"I hate people with money," Jones said one day while we passed by a red and green playground located in the middle of the park. Kids were screaming in the background, their footsteps made hollow sounds on the tar pavement. The parents standing nearby watched Jones warily. I could tell by the way they were staring at him they suspected he must've corrupted kids for a living. I pretended not to notice.
"You hate people with money? Why?" I asked looking at my then boyfriend of nine months. I snuck glances between him and the parents, wondering if he noticed they were staring at him. He was dressed as usual in black tight pants with more piercings than when I had first met him, yet he seemed not to notice their stares.
He was tugging on the chain that was wrung around his skinny waist. The chain, attached to his wallet, which he had in his back pocket, jangled against the metal spikes glued to his pants. The clanking of metal seemed to make the parents even more suspicious. We finally walked out of their line of vision and sat down on a bench behind a veil of tall trees. Our faces were nestled in the shadows as it was growing darker around us. I felt a hush quiet me from deep within.
"None of the people with money deserve what they got," Jones said, with his arms wrapped around me. "You know why? Because no money in the world can buy all the coke and speed I want. But I got you," he said, smacking his lips against my cheek. I could feel my skin reddening under the pressure of his lips.
"But people, people don't matter," he was saying. I sat there silently, trying to not really listen to him. But I couldn't help it. When Jones spoke you listened. It was eerie sometimes, how a room filled with talking people would quiet up when he spoke. I felt like I was that room full of people then.
"It's what they're wasting their time and money on. Rich fur-lined boots, glittery jewelry that costs tons and tons of money, and food — why would you want to buy food when you got coke to buy?" Jones asked. We could hear the cries of the small children echoing in the background and I wondered if they could hear us. I wanted to protect them somehow. "And kids," he said, his lips puckering behind his teeth when he mentioned them. "Stupid little brats are sucking my resources dry."
I wanted to say something to refute what he had just said. But couldn't. His arms around my shoulders were like a dead weight. It was seldom I've ever felt so tired. The moon rising from the horizon looked like a coin and the night sky glowed brazenly like polished stone. I was breathing quietly trying to stop myself from hyperventilating. Underneath his arm, the rest of me was cold.
He said while taking my hand into his and pointed both of our fingertips up to the heavens. "See that star? Venus. Some people mistake it for a star. Brightest and closest to the moon. I like it how it doesn't let the moon outshine it."
"It could be reflecting off the moon," I said.
"True. Either way, Venus means beauty, and that could only mean good things,"
I let go of his hand suddenly feeling cold. The jacket I had wrapped around me was too thin and I shivered underneath Jones' arm. To our right, we heard a loud screech. A big red plastic ball came crashing into Jones' head, followed by hysterical laughter. The small form of a child appeared through the shadows. I sat there in awe of a perfect little boy – his blond curly hair dispersed by the wind and shoelaces unwound from their knot. He stopped giggling when he saw the look on Jones' face. I saw that the ball was now tucked underneath Jones' arm.
"Can I have my ball back? Please, Mister?" he asked. His voice came out all nasally as if he was coming down with a cold. He didn't have a jacket on. A striped t-shirt and corduroy pants were all he had on. He stopped to scratch his nose.
Jones cleared his throat, "Come here," he said. I could see the boy hesitating, but I could tell by the way Jones was trying to control his voice that he was trying not to scare off the little boy. I realized then that the Jones under the influence and the Jones that wasn't, were two different people. "Here, I'll give you the ball. It's too dark to throw it." I began wondering where his parents were. Why they would, in fact, let their child venture so far from the playground.
The boy inched closer, and Jones handed over the ball to him. It bounced lightly in the boy's hands, and just as suddenly, he vanished. I strained my ears for a child's name being called from out of the darkness but heard nothing. I wondered at his parents' negligence and if Jones was right, if people got exactly what they deserved.
The only thing we didn't share was the needle and our emotions. We seldom fought. At first. He was five years older and had a strange visage of life that I thought magical.
The first time I met him was on the streets. He was parading his broken two-stringed violin and playing so beautifully, his bow balanced against the instrument as if he were a poised archer. It was a day in November, the leaves on the ground were like curled fists. The wind blew them around and they skimmed across the cement floor, some jamming themselves into the gutters. I was having a hard time adjusting the hood to my jacket. It kept falling over my eyes and suffocating my bangs that had grown too long. I thought about another haircut, but then I would miss my hair too much. I always did. I walked right into his violin case trying to get my hair back in place. A leaf fell between us and it was like a catalyst. He set everything aside and right at that moment started playing.
It was like a dream the way the wind blew that day with the violinist twirling around me like I was the center of the world. Afterward, he sat down his fragile instrument to dance with me.
"Jones, by the way," he introduced himself, as we were sitting down, breathless.
My hood had fallen off my head and the wind was blowing my hair into many torn pieces.
"That's a girl's name," I said.
"J-o-n-e-s, not J-o-a-n," he said.
"Wendy," I said, holding out my hand, "W-e-n-d-y. Not W-i-n-d-y. Like right now," I said. I could see that he was charmed. His ears were pierced and he was skinnier than I was. But there was something about him that made me lean in closer to try and see something beyond the thrift store clothes that didn't fit him right and the acne scarred skin.
He held his hand out. And I took it. We walked up the street, the wind throwing the leaves around us like bits of confetti torn by an inner storm.
It was 6 am in the morning. I stifled a yawn as I made my way towards the back of the store. The automated light switch to the café signaled my presence and the whole store lit up in unison. Towards the back, the café was lit with a caramel glow that made even the most unattractive people look good. Modernized tables and chairs were tucked against the circumference of the room like furniture being tossed aside for the opening of some kind of set.
What I loved most about Oscar's, a bookstore I continued to work at even though the salary barely paid the bills, were all the apparitions of the original pooch that appeared everywhere in the store.
It was very much like the picture book, Finding Waldo. Some of the artifacts I was able to find were the bronze beagle that was sitting next by the door, a single sticker stuck to the wallpaper next to the cashier, but my favorite emblem would have to be an art piece of Snoopy entirely made out of peanuts. It was centered on a round table and kids dove to it like it was a sugared-coated gingerbread house coming out of a Hansel and Gretel dream-world.
Jane, a girl that I went to school with, walked in as I pinched a stray peanut shell from off the base of the sculpture. She had a smug smile on her face as she caught me trying to hide the dusty shell in my palm.
"Awful weather outside, isn't it?" Jane asked, shaking out yellow leaves that decorated her hair. It moved me to see her then, but I couldn't help trying to get away from her all the same.
A piece of peanut shell slipped from my hand. I saw Jane look down for a moment at the broken pieces of shell on the floor.
"You don't seem all that talkative today," she said.
Ever since the bookstore opened the café in the back and Jane was hired, there had been an undercurrent of ongoing rivalry driving a wedge between the old employees and the newer staff. It didn't help that Jane said things that got right under my skin and that she was in two of my classes this quarter.
"So, I've been noticing you haven't been showing up to class lately," Janes said.
I picked up the inventory list and started to check out items off the paper.
"Hello, earth calling Wendy. Where have you been?" A white hand fluttered over my face.
"What?" I asked, looking around, slightly dazed.
"I'm talking about journalism class," Jane said, rolling her eyes. "You hardly go."
"Bad senioritis," I answered, marking the page slowly with red ink.
"Sure," Jane said. I looked up to find her face turned toward mine. A long drawn line craved its way down her cheek. It looked like a caterpillar had burrowed itself underneath her flesh warming itself inside her skin, cocoon-like.
I never asked her about the scar although I always wanted to. It seemed like the polite thing to do. But I wanted to right then.
Jane licked her lips as if she wanted to say something.
"Yeah, well, listen, I'm not here just to talk about journalism. There's this weirdo who keeps coming by and asking for you."
"What?" I asked. I tried to shake away the panic that was creeping its way into my voice.
"He's this real tall skinny guy. He was definitely smoking something before he came in. He smelled gross," she said, shaking her head. Her scar gleamed underneath the lighting with the movement of her head. The skin around it was a discolored pigment that reminded me of the bleached wan-like color of moth wings.
I tried to recall something from journalism, how everything had to be concise and accurate and how just a missing denominator can send you to the courthouse. It wasn't a matter of point of view or opinions. It was a matter of collecting the data and organizing it. I tried organizing what Jane was saying to me in my head but it was coming out all wrong somehow. The signals I was getting was a mixture of 'you need help' or 'you gotta find help', but I didn't feel that the relationship I was in with Jones required that kind of assistance. Yet.
"What did he say?" I asked, licking my lips nervously.
"Not much. But he was pretty insistent. Left a name. John, I think," Jane said. I knew it was Jones but didn't want to mention to Jane that it wasn't some stranger she was wary of — that it was someone I knew intimately. I couldn't bring it upon myself to tell her that I knew this 'John'. I think it was shame that stopped me.
"Everything's alright, Wendy? You're not in any sort of trouble, are you?"
I shook my head, slowly, trying to figure it out in my head if I really was.
I left Brooklyn's cold streets and walked into my chilly apartment, so different from the musty closed-in quarters of the bookstore. It's been two years since the incident in the park and the magic has long since left our relationship. I glanced at Jones, on the ragged armchair we had found months ago at a yard sale. The entire driveway had looked like the owners had decided to pull out the whole innards of their home and put it on display. It hadn't looked so bad then. The delicate floral design that was wrapped around the armrest and the backrest was a dark green jade. Ashes from Jones' cigarettes caused the jaded threads to become discolored little patches of fine greenery only after a few sittings.
Jones' head was bent into an old hardbound book that I recognized. I didn't have to glance at the title to know that it was one of the books I had lifted from Oscar's for him. Not long after he had learned about my job at Oscar's Bookstore he brought up the idea of borrowing a couple of books here and there. Billy-boy wouldn't miss a thing. I could still hear the mimicry in Jones' voice even though he was quietly reading in his chair. The only sound emitting from the meditating Buddha-like Jones was the shifting of pages. I had decided that it wouldn't hurt if certain titles were to be missing now and then for short periods of time, considering I was in charge of inventory and it was seldom that Bill, the eccentric owner of Oscar's, came in.
The bookshop was named after Bill's pet, an old and aging beagle, who could barely shuttle its fat body across the floor whenever Bill beckoned towards him, but had, nonetheless, been Bill's loyal shadow all these years, frequently accompanying Bill on his famous visits to the bookstore, much to the children's delight.
Oscar's resided on the corner of Columbus Avenue, a street where rows upon rows of bookstores lined up side by side. A spotted dog meant to represent Oscar was carved crudely on the sign and stood in solitary sentry over the little book nook. The paint fading from off Oscar's fur uncovered splinters of wood that made what was supposed to be a friendly image of a trusting and loyal companion become an image of a mad-dog bristling up in anger and on the verge of attacking its customers. The rusted chains holding the sign up creaked whenever the store door opened or closed. It became the doorbell the old store owner had never bothered with.
Bill was a short little man who still dressed in tweed suits. Tufts of white hair sprouted around his ears, framing his bespectacled head. Bill came in once a month to check the books. On those rare sighting, he would always have the same fountain pen clamped between his teeth and muttering to himself, the pen bobbing between his purple lips as 'the real Oscar' trampled close behind him. I would watch the writing instrument shift around like an oversized toothpick being chewed on, the shape of the fountain pen becoming dented with teeth marks. I began watching out for any sightings of ink splotches that might have spilled from the pen. But his face would always be clean like the empty pages of the journals they'd sell in the front of the store.
Thinking about Bill and the bookstore made me all of a sudden want to defend him from Jones. The bookstore had become my sanctuary from Jones and his drug habit, but now seeing Jones with the books caused these two parts of my life to intersect in my mind. Just a couple nights ago Jones had admonished me again for not bringing him the books he wanted.
"If they've been on the shelves long enough to collect dust it only goes to show their monetary value to the store. Billy wouldn't be making big bucks on those books anyways. Give them to me and maybe they'll regain some of their fucked up capital," Jones said, with a light bulb hanging from his teeth. He was standing on a chair balanced with textbooks, reaching up to the light fixture with the new light bulb. I watched as the light bulb he was replacing bob momentarily in his mouth before he shifted his tongue around in consternation. Bill's fidgeting pen dangled suddenly in my memory. The chair and two of my old chemistry textbooks were wobbling unsteadily beneath him. I walked over and put a hand on the chair to stop the sea-like motion.
My pulse began beating heavily against my temple. Jones had kept me up all night with the violent sound of his violin tearing through the thin walls. I could still hear the demented cadence of the violin screeching quickly up and down the scales and then mournfully drifting away into the far off distance where I couldn't follow. But the penetrating rhythms would carry me back and my mind would be awake along with the sound of Jones trying to destroy the very instrument he was playing. I couldn't sleep until dawn when finally the sound of his desperation stopped.
"There are always books in the library," I said. I felt the pressure of his hand on my shoulder as he stepped off the chair.
"Library books are for people who can buy time but can't buy books," Jones said.
"You're not paying for these books anyway," I said.
"They're fucking worthless on the shelves. Nobody reads them. They're getting older and crustier every millennium collecting all that dust," he said. "But you're right. If I want them I'll just have to get them myself right?" Jones reconsidered, dropping the old light bulb into the trash. I could see the flash of tinfoil glinting underneath last night's dinner, a mixture of chopped vegetables and meat that now looked like regurgitated food. The bulb rested between the balls of napkin and the leftovers Jones thought distasteful only after the second day's helping.
I thought for a moment about Bill and the careful way he peeled each new sheet of paper from his account book, and the way I began to feel safer within the confines of the bookstore without Jones' presence hovering about. I quickly muttered to Jones that I would get him the books, searching for a scrap of paper on the messy tabletop to write down the new titles that Jones was listing off the top of his head.
I couldn't help but feel helplessly trapped stuck inside the small apartment with Jones, who, done with his chores for the day, was now sitting in the green armchair, reading the book I had by now in my mind come to believe I was guilty of pilfering for him. I waited for Jones to say something. He was quietly chewing on his thumb and his eyes did not lift from the page. They were stuck on a word that must have been transit. He was squinting at that word for a long time, its vocabulary flexing its way into his mind. I could see his eyes focusing and then drifting on that small spot where the word 'transit' must've been.
"I think you need glasses," I said, watching his eyes painfully follow the words, stopping every so often to rub the bottom of his eyes.
He looked up, his face no longer preoccupied. One short glance at me had hardened his features, and his eyes just as quickly fell back onto the page he was pretending to read. Before I knew it a hand shot out to turn on the lampshade too quick for me to even see the shape of his limbs move. All I remembered was a flash of white and Jones was seated on the chair as he was before.
The fluorescent lighting made his entire face look like the surface of an orange peel from where bad acne had ravaged his face back during his teenage years. It looked sand-papery to the touch and in-between the spaces where his skin looked clear were patches of rosy blemishes.
"I think you need to see a dermatologist as well," I said, not moving from my spot in front of him.
He did not look up but I could see that he was paying attention.
"There's stuff you can find on infomercials," I began speaking very quickly.
Jones finally looked up from what he was reading. His face was stony but I could see his hands twitching up to his face as if he had suddenly grown more self-conscious.
His eyes changed like an actor's and he looked calmer as he said, "And where are we going to find the money for all this? It's not like we have any spare cash lying around."
"Your drugs suck up all the cash we need," I said. I waited, but after a thoughtful silence where I thought Jones wouldn't respond, he did. It was like a calm before the storm.
"What the fuck are you trying to do? Change me?" he asked.
I tried letting what he said set in. It settled in my stomach like a lump of rock.
And I realized that was what I was trying to do — see if Jones would change for my sake.
And then he did change, like the chameleon that he always was. He cocked his head towards me with a crooked smile on his face. He shut the book without marking his place and walked towards the door with the book still in hand.
"You know, those books are on borrowed time, right? They go right back to Oscar's after today. Just think of them as a loan," I called after him, wanting to shift the subject to more neutral grounds.
I watched him close the door behind him, and after some time staring after him I took his seat in the armchair. I found myself settling back into the space that was still emitting Jones' warmth. My eyes fell onto the stack of books I had "borrowed" for him. I knew their old worn covers well and that their slightly thumbed-down pages still held something precious in them. I wondered if Jones secretly knew — the way he would carefully turn their pages, never daring to wet his fingers as if the material too sacred.
I didn't know how tired I was until I had nestled myself deep within the cushions of the armchair. My eyes were closed before I knew it, and sleep overwhelmed me at once. I didn't notice it when Jones slipped back into the apartment during the night. The stack of books was missing when I woke up.
When I saw Jones later the next afternoon, I didn't bother asking what happened to those books. He had a bag with him and a smile on his face. When he wasn't looking, I checked to see what was inside the bag.
New reading glasses and a whole supply of skin medication along with several cartons of cigarettes.
I no longer knew what to say. The dusty rectangle next to the couch was all the evidence I needed of Jones' vicious habits.
Jones was drinking his third cup of coffee by the time I had walked out of the bedroom. The rings from the mug had created a crazed version of the Olympic rings on the tabletop. Leftover sugar spoons from the past few days and many other cups of coffee lined the surface. The little spoons looked like sun rays stretching outwards, an abstract array of time.
Caffeine was Jones other choice drug when he wasn't using. Every morning, I could smell the freshly brewed coffee wafting into the bedroom from the kitchen like in a Folgers commercial where the person in bed woke up to the smell of coffee enlightened.
That morning, I laid there in our queen sized mattress feeling like I had an orange peel unraveling its way inside my esophagus. My breath was scorched and hot. I touched my forehead, and feeling slightly feverish I turned over away from the white light that was peeking in through the shutters. But the light that managed to slip through peeled back my eyelids so that I felt like I needed to open them. I got up feeling no better.
The sight of Jones sitting there enjoying his coffee was enough to make me want to bury a hatchet into his throat. My annoyance didn't succumb until I finally actually poured some orange juice into a glass. The sight of the juice in the glass cheered me up a bit. The bright wholesome liquid was bringing me the sort of comfort Jones couldn't right then.
"You don't look too great," he murmured into his cup, the bottom half of his face eclipsed by the mug.
"Thanks," I replied. I was looking through the fridge, but there was nothing I could eat. The orange peel was unraveling itself again, and my throat began to feel ticklish. I coughed away from the opened fridge.
"You're probably gonna need to see a doctor," he said. I looked over at him, sitting there so smug on his armchair. He looked like the Cheshire Cat — the big mysterious smile on his face had the silent reverb for trouble.
"You have got to be kidding me," I said.
"What?" he asked, the innocent cherub. "Did I say something?"
"What's this?" I asked. I bit back harsh words as the emblem of a pink rose on a blue plate peeked through the garbage. The last of the set of plates my mother had given as a housewarming gift. Jones had somehow succeeded in breaking each and every one of them except for the one remaining dish. They had been my favorite. Jones had once again managed to trash something I treasured.
He took one look at the moldy dish, nodded, and said, "Last week's dinner."
"My mother gave me this dish," I said. "How did it get in here?" Faint frosty imprints from my fingers traced the surface. I cleared the plate and placed it in the sink to be cleaned later.
"I found it," Jones said.
"What do you mean?" I asked. Sometimes talking to Jones was like talking to a guilty five-year-old with every bit of information having to be extracted from him until the conversation had been drawn out into one seamless long interrogation.
"Does it matter?" he sighed. Another book was in his lap. I could see the edges creased down to mark his place. Unlike the others, Jones was obviously not going to trade that one. It was a book that I recognized as his favorite, having seen him revisit the passages on multiple occasions with relish. The book's cracked binding and creased pages held the worn look of repeated reads. After finding out what he had done the books I had borrowed for him, I had grown wary of his every action.
"No, it doesn't," I said, suddenly feeling very tired.
I threw over a sweater over my t-shirt and sweatpants.
"Where are ya off to?" Jones asked, probably watching me as I took out my purse and rummaged through the items to see if I still had my cards. Jones often went rooting through my stuff. My cards often times went missing for long periods of time. They were a crushing reminder of his dependency.
"To the doctors. I don't feel too good," I said.
Jones shut his book and gave me his immediate attention. "Listen, could you do me a favor when you get there?" I must've looked surprised because Jones hurried on.
"Tell the doctor you have really bad cramps. Stuff's messing with you during the day and gets worse at night so that you can't sleep. Ask for some Vicodin. We can have some fun with it tonight."
"I am not your dealer," I said. "I'm not going to get you drugs for any of your recreational uses."
"You don't have to do anything for me. Just get the drugs for yourself. And we'll both be happy." He gave me an innocent look, but the act didn't fool me.
I wouldn't put it beneath Jones for actually causing my cold. Somehow, someway he had wished this on me just so that I could hand over him the drugs. As I was leaving, Jones stopped to ask if I was still going to make it to the show that night. I had forgotten that Jones wanted me to come watch a band he used to play with. I didn't want to argue so I consented between clenched lips. I was only able to release the tight feeling I had in my chest only after I was outside and on the streets.
Jones was slowly taking over my life. I knew that what was essential was for me to leave him for something better, but was I worthy of that? Jones had been my only real boyfriend. I was afraid that if I left Jones, my chances of finding someone new would be zilch. I tried talking it over with myself that maybe this was as good as it gets. I had only my parents' relationship to look at as an example. And they have never even held hands in front of me. Their barest form of intimacy ranged from the slightest tilt of their voices from warmth to edginess; their casualness with each other almost a cold front.
And now that Jones had taken over my life, what friends I did have were either dismissed or driven away. In a way, ours was an isolating kind of relationship, so much so that it made me feel claustrophobic, with the personal spaces undefined and the lines drawn between two individuals barely there. So much that I wanted to get away. His every action needled me incessantly, like a thorn burrowing into my skin and the more I bothered with it, the more I felt its sting. Until I began feeling like Jones' addiction was my addiction. His needs my needs. His misgivings my misgivings. Until whoever it was to blame was, of course, me. I was to blame for his addiction. His needs. His curse. It wasn't between two individuals owning up to a relationship anymore. It was my faults that began to become apparent. My wrongs and my misgivings.
I needed to get away after the doctors. The only place I could think of was Oscar's even though guilt must've been oozing out of every particle of my being. It was still my safe haven, my sanctuary away from Jones.
Lost inside Oscar's was like being lost inside the pages of a book. You begin to lose your reality for a while and become engrossed in another person's. You suddenly find yourself losing traces of your former self. The transition is almost inscrutable like the crossing from wakefulness and sleep. You are lifted from a former existence and begin to take another form, so that, that cohabitation with that otherworldly existence tightens its grip, and your breath becomes in-sync with a whole new realm of dwelling. You are made new again.
But then you find yourself being reminded of the other world and then you fall back into reality in a blink of an eye, like a camera zooming into focus and the dream fades and you were as you before, but now a little more crestfallen for what was and is no longer. For having tasted and then denied it.
Must be what Jones feels about his drugs…
"Jones," I called out into the empty apartment. The door wasn't locked so I just went in, assuming he was inside lying on the floor crashing.
A bit of cloth that served as a curtain covered the window and a lamp lit a corner of the space. The rest of the room was dark save for that little spot. I stumbled onwards as I licked my dry lips and walked toward the kitchen sink for a glass of water. I felt with my hands for what furniture we did have, not wanting to turn on the lights for some reason. The darkness was a sweet haven for now. It hid the dust and the patched-up furniture, the rust on the sink and the dirt on the floors. Faintly, I could hear music in the room next to ours. I stood in the dark for a while before walking into the bedroom, listening to that metallic noise and the subdued screaming. And then I noticed the powder on the surface of the coffee table and realized that underneath everything were just these faint white lines. They were all the direction I had right then and I decided that this was where I was going.
As I poured and aligned the white powder into neat rows, I thought about how all this time I had never wanted to touch the stuff. Jones would offer it to me once in a while, and but I always opted out. I realized that I just wanted something to fool myself that Jones would never cheat on me.
The feeling of powder disintegrating inside me was like having an abundance of emotions overflowing, overlapping crystallizing in front of me, tangible enough so that I could practically touch them with my hands. I felt ecstatic for the first time in my life just watching the myriad of colors blossoming from the lamplight. I sat there mesmerized as if Jones was talking, and then I imagined he was telling me something esoteric and aesthetically musical. I listened to the melody of words and rhythm, the music I could see and hear suddenly tearing through me, and then it was ripping me apart until I was so blue I didn't know I was crying until I touched my face and it was all wet.
For a long time, I didn't realize Jones, the real Jones was there and calling for me. He was holding my shoulders, but I was wailing too hard I didn't notice. He waved his hand over my face, and I was trying to slap it away. A woman, I did not notice until she was beside me was lifting my bangs from my eyes, her hair in disarray herself. Her eyes looked like glass, and in the horrific melody, I thought her gaze was going to cut me. I tried to reach her and rip out her eyes before they could hurt me. Jones took hold both my hands and then dragged me into the bedroom. It was hours later before I could fall asleep, the periodic hum slowly becoming a rhythmic droning, drowning my mind as I slowly drifted into oblivion and sleep.
My first night after I tasted the raw experience of coke was something I imagined Jones went through on a periodic basis. Although mine was a bad trip, I'd never wanted to go through something like that again. The woman was someone Jones claimed to be a part of a dream. I was babbling something about space and a woman on the moon and then started jumping around like an ape and then I fell asleep. The experience was on constant replay in my mind but nothing of what I said or what Jones said happened pertained to what I remembered. It was a parallel reality: a dream world and a shadow reality that followed that dream world.