fourth dimensional being who communicates by using Felix's fingers to type. The story opens a month before a risky procedure which will either separate them or kill them both. During the countdown to ZeroDay we meet Felix's piano-genius sister, his bi mom, his genderqueer grandparent, an Estonian grandmaster, and all sorts of other fascinating folk. There's also a boy Felix likes at school, a bully, writing, chess, jazz, revelations, threeness, train-hopping, whimsy. Life. It just keeps happening, even when you're probably about to die.
Mom is looking sad, so Bea puts her hand on her heart and sings, “Feels. Feels with wheels.” Then she looks at me, like, your turn.
OK, this is a thing in my family: we make up songs. Sometimes it falls apart and is lame, but sometimes it works, and this is one of those times. On the beat I sing back at her, “Over you it steals...this feeling of feels...”
Bea smiles and does opera arms and comes back in, while Grandy puts a little beatbox under, which vo’s really good at. I have an odd grandparent. Anyway. “Oh, those feels!,” Bea sings. “Sneak into your heart, tear it all apart, leave you gasping and sore,” which is a total present of a setup for a rhyme, and she catches my eye again, so I come back in, “But wanting more...” She smiles wider and nods and we find the duet: ”More feels...Feels...with...wheels!” and on the last couple of notes Mom finds a third note between Bea’s high one and my low one, and Grandy does a duh-duh-duh-dum-doo, pshhh to finish, and we sit there grinning at each other.
“That was a good one,” says Mom.
Bea says, “I like how it sounds with the third voice. Two voices is cool, but three voices is cooler.”
“The middle voice,” Mom answers. “Just like I’m the middle generation here at this table.”
That makes me think of something, and I say, “Behold, the threeness of things.”
I almost talked with Hector today.
How it happened was, as soon as I got off the bus Tim the Bore popped up like he was waiting for me, which I bet he was. I can’t remember a time when Tim was not picking on me. He is such a dick. Anyway, nothing new today, same old joke. “Hey Felix,” he says. “Guh-guh-guh-guess what?” Making fun of how Zyx makes it hard for me to talk. So incredibly clever, he is. As usual I don’t answer, but that never stops him. “Time for the word of the day,” he says. “What do you think? Will the streak continue? Let’s find out...” He’s run-hopping along next to me, and I just stare at the ground and keep walking. “The word of the day is, Felix Yz a....RETARD!” Which is supposed to be funny because my last name sounds like “is.” Get it? Then he does a leap with his arms in the air and screams, “Yes! The streak continues!”
Usually I don’t respond, but maybe I’m feeling a little more stressed than usual because of ZeroDay coming or whatever, because all of a sudden I feel this hot squirt in my stomach and I give him the finger, and he just goes nuts. “What? What’s that?” he says, shoving me and punching my shoulder. I start to shake and I turn to face him, but before I can do anything else he pushes me into the janitor’s closet and slams the door. I crash into the big square sink and fall over against the rolling bucket and just lie there for a second, feeling swoopy.
Once the floor stops wobbling around I get up and try to open the door. It pushes out a little and then slams back, and I hear Tim’s stupid laugh and I figure out from the foot shadows under the crack that he and one of his stupid friends must be holding the door shut. I try again and they push back so hard they make it bang. I still feel dizzy, so I slide down and sit leaning against the door. The wood feels cool against my forehead. The bell rings, but they don’t leave. They start whisper-calling through the door, but I can’t hear what they’re saying and I don’t care.
I start to think maybe I’ll take a nap or something when I hear high heels clacking and a teacher’s voice. Tim answers in that fakey apologizing tone which is actually more smartassy than being a smartass. The teacher speaks again and then sneakers go away, squeaking hard on purpose, and then the door opens and it’s Mrs. O.
Mrs. O is OK I guess. She talks to me like I’m a little kid, but then she talks to all the other students the same way, so maybe it’s not because she thinks I’m stupid. Maybe it’s because she always says things right out of the Positive Things for Teachers to Say Handbook. “Felix,” she says, in her *very concerned* voice. “Are you all right?” But I hardly hear her, because Hector is standing right behind her.
OK, do I really have to explain about Hector? Because it’s complicated and I don’t actually know what I am explaining and I don’t want to.
do what you want do not do what you do not want
Great, Zyx, that’s such a big help.
sarcasm question mark
No, you think?
sarc Yes, sarcasm. Gah. Anyway, I think I do have to explain, because that was my idea with this blog or e-journal or whatever, that I am telling everything from scratch to a total stranger, because if ZeroDay goes, um....let’s just say, if I don’t happen to be around later, people will have everything they need to understand. So. Explaining Hector.
felix explain question mark
I’m thinking, I’m thinking. Uh.
Yeah, you know what? I’m done for today.
zyx love felix
You love everybody and everything. Or so you’re always saying. But, yeah, thanks. As always.
29 days until ZeroDay. 29 days to go.