The Link.

For four years I was stalked and attacked by an entity that dragged me out of body, chased me through dreams and, I feared, was aiming to take over my body. No matter what I tried, I could not rid myself of Ee. Then, around May of 2000, I met Jay.

We met through Howard, a red-headed guitarist my roommate had dated, as she would be ashamed to admit not too long thereafter. Every time he came over to fuck her, basically, his departure would not commence until he had drawn out his foreplay ritual of chatting me up to agonizing extremes. Finally, he would just whip out his short question as if he had earned his way to yes. 
After coming to face the fourth time in a row, I stopped giving him a cigarette as payment for the pity he needed to get him to go away. I told him he could bum no more. He kept promising to pay me back, but told me he was unable to because he couldn’t buy a pack. Then he would be a smoker. But he quit, he told me. I first asked him if he was serious, and after validating that indeed he was I told him, as the police must feel when informing one of the death of a loved one, that he was a fucking idiot.
I was in a booth at the all-night restaurant I both worked and loitered at, I was in a booth one evening drinking hot tea, drawing on the back of a paper placemat, hoping to get over a nagging head cold made worse by insomnia. 
Suddenly the equivalent of a full pack of cigarettes rains all over my table, only this is a variety pack stretching the spectrum. I look up into the face of Howard, only a few teeth too many and a few pounds shy of being the spitting image of the face on the cover of all those MAD magazines. The guy had bummed from twenty people to pay back what he bummed from me. Into the face invaded by a shit-eating grin, I again emphasize to him, again calmly as conceivable, “You’re an idiot.”
He asks me something along the lines as to why I keep telling him that, to which I respond with asking why he keeps going to such lengths to reinforce the apparent validity of the accusation.
Somewhere in the midst of our usual bitter and sarcastic back-and-fourth, I note the presence of the guy he had brought along with him and introduced myself. He wore all black clothing and looked like a shy, younger, darker version of Tony Danza. Spying some of my pen artwork on the back of a paper placemat, he seemed intrigued by the eyes I had drawn. Around one, I had written “gateways,” and when he asked what I meant I told him it had always seemed to me that the eyes were the gateways to the soul. It turned out that he, too, shared the notion and apparently drew eyes rather obsessive-compulsively as well, though unlike me all the eyes he drew looked like the eyes of a woman. He had as much difficulty drawing a male’s eye as I did a woman’s. I told him he could have the picture, and he accepted it graciously.
His name was Jay, though a mutual, sexy-nerdy friend would later refer to him as “Go Tool” Jay. Given my immediate compliment to him on his Tool concert teeshirt and our ensuing discussion, it would not seem that she had labeled him in haste.
Tool’s melodies had resonated with me since I first heard their album Undertow, one of the first CDs I ever owned. It was Aenema I would play over and over, however, finding it to be the perfect background music when working my pastel or ink pieces during high school, as it seemed to resonate with my state of mind. It served as a sort of musical anchor or home base, an auditory environment I could return to, much as Led Zeppelin seems to serve for a close friend of mine I would meet later on who, like Jay, is a talented musician.
Jay and Howard were band mates, as a matter of fact, which initially confused me given the clear difference in character. Jay’s passion for music had pushed him to take on being a part of as many available bands as he could at once, all alongside his job at a printing factory. His ultimate plan was to be part of a band that would play a new category of music he called “Toolesque.”
He was a curious guy who’s inner eye looked deeply, and he kept throwing out a few particular phrases that seemed to advertise for his interests.
Everything is light. Eyes are the windows to the soul. Beliefs are dangerous. Is seeing believing, he would ask someone, or is believing seeing? 
They soon had to leave, and my hopes were that I would see the guy again. He had a comfortable vibe and there seemed to be some unspoken bond between us, and it was of an unusual strength for just having met the guy.


At a party Sandra was throwing at the apartment perhaps a week later, I was talking to someone in my room when, looking out my doorway and into the kitchen, I saw a guy pulling a beer out of the fridge. It was Jay. It turns put Sandra and other friends of mine knew him; given that, it was interesting that our paths had not crossed earlier. I showed him some of my pastel works.

Shortly thereafter, a group of us had gotten into a discussion regarding the speed of light, time travel, parallel universes and the Big Bang. As the conversation went on, Jay would play songs from Tool’s Aenema album over and over.
Slowly people tapped out, fell asleep or left for home until it was just Jay and I, sitting in the living room on the van seats a considerably drunken member of a party a month or so ago had brought into the apartment from who-knew-where. We watched as cigarette smoke slithered in slow motion in the rays of light shining through the window of the apartment. Jay took swigs of his beer as I sipped my coffee, and we continued our talk. What Jay and I discussed as the party died around us that night was our similar perspectives on what one might call “spiritual” matters — and the similarity in our personal experiences in that area.
I confessed my apparently alien experiences with him, the telepathic experiences and synchronicity, as well as my out-of-body experiences. He was open-minded. And with respect to some of my experiences, he understood on a personal level as well.
Often it has been said that the loss or reduction of one sense modality increases the range of intensity of another, and one could say that Jay suffered from two deficiencies. Firstly, he was color blind, only capable of seeing in black and white. This, he said, accounted for his strictly black-and-white wardrobe and his appreciation for my artwork, in which I used either ink or chalk pastels of extreme light and dark colors, which his eyes could clearly perceive.
Secondly, there were what for him acted as frustrating and seemingly insurmountable obstacles in articulating himself through verbal expression in a way that seemed to deliver the most minimal form of personal satisfaction. This I noted early on in our conversations, and part of the reason he came to trust me is that he could tell that I understood him and his strange experiences despite his difficulties in describing them due to my own similar experiences. We shared a fundamental similarity — or, as Jay described it, we came from the same place, as did the members of Tool.
Like me, Jay was an artist, though his sole medium, his singular creative investment, was in music. Throughout his childhood his mother went through boyfriends like a hot knife through butter, but it was one man he remembered in particular. He was a musician, and while either playing or listening to music in Jay’s presence at one point he suddenly took note of Jay’s foot, tapping in time, which prompted the guy to exclaim, “This kid’s got rhythm.” Jay then learned to play the saxophone, going on later to master other instruments. 
Perhaps due to his color-blindness, his auditory sense was heightened, and given this, coupled with his simultaneous sense of limitation through verbal language, music became his natural gravitation for personal expression.  The missing element here, however, is the other strange characteristics of his brain.
Through discussion with others, he learned that music was very different for him. Whereas most focused on a single instrument in a song with the rest of the instruments taking on the role of a blurred peripheral or background, he could hear all instruments independently, equally, and simultaneously. This appealed to me, as it echoed my value in diversity as opposed to the typical cultural values placed in unity. It represented a system of interrelationships in which group dynamics served to nurture individuality rather than condemn it to the grave in favor of a dominant group mentality. It seemed to recognize and emulate the role diversity plays in evolution, revealing its value to the evolutionary process in areas other than the genetic. 
It also implied that more than one train of thought was going on in Jay’s mind at once, which is precisely how my own mind seemed to work. As a psychologist described my brain to me once, it seems as if my brain is a radio picking up multiple frequencies simultaneously. Aside from a characteristic of reception, it was also the way my subjective processes seemed to operate. In the very least with respect to music, the same appeared to be the case with Jay, only rather than hopping between different simultaneous channels, he could juggle them all at once.
When it came to the “electronic symphonies” of the progressive band, Tool, the structure of their music almost seemed designed for his type of mind — the music at once spoke to him and opened up a window for him to more accurately express his own means of experiencing the world. Tool to him represented not so much a band that functioned as a singular voice but as a network of individuals who complimented one another in creative and unpredictable fashions, deviating from one another through mastery of polyrhythms and meeting up at various rendezvous points throughout the course of the song. Rather than the typical four-chord rope, tightly bound together in predictable pattern, Tool was more akin to a tapestry in which the thread of each instrument wove in and out in its own unique fashion, each more than just a part of the whole, which itself was more than the mere sum of its parts. 
If the brains or minds of Jay and I were similar in their multiple-channel bombardments, corresponding simultaneous parallel tracks of thought and consequential multilevel means of personal expression, it would follow that our brain-radios or “braindios” might have the tendency to slip to frequencies on the dial that stretch beyond the range of those for which the biological form is suited, and so are instead experienced subjectively, or perhaps exosomatically. Indeed, since as far back as he can recall, and it would seem to be a considerable distance, he has had strange out-of-body experiences. Like me, however, he did not roam about in disembodied form on the physical landscape, but in what appeared to be another reality, a realm of real-time experiences, visions, and memories experienced almost as if a subjective form of time-travel.
To put it in a way, he was far more highly sensitive than the average person to “technologies” traditionally utilized as a means of accessing altered states of consciousness. Sometimes he would be smoking pot or be on some other drug when it would happen. On some occasions, it would happen when he was asleep. In at least one instance he described to me, music was the culprit. 
He was playing on the piano at the house of his friend and neighbor as his friend’s sister watched him. Jay got caught up in the music, lost in it, and upon hitting a chord suddenly and inexplicably froze, as if in suspended animation. The sister was horrified. From his perspective, he had vacated this reality. 
As was the case in my own out of body experiences, the direction of his corporeal exit was always experienced as “down and in” as opposed to the traditional “up and out” means of exit reported by others in OBE literature. In both our cases, there was often the sensation in the out-of-body form of being in zero-gravity or swimming through water. 
One of the real-time, otherworldly experiences of his he explained, if I remember correctly, as a dream that was more than a dream. There was a group of entities he called The Village for whom he evidently had a duty and purpose: he was to move this shapeless mass of unimaginable size from “point-A” to “point-B.” Every time he had this experience, which was roughly once a year, he would get so far only to lose control of the Mass, at which time The Village seemed awash with disappointment, he would feel frustrated and then wake up. Around the age of eleven, he said, he thought he had finally accomplished moving the Mass to its intended destination, after which that set of experiences stopped. 
What I find best to label visions are otherworldly experiences he has had in which he took on the “third person perspective” or uninvolved spectator role. He turned over a paper placemat and drew for me a particularly interesting vision he had had. 
He drew a block divided into four cells in four rows, the walls and floors that distinguished them embroidered, at their side-view, with stylistic cat-scratch characters that give off the impression of Chinese. Each row was accessible by stairways that traveled the full length of the four cells on each level, connecting each row in a zigzag pattern from the side-view. Only in the first cell of the first row and the second cell of the fourth did he depict prisoners, and both were sitting against the far wall, behind bars, knees nearly to their neck in their otherwise empty cells, and the one in the fourth row, at least, had his head in his hands. 
Though not an element of the original vision, after his sketch and as we spoke about it he scribbled words around the border which read: “Locked from man, isolation for eternity, far from all — so I fail an endeavor of the stolen soul of mine.”
After some discussion of the vision, I asked Jay to go over a memory “re-experience” he had told me about before. Arguably Jay’s earliest memory, it began with him on his knees, hands tied behind his back, surrounded by a crowd of onlookers. His head was then placed onto the guillotine and soon enough, the blade fell. Despite that, he goes on to explain how it all looked from the perspective of his rolling head. 
This memory struck me as interesting for several reasons, such as how it resonated with other themes regarding the head in both his experiences as well as my own. 
On our way to our booth at the all-night restaurant one morning to talk he had felt, no doubt partially due to sleep deprivation, that his subtle body (to use my own words) was connected to his head as he physically walked, but the rest of his subtle body was flowing behind his head horizontally. 
This led us into discussion of his beliefs regarding the eyes. Without knowing the name or source of the idea to my knowledge, in his own words Jay revealed that he prescribed to the extramission theory of sight from Aristotelean physics — the belief that sight worked by means of “eye beams” shooting out of our fleshy sockets and picking up objects in the external environment.  
There was also his constant emphasis on light in his ceaseless pronouncements that “everything is light,” which in turn associated to his emphasis on eyes — all three of them. Like me, he had his fixation on the notion of the “third eye” located in the center of the head. 
He didn’t seem to see the connection offered by his past life memory, however. After all, in his experience of decapitation, why did the evidently “resident” consciousness remain in the head once it was severed and rolling as opposed to the body — or rather than being bound both to the gourd and headless flesh-vessel at once in a state of dual consciousness? For that matter, why not just vacate both at the moment the blade fell? 
As in many of my own out-of-body experiences, it suggests to me the subtle body may “hook up” to the physical body by means of the brain, specifically through use of the pineal gland in a lock-and-key kind of fashion.
Watching him go over the memory of the guillotine in the diner that morning, his frustration at being incapable of remembering more was visibly evident. I asked him to relax, close his eyes, and simply try to mentally submerge himself in the scene. With my pen in hand, I asked him to describe any details that came to mind. 
His frustration erupted a few times, but then he suddenly got excited.  A girl, he told me. He had seen a girl. She was in front of the crowd of people, a look of shock on her face, her hand held to her mouth. She had a white top on and flowing brown hair that hung to the bottom of her rib cage. Focusing on her blue-green eyes, he felt a sense of love from her. I asked him if he got sense of a name, but he did not. I asked him if she reminded him of anyone he knew now.”No,” he told me. “She’s got eyes that I’d know if I’d seen them.”
He came dressed in white one day while I was doing the dishes and announced to me that he had met her. I was confused, and he told me it was the girl from the memory. I had somehow seemed to earn a deeper trust with him. He told me that there was someone I needed to meet, and that we would talk about it soon.
A few days went by before I saw Jay again. He was waiting for me at a booth in the dining room when my shift ended. He had just gotten off shift at the print factory, where he work four-day ten-hour shifts followed by three days off. He explained what he did at his job and expressed shame and frustration that it was, as he put it, a “non-thinking” job. There was no room for individuality or creative application. It would seem we shared similar distaste for the culture we shared alongside everything else.
Quickly he shifted to more unusual or interesting topics, however. He referenced the book About Time: Einstein’s Unfinished Revolution by Paul Davies. For Jay, it brought him to invest in the possibility that there are no ends or beginnings. 
Then he explained how he had read a book regarding experiments in which spiders were given various drugs. The webs subsequently woven were far from normal and the style of the webs differed in accordance with the drug. Most fascinating to Jay was the web constructed under the influence of LSD, which he took to be the same drug described in the liner notes of Tool. I broke it to him that it was actually describing the drug Ketamine, otherwise known as K. It was also the eleventh letter in the alphabet, and so likely had something to do with his apparent synchronicities with that number due to an event that occurred at that age as suggested in the song, Jimmy. It much much like my synchronicities with the number 23, only that number failed to point my way to a particular substance. 
The following evening, Howard and Jay met me at the all-night restaurant just as my shift was ending and we all went to a nearby strip club. As the music played and the meat show commenced, Jay and I got drawn into conversation. 
When I asked him, he maintained that, like me, he was an atheist. For Jay, there was no need for a god, as there was no ultimate creation to speak of, nor coming cosmic catastrophe. Instead, we lived in a multiverse without beginning or end, having no need for an ultimate designer or destroyer. To this I added that rather than god existing as some puppet-master pulling cosmic strings on his merry way to some master plan, we were instead all co-creators in an ever-evolving, inherently impersonal universe. 
This clashed with Howard, his band-mate beside us, who was no stranger to my arguments for atheism and proceeded to speak of his profound sense of “evil” while on acid at a Korn concert once and how it rekindled his faith in a particular god. I told him there was no good or evil and that ethics arises naturally through the interplay of empathy and reason. He said he would pray for me.
Once earning some distance from Howard, Jay began explaining something to me which he had cryptically alluded to before and called “the link.” For the longest time he had kept all his strange experiences locked up inside himself, afraid to tell anyone, certain that even if he tried to explain it all they would be unwilling to take the effort to understand. When he was over at his friend’s house next door one day, he finally broke down and let all of it spill. Both started crying and he seemed to understand one another. As they began communicating about it more, bonding through it, both felt as if it were their purpose to gain authentic spiritual knowledge and find others like themselves. They are like the first two links on a chain, he told me, and Jay suspected that I was the third. He wanted to stop by the apartment that evening and have me meet him.
It seemed too good to be true. For once in my life, I did not feel so alone. In addition, this brother of the weird spoke of another, and of his cautious drive to round up more like minds to build a community. His interests and focus were revealed not just in what he had thus far conveyed to me directly, but on another level as well.
This is where we return to our mutual attraction to the band Tool, specifically his constant echoing of the Aenema album liner notes, which pronounced, as a synopsis of the reality-tunnel notions of the ever-interesting Robert Anton Wilson, “Beliefs are dangerous. Believe in nothing.” 
To this, lead singer Maynard James Keenan once added in an interview, “Explore everything,” and given the additional mention of “ritual magik” and drugs this would appear to suggest more specifically the exploration of beliefs as tools through experimentation in the deliberately-eclectic style of Chaos Magick. This “art and science,” as Crowley put it, involves the temporary adoption of any available belief system that serves as a theoretical means of accomplishing a desired psychological or parapsychologically-mediated change, after which, regardless of how successful, you adopt a differing belief system — conceptually nomadic determination presides over all, as no belief system is complete and some, however elaborate, are a cold distance from any experimentally-falsifiable status, and so serve as nothing but a prison for the mind.
A growing toolbox of belief systems, of parallel tracks of thought at our mind’s side that also satisfy “perspectivism,” giving us as many eyes as the mythic Argus. This multiple-track, multichannel methodology resonates with both the music of Tool and the psychological inner-workings of both Jay and myself: the mutual gravitation to the music and to one another was therefore understandable, predictable, and perhaps on some level intentional. 
Like me, Jay sought after what could be described as a “spiritual” or perhaps paranormal science and technology. The science needed was a methodology, a measurable pathway of increasingly greater understanding through which “authentic spiritual knowledge,” as he put it, could be gleaned and applied. The technology we sought after were tools by which this knowledge could be pursued and through which this methodology might be executed. 
So I was eagerly in wait that evening when I heard the knock at the door. Opening it, I found Jay and a tall, razor-eyed stranger behind him. Jay introduced his friend, we shook hands. My initial impression of him, even before he spoke, was of an arrogant man bearing a phony persona. He had the characteristic vibe of such people, by which I mean he seemed to be leaching energy off me, perhaps whoever he was near. People that have this kind of energy always leave me feeling drained, irritable and violated in their ice-cold kind of presence. Out of respect for Jay, I tried my damnedest to play nice and not prejudge. I wanted to stay open-minded.
Jay had me show him a bit of my artwork, and then we all sat down to talk. Jay sat in the chair, his friend on the couch with me sitting just in front of him, on the van seat. He then explained that Jay had brought him to realize his capacity to see into people, by which I  assumed he meant to suggest a solely receptive form of telepathy. This he experienced as a tunnel to the sides of which he caught visuals and impressions, thoughts and emotions. Naturally, I asked him if he could read me, to which he responded that indeed he could — through both my eyes and my artwork. 
As we held prolonged eye contact I felt a familiar sense of stretching in my eyes, a cold sort of psychological nakedness. He told me that I was engulfed in fears. I had a very intense, complex mind. An open mind, but a suspicious mind. I didn’t tend to believe in something unless I had experienced it for myself. There is a girl I love, he told me, though there is some uncertainty about it. All in all, he more or less described how I perceived myself and my circumstances with my ex-girlfriend, Claire, but perhaps he drew sufficient information through the medium of Jay and my artwork. 
At any rate, as the guy and I fell into discussion, Jay just sort of sat back and observed, seeming quite happy regarding our back-and-fourth. Occasionally he would feed the conversation with questions or bringing certain details into amplification for deeper analysis. Jay’s friend seemed like the type to romanticize and take it all as a game in which he was putting on an act, made all the worse due to the fact that he was simply a really bad actor. At times he seemed to be trying to sound like some guru, fancying himself some young, sleek incarnate of Obi Wan and making everything seem cheesy, fluffy and lame in the process. On other occasions, he almost approached the realm of sincerity and rationality.
He told me how Jay and him sought after authentic spiritual knowledge. They were like the first two links on a chain and they suspected I was the third. It is as if Jay an himself had been through grades one and five, and I have traveled from grade six on towards graduation. I needed to back-track and they needed to catch up so we can go forward together, rounding up “others of our kind,” as he put it.
The meeting with Jay’s friend left me feeling frustrated. Despite the nagging sense that he had saw into me with his eyes, nothing he said required telepathy to piece together. My discomfort around him was as intense as the brotherly feelings I felt towards Jay.
A night or two later Jay found me at the crowded diner, asking if I wanted to go with him over to the house of Obi Wannabe, as there was something he wanted to show me. My curiosity compelled me to query, but he treated it as some big secret and only urged me to come along. As I agreed and we all got up to leave, Obi spoke up. “The link is strong tonight,” he said, and I tried to conceal my irritation and hold still the eyes that itched to roll in response. 
It’s dark when we get there, and upon stepping into the living room I find an attractive, black-haired girl curled up on the sofa. This, it turns out, was sister to the telepathic bad actor, and I sat beside her on the couch, smoking cigarettes and sipping from by bottle of Pepsi as Jay and his friend were doing something in the kitchen. She was a much-needed distraction, as my curiosity had by this time metastasized into full-blown paranoia that was getting increasingly difficult to conceal. Given that she was hot and kind and I was alone with her, however, my anxiety drove me to the kitchen, where Obi proceeded to make me some strong coffee as he helped Jay look for something. A toolbox belonging to his mother, who was a nurse. 
Leaving the kitchen to await the uber-java, I sat back down on the couch, and Obi was all too quick to follow. Strong link or not, something weird was in the works, and it made me feel uneasy. As Obi talks, Jay comes into the room, sits on a chair right in front of the television, picks up the controller and proceeds to play a video game. I try to pretend I’m focused on the game, but he is not swayed, and when I’m cornered into conversation with him and try to bring his sister into the conversation, her and her brother get in a brief verbal argument after which she leaves for her room upstairs. 
She’s doing what she always does, Obi tells me, and smoking too much pot. 
Looking back at Joe playing the game, I could no longer ignore the worry he seemed to be feeling and trying desperately to ignore. Then I noticed something that increased my worry. I told Jay he had red splotches all over his skin, and he just looks, laughs and shrugs it off. It’s okay, he tells me; he gets hives sometimes.
Obi turns to look at Jay and asks, “How are you feeling, Jay?”
“Riddalized,” he answers. It clicks and I look at captain fake beside me, who had just damned his sister for copious weed burning when he had provided for his neighbor and friend a fucking overdose on prescription medication.
He told me that rather than Riddalin, he had instead downed six of the 20-milligram pills of Aderol they had lifted from Obi Mom’s toolbox-turned-medical-box. It helped him go down into that other place, he said. I ask if he has done this before, to which he responds with stuttering half-sentences, which of course tells me all I need to know. 
Calling the hospital at this point would have been a mature response, yes. Claire had nearly overdosed a month or so ago, as had my friend, Terra. It may give him access to the other world, then, but it may be a one-way ticket, I thought to myself.
“Okay,” Jay said, standing up and walking to the couch in the dark half of the room. “I’m starting to feel it.”
As I sat beside Jay, Obi lit candles and then got an afghan blanket when Jay remarked he felt cold. From beside me, Jay tapped me on the shoulder, saying desperately, “Talk.” I asked him what he was feeling, telling him to spill whatever he was experiencing. As he struggled to describe a cylinder of strange dimensions, I noticed even the atmosphere around him felt different. 
Asking for something to write with an on, I was handed a pen and hard-bound black book by Obi, which I in turn handed to Jay in case that medium of expression felt more adequate to him. He began trying to draw what he was experiencing, as dedicated as he was frustrated in the attempts.
Then he asked me to give him a question. Obi then explained that Jay needed a question to focus himself when he went down into that other place. Without a moment’s notice the question arose and swelled into my mind, and no other question intervened. When Jay again pleaded for a question,  it just rolled out of my mouth:
“What’s been stalking and attacking me? What is it that’s hiding in my Shadow?”
Then he relaxed, took a deep breath and closed his eyes. A moment later, he held out his hand to me. “Put your hand above mine.” I let my palm hover a few inches above his own, feeling this electric sort of cold emanating. He asked, “Do you feel that?” I confirmed that I did indeed.
Suddenly, he grabbed my hovering hand. He grabbed it tightly and wouldn’t let go. I felt our resonance shifting, as if he were drawing something from me and into himself. Abruptly he let his grip go and seemed to sink deeper into trance. Soon, he seemed to burst into wakefulness, becoming very animated but entirely mute as he frantically pointed to something in the dark room behind the television. Looking, I saw nothing, and looked back at him.
As I remember him describing it to me later, it was as if a chain of paper dolls stretched out before him in the distance. Then one half of the silhouettes walked into one another as if one half was a reflection for the other and so they appeared to merge and them vanish as they walked behind the mirror. When the last two united as one, there was a flash that shot right at him. This seemed to correspond to the small, ghostly-white, vaporous form I saw shoot like a phantom bullet into his eyes from the area where he had been frantically pointing. As it entered his eyes, Jay’s hand rushed to his forehead, and it was either his gasp suddenly cut short or the sound of the object speeding into his head that I heard like a zooming sound in my ears. 
The expression on his face changed immediately. Looking over to Obi Wan, who appeared considerably panic-stricken, I asked him if he had seen it. Before he could answer, Jay diverted my attention from him. I never did learn if he saw it as well. 
Jay was staring at his hand with a horrified look on his face, as if it were some foreign object. He turned to me, trying desperately to tell me something, pleading for help as if he were drowning, but all as he remained mute, apparently incapable of uttering a sound, let alone recognizable words. 
Then it was as if mental channels abruptly switched. On Jay’s face was a look of absolute anger, endless hatred, and it was directed towards me. He scowled and showed his teeth like an animal. His hand would raise and reach out as if to strangle me, but before long Jay returned to some degree, wrestling with the hand that seemed to be operating beyond his control. His face appeared to covey a cocktail of fear, apology, as if to let me know that it was not just him in his body anymore and he couldn’t control this thing that wanted to hurt me. It was as if I were watching him and Ee wrestle for ultimate control over the body both were now imprisoned within.
When he eventually regained control and could speak again, it became clear to me that he was having difficulty remembering all that had happened. It seemed as if he were slipping in and out of a dream and at least two distinct memory banks. Once Obi had us move upstairs into his attic bedroom so that his parents wouldn’t know that we were here — not to mention conducting an ill-conceived, pharmaceutical-fueled shamanic ritual — I placed the book in front of Jay, who after a moment asked if he had drawn them, which I calmly confirmed. Staring directly at the bulb that lit up the dark room, he explained in amazement his lack of sensitivity to the light and how he could see the bulbs filaments in such detail. In the light he looked aged somehow, old far beyond his body’s years. As he had earlier, he asked me to hold out my hand, and as I did so he let his own levitate above mine. He asked me if I could feel it. I could feel a lingering electric chill. He told me it felt as if he had another hand super-imposed over his physical one, but this one made of some sort of energy.
That was what it often felt like to me throughout my entire body, I told him, and this double or aura seemed to be the same energy body we find ourselves in when we go down into that other world. 
When Obi came upstairs, he had transformed into a total asshole. He clearly wanted us to leave, irritated that Jay’s state made that a dangerous idea for the moment. Eventually he left us up there to hide and despite Jay’s desire to talk, I felt overwhelmingly tired. Apologizing, I then crawled on the floor, curled into a ball and, amazingly, fell into sleep.
It would be a sleep saturated with dreams I know were bizarre but which I was unable to recall. All I remembered was my name being shouted and something strange going on above my head. Later I awoke to the sound of Obi Whiney frantically explaining that he was late for work and we needed to leave before his parent’s discovered we were here. As Joe drove me back to my car at the restaurant, he was particularly animate, especially for a guy operating on zero sleep. While I was sleeping, he had remained awake, playing with his other hands. He found he was able to control them. Then, as I was lying asleep on the floor by his feet, he watched as a vortex rippled out of my head and a small, brown, fuzzy creature emerge. Reaching down with his other-hands, he had pulled the creature out of me. After he pulled it out, he said he doesn’t know what happened. He never saw its face. I asked him if he remembered me asking him what was in my Shadow. He hadn’t.
After dropping me off at the apartment that day, I was exhausted and, for some reason, elected to crash on the couch rather than my bed. Asleep in no time, I then burst into mental acuteness as my body remains in paralysis. I feel myself descend into the almost fluid void, which for the first time was a tan-gold color rather than the typical, endless sea of black. As I float freely, I am surprised to find comfort. For the first time I could recall, I was down here alone, free from the attacks of Ee.
Jay and I crossed paths once or twice more, but there was no more of his visits after that night. He had gotten a new job as a door-to-door salesman, reaching out for something more closely approximating a “thinking job.” He was distancing himself from his explorations, however, as his new girlfriend thought it dangerous. This was the girl he believed had watched his beheading in a former life and from whom he had sensed such undying love. This was the girl, perhaps, who’s female eyes he had always compulsively drawn. 
Jay had helped me defeat my Shadow, perhaps, and through me he had happened upon his own Anima.

Eating Ee.

The out-of-body experiences had stopped by the Fall of 1995, but they were to dawn again some ten months later, in June of 1996. A strange image floated through my mind’s eye as I lay in a twilight state of consciousness on my bed one morning. The vision was of a “vile spirit” as some dark form coiling itself around a vulnerable silhouette which I knew to represent myself, and I woke up to draw this in the sketchbook nearby my bed. 
When I fell back asleep, I had a bizarre dream.
I was some superhero talking to a girl. We were interrupted by some jock from my high school who wanted to know if we’d play a game of pool. I said okay, but I needed to close up a file on a nearby computer. When I was done with that, I told the jock I just wanted to make a trip to the restroom before we began playing the game. The girl seemed upset that I was leaving. I asked why, and she said, “well, maybe I was hitting on you.”
Up to this point, it seems as though I am engaging in a typical dream. Jocks suggest brute strength and mastery in the art of picking up women, and he wants to play pool with her and I. Playing pool is bonding and competing, and I try to postpone the challenge by saving what I had been writing and then exiting to relieve myself. Restrooms are used to cleanse oneself of waste, and writing, among other things, serves as my main means of catharsis, and I saved that file on the computer. 
Postponing unfinished projects, flushing waste away — perhaps suggesting my means of procrastination in meeting life’s challenges. I truly wasn’t interested in playing games. It turns out neither was she — her reaction to my leaving suggested that to me. 
This situation also sounded strangely reminiscent of the day I met Claire, my on-again, off-again girlfriend. A friend of mine had brought her, his cousin, over to my house, where I proceeded to save a story on my computer so the three of us could play pool. 
With the girl walking beside me, the superhero, we turn the corner and approach the restrooms. Suddenly feeling that we were being watched, I turn my head behind us to see an evil villain a short distance away, staring right back at me.
For some reason I called the villain The Fluke, and in retrospect I suspect that this was subconsciously inspired by “Fluke,” the second episode of the second season of the X-Files, which had aired two years prior. It depicted a creature vaguely similar, also referred to as a “fluke,” in that it was a type of parasite. The entity in my dream much more closely resembled something akin to a bloated, psychedelic Michelin Man, however. 
Dreams featuring a superhero and supervillain would seem to place emphasis on their relationship: they often have matching power, with the hero using his for “good” and his arch nemesis using his for “evil.” It may mean I am overvaluing my own position and demonizing his. Jungian Shadow projection of the ego, to put it another way. 
What was I demonizing specifically, however — what did the Fluke symbolize? The most fascinating thing about him was his surreal iridescence: depending on what angle you looked at him, he was either a phosphorescent pink, red, or orange. His iridescent colors may be the chromo equivalent of an interobject, as such suggesting association between the meaning of colors. Orange means social to me and red is passion; pink is clearly a feminine color to me and my ex-girlfriend, Claire, had her hair dyed pink when I first met her. 
My best guess is that the fluke symbolized my fear of social bonding and intimate pair-bonding in particular due to my utter failure to nurture the connection that led to my act of villainizing those social instincts that drew life energy from me. In the end, I always ran away, taking refuge in isolation.
Upon seeing the Fluke, the girl and I decide it was in our best interest to escape from the creature, so we tried to outrun it and hide. As with the jock, I ran from the challenge he presented, refusing to stand my ground and fight if I must, which only sheds further light on the absurdity inherent in the superhero notion.
There seemed to be no escaping him, however, even when we hid in the ladies room. He somehow managed to squeeze through the plumbing and come out of a drainage pipe near a cement block on the floor. Might the block reference a block in my mind; amnesia? I try to block him, but he pierces the block anyway through a “drainage” pipe, which may be a reference to his parasitic quality of draining. It climbs out of the pipes when I’m attempting to “relieve” myself with a girl. 
Given that I was a virgin at the time, perhaps he represented my fear of intimacy. In waking life, the fear of those instincts had won me over, gotten between her and I. 
It was abundantly clear to me, upon awakening, that this was the same vile spirit, the same fluke or psychic parasite, that had attacked me during my astral projections since they began a little over a year ago. Those experiences had only gone on for roughly a month, however, and had yet to recur. 
This experience, I felt certain, was a dream, and yet the Fluke did not seem to be a dream element, but a foreign participant in the dream. I began to fear that the creature had to some degree succeeded in its apparent efforts to possess me, and was now able to interact with me in my dreams. 
My paranoia only grew when it became apparent to me that he soon had access not only to my dreams, but to my bedroom. I would be in my room, writing by my computer, lip synching to music in the mirror or drawing, and I’d feel his presence. Eventually, I realized a noise preceded my awareness of his presence – little clicks or crackles or swift pounds in the walls. It usually seemed to come from the same places. Usually it was on the wall farthest from my window, where my door was, behind two specific pictures. They were both pictures my uncle had gotten for me, one of the Apollo 11 moon landing by the door, the other one of the surface of Mars that was closer to my far wall, were my mural of Saturn was. 
Night after night, on the verge of sleep, I would feel him above me in bed, just waiting for me to slip into the vulnerable state of sleep. Once I even saw him as this tiny shadow that jumped over my head and through the wall my bed was pushed against. As he went through it, I heard a loud noise, like a hard pound. Was this was the strange pounds and crackles were on my wall — him coming and going?
Once I got on the edge of sleep, my senses would turn off, my awareness would become incredibly acute, and I would feel the paralysis. Then he would drag me down, pulling me away from my physical body. The places he dragged me down to were no longer full of vivid, colorful, and self-luminescent objects, but were very dark environments, oftentimes just some big, black, endless void. It felt as if I was in zero-gravity, or underwater. There was no top to this space, no bottom, no sides. It seemed infinite and black in all directions, this void I called the Limbo. As soon as I was down there, he would quickly throw himself at me, trying to attach to me. I would struggle with him, to no avail. It felt as though he was ripping my insides out. It felt as if he was literally digging into my body, stabbing me, scrambling around organs and ripping them out. It was absolute fucking torture.  A lot of these sensations felt almost electric, and I’d often even hear and see these weird, erratic, high-volume electric shocks between us when we came into contact. The shocks brought disoriented images into my mind. 
On other occasions, instead of a void, the Limbo would be this series of black or white tunnels. He would chase me down, grab my legs, arms, and chest and pin me to the ground. I kept trying to fight him, but he was far more swift and had much better reflexes and more strength than I did when I was down there. So instead of fighting, I simply tried to relax, but all that got me was more of the same. 
When I awoke from his vicious attacks, I could sometimes still feel the pressure on the corresponding area of my body where he’d pinned me down. I felt drained afterwards, as if he was slowly stealing the force of life right out of me. I had no energy. I felt like I was dying on a level that eyes could not see. This thing was sucking the energy from me like some mosquito of the soul.
So I did all I could do. I did what I used to do when I had first lost my mind: I didn’t sleep. I would stay up nights, strung out on coffee, listen to music and write stream-of-consciousness style, or draw, or read. He could only get me in my sleep, I thought. He was there, it seemed, but it didn’t seem he could really attack me. So long as I didn’t submit to sleep, he couldn’t get me. 
Unfortunately, the body requires at least a bit of downtime, and if one ignores this he inevitably begins dosing off. That’s where I ran into problems again. 
For instance, one evening as I was writing at my computer, the urge to sleep began to come over me and my eyes grew heavy and began to close. I heard a loud “clock” inside my skull and felt myself detach from my physical body and start floating backwards in a vivid, but dark area. It looked like the inside of a bee hive, with shelves encircling the curved walls. The vile entity was there waiting and rushed towards me and began to attack me. I quickly pulled myself together, quite literally, and opened my eyes. I felt very dizzy and nauseous, as if I’d reconnected a little too quickly.
Since I couldn’t fight sleep forever, I decided to try something else: I kept on all the lights in my room and turned on my radio. Then I’d fall asleep. I guess my logic in this would be that I’d have something for my mind to focus on so I wouldn’t slip too deep in. Or: if I did slip in I’d have some sound in the physical world to focus on to be able to “pull myself back.” That didn’t prove effective, either. Sometimes I didn’t hear the radio at all. Other times, I heard it at a distance, and it was muffled, as if I was hearing it from underwater.
I realized that I needed something to help me get through this. I needed something to protect me. Whether it had any psychic significance or not, it seemed to calm me down psychologically, so I began using what I’d learned in meditation, and what my hypnotist in April of 1995 had strongly suggested — whenever he was near or I felt vulnerable to his attacks, I’d envision a cocoon of white light surrounding me. The way I used it, I envisioned that it started at my chest area — for you more esoteric individuals, the anahata chakra– a ball of white light, and then quickly and powerfully grew to cover my whole body in a big white ball of light that pulsated and often had charges of electricity flowing around it. This was an effect I created to ensure that my concentration was on the ball surrounding me). The presence of the white light could be called on at any time when I recited a certain word three times to myself in succession. To ensure the personal power of the word, I never wrote it down or told it to anyone.
I knew that even if it was nothing more than a psychological safety blanket, the fact of the matter was that it worked. If this otherworldly entity was truly nothing more than a figment of my own imagination, at least I had a means of imaginary protection from my imaginary enemy.
Though the white light worked, in order for it to keep working I had to constantly pay attention to it — and that can’t happen when one’s sleeping. I still suffered vicious attacks.
I cracked the Occult literature again. Were their rituals to get rid of psychic parasites? Disembodied psychic vampires? Spiritual leaches? What was this thing, exactly? How could I get rid of him? I came up with nothing. 
So one day, I asked Ludwig, who had always been an open ear for my weird experiences, what he thought I should do. What hadn’t I tried? And he pointed out that I should eat it. I looked at him strangely. That sounded pretty insane to me. I was afraid this thing was trying to possess me, and taking it into me, eating it or whatever, was not something I was too keen on trying.
So it kept happening. 
If he was just a figment of my diseased mind, I wondered, why couldn’t I control him? How unnatural was this, for one part of one’s mind to attack the other without reason?
One evening I reached the breaking point. Yet again I had been attacked by him and managed to awaken. I decided to go downstairs so I could get some sleep. Previously, he had never bothered me unless I was at home, and I never slept anywhere aside from my room, so this would be a new experience. Maybe it would work. So I lay down on our new sofa in the front room, face first. 
As soon as I was on the bridge of sleep, he dragged me down again. The place I ended up was different. It seemed as if I was in the center of a hurricane, a swiftly turning funnel or a vortex. The walls of it were blurry, streaming, multicolored horizontal lines that seemed to rush in a leftward motion. His face was suddenly right before me. It seemed to me that his face was morphing, changing, like he was finally getting more of a form. Like he was closer to having stole enough of me to take me over completely. I freaked out and woke up. 
I could not deal with this anymore, at least not alone. I needed someone to help me, or at least someone to talk to. My art teacher had always been a great help to me, especially when things had really began getting weird the year before, so she was the one I went to. So I came into school, having gotten no sleep, and crept into my sanctuary, the art room. I waited until class was over, and Miss Leila was the only one left inside. I just sat in a chair at the end of the room, at the table by the heater, and she looked at me.
“What’s wrong?” She asked, but I couldn’t answer. Were was I to begin? I just laid my head down on a table nearby and broke down. I just fucking lost it. I cried, I rambled, I pleaded for her to help me because I was so afraid I was loosing my grip on reality, that I wasn’t even sure what reality meant anymore. I just wanted to be fucking normal, to be a normal person, with normal desires and a normal life. 
She asked me if I was seeing the aliens again, but I told her it wasn’t that, that this was different. The thing had come back, and it was like it was trying to possess me, to take me over, to drain my vitality. I couldn’t get rid of it. I didn’t know what it wanted.
She suggested that since I was now of age, I should go see Dr. Navier, a psychologist I had contacted through my school psychologist last year. He wouldn’t see me back then because I was not yet eighteen and refused to get parental consent. I wasn’t ready to talk to my parents about this. I was terrified they’d put me in a rubber room. And once I’d met Claire, all the weird shit had mysteriously stopped, so there was no reason to see him. Not urgently, anyway. 
Now that this weird stuff was coming back around again, I told the art teacher I thought maybe she was right and seeing him was a good idea. I called him shortly thereafter and set up an appointment. My parents? They were all for it, of course.
Doctor Navier was a plump man, maybe in his late thirties. A very, very interesting guy. He knew mythology left and right. He taught at a college. He had a good sense of humor and an intellect that had no bounds. He loved sitting in his chair smoking cigars –always polite enough to ask if I minded. He even offered to make me coffee a few times, but I declined. Why, I don’t know. Perhaps I feared he was too nice of a guy — frighteningly nice. He seemed the perfect guy to spill all this too. 
All this time of seeing people in the field of so-called mental health and I’d finally settled on the fact that you had to be an extreme-case patient as a prerequisite to becoming a doctor. He destroyed that theory. Here was a guy who actually seemed to have a good grip on more than one reality.
So I told him everything. I went over all the abduction events and memories, but told him nothing had happened in that area for a long time. I briefly went over the past life memories, but not the oldest. Then I told him about going through hypnosis and seeing those strange things on the way home. I told him all about the `astral projections’ and my fights with the vile entity in these `other worlds’. I told him how these other worlds used to be like alternate versions of places I knew in the physical reality but had, as of late, degenerated into the form of this endless black void.
In short, I laid my crooked story out as straight as was possible. I told him that I’d spent a lot of time reading up on Occult literature in the attempts to find out what was going on with me and what all this meant. And I told him I fully accepted that I might be psychotic, that I may very well be insane, but I’d gone through the psychological literature and I couldn’t find a condition that seemed to catch the full scope of everything that was wrong with me. No category seemed to encompass enough. I told him that I thought maybe I just had some spiritual disease or something.
He told me that there was a condition that covered everything, and right away I knew he had slipped. He had said something he didn’t want to say. And he said that he didn’t want to throw me in a category, and that the label was irrelevant. And I pressed him to tell me. I told him that I had to know. And then he uttered the word, and very empathically, very hesitantly, very carefully: the word was schizophrenia. He quickly added that it was a very vague term, and I should try not to put myself in that category. Ultimately, no one knows what’s behind this, and he seemed perfectly open to the fact that it may be something very real, but was quick to add that he was a skeptic. On both sides. He was a true skeptic, and he recommended I push aside my bias and take the same kind of attitude.
When he asked me why I’d come to see him, what was bothering me now, what we had to take care of immediately, I told him that it was this creature that attacked me at night. It was a ghost or something of the like. 
He asked if it had a name, and I told him that he didn’t as far as I knew, but it never spoke to me. He suggested that I give the creature a name. 
I asked him how I could get rid of it. I told him I had tried everything. That I’d try fighting it. And then he smiled, like he knew what was going on. I asked him what he suggested, what he thought I should do. And it was odd, but he responded almost exactly as Ludwig had. He said that if fighting with it wasn’t solving anything, I should hug it. I should stop hating it and just love it. I should possess it. Like the new agers and Christians I absolutely hated with every inch of my being at the time, he said I should do the hippy thing and cover it in white light and love the hell out of the bastard. That I should take it into me.
I still thought this idea was entirely stupid, and I didn’t care about the synchronistic suggestions between Ludwig and my psychologist. If the thing was trying to posses me, taking it into me would essentially be letting it achieve it’s goal all the more easily. It would be an act of spiritual suicide. 
He sensed my uneasiness, and sort of laughed. I lightened up a bit with that laugh, but I asked him what he was thinking. He said that he knew I was on a self-quest. He said that in some cultures, people were set out into the mountains or sweat lodges or the desert at a certain age to receive a vision. They’d spend years meditating or other things to achieve that altered state. And when they finally got a vision, they’d come back to their master and ask what they were to do now. 
The student, he told me, was expecting to be put on some mission, gain supernatural powers, have this great responsibility, go fourth on some grand adventure. And what did the master say? He’d hand him a bucket and an axe and say, “chop wood, carry water. Chop wood, carry water.” That was my homework assignment, he told me. 
When he said this to me, I just looked at him dumbfounded, and so he simplified it for me. I was like jet fuel without a container, he said. My mind was like a radio receiving multiple stations at once. For now, I was to put aside my visions, come back down to earth and root myself. I needed to ground myself and begin making some short-term goals. My job now was to chop wood and carry water. My homework assignment was to turn away from my visions and master the mundane. Get a job, he told me, get a license and get a car. Hang out with friends. Get a girlfriend.
It took me some time and a few more sessions, but I began taking his advice. Doing my homework. I decided to call the creature that attacked me “Ee,” short for “evil entity.” With one job done, what was next left was deciding whether it was in my best interest to execute the synchronistic suggestions of my friend and head-doc.
To my mind, it seemed a risky maneuver considering I did not really have any leads on what Ee might actually be. There were, so far as I could conceive, four distinct possibilities.
First, he might be an “inorganic being” native to the other world who acted as a sort of psychic parasite, perhaps the nature of which accounted for appearing as a “fluke” in that dream. Second, he could be a member of the dead acting as a poltergeist. Third, he could be the apparition of a living and adept OBEr or a thought-form sent by such a person.
Alternatively, he may be a thought-form, construct, or tulpa created by me unconsciously through repressed thoughts and emotions and dissociated memories. As such he may represent an autonomous sub-personality that struggles to overwhelm me so as to take over my position in the driver seat of the body: making me host to an alternate personality. 
In all four possibilities, the primary theme, of course, remained the same: he was drawing energy from me, perhaps as a prerequisite to biological body-jacking. Merging with him may only lighten the labor for him with respect to accomplishing his ultimate goal. 
Still, over the next few weeks, my insomnia continued. I could sense the entity hanging over me at night, just waiting. I could feel his hunger. And I kept up the white-light cocoon until I fell dead asleep.
The next time I confronted Ee, it was on the night of March 19, 1997 or early the following morning. After falling asleep, I awoke to find myself in the black void once again. As always, Ee came at me, though for some reason this time I decided, on a whim, to change my attitude. Nothing else had worked, so what the hell? Instead of fighting, I made the conscious choice to hug it. To possess it. I took Ee into me and ate him. I gave up on resisting and just merged with the thing. And the strangest fucking thing happened. 
It almost seemed as if I was before this dark, black screen. All of a sudden part of my attention was pulled back to my physical body — namely to my ear, where I heard this weird ringing or buzzing sound. Then the black screen began to change. These vivid, absolutely beautiful kaleidoscopic images, patterns and designs blossomed before me in bright and intense colors. The designs of the patterns changed before my eyes, entrancing me with their beauty, filling me with strange emotions. While this happened subjectively, it nonetheless felt as if stemmed from a source outside of myself.
This kaleidoscopic picture show went on for maybe fifteen to twenty minutes, and then the picture show was suddenly over. I again heard that weird buzzing or ringing noise, which I think may have been going on the entire time without me noticing it. Then it just stopped. The experience was over.
I felt different. Energized. Overflowing with emotion. Released.
On the 20th, I awoke from sleep at 3:30 in the evening with my body immobilized, and I felt as if I was going to have a heart attack. Their was the district sense of something in my ear which I took to be a finger and at some point I began to hear the buzzing sound again. Soon I found myself waking up in what I described as different dream-like realities, but my vision was blurred. In one, however, I saw the back of my high school government and economics teacher, Mrs. Crumb, who was checking this huge stack of boxes and writing on a clipboard. I felt as if someone was watching me and trying to wake me up. After I finally woke up, I felt weird. My body seemed to be tingling and I felt very tired. 
I remember going into Dr. Navier’s office later that day, telling him I’d gotten the job and the car and had become more social. I had no girlfriend, though. And then I told him about eating Ee, about the colors. He seemed interested, but didn’t comment on it. Years later, when I read up more on Jung and discovered Alchemy, I’d understand the possible meaning behind those colors a bit more.
“Cauda Pavonis,” the peacock’s tail, is a variously-placed stage in alchemy in which many colors appear. The rapid succession of color said to be characteristic of this stage represents the spectrum that collectively constitutes white light. Perhaps it was meant to suggest a similar process psychologically, such as gaining access to the full spectrum of conscious mood-states, which make up the components of the “white light” of one’s deep and true self.
Some say it references the sleepless god Argus of Greek mythology, a hundred-eyed giant with half open at all times while the remaining fifty snoozed. With half it’s eyes always open, Argus himself could be considered an “all seeing eye” of sorts — until his ultimate beheading, anyway. After that, goddess Hera embedded his eyes on the tail-feathers of her beloved bird, the peacock. 
The ever-awake, all-seeing eyes of Argus spread out across a spectrum of feathers: seeing all, then, but only in fragments displayed in rapid succession. A colorful advertisement for the white-light totality yet to be achieved. 
There is also the fact that the headache-free migraine auras I experience have, according to the literature, produced kaleidoscopic shows of colors for some individuals. It would still not answer why I suddenly had that experience right after eating Ee.
The kaleidoscopic imagery of awesome color also brings me back to the dream that stood as the opening to Ee’s new wave of attacks — where he was a feared Fluke of unearthly iridescence. Then there was me, the superhero that ran and hid from him with a girl that seemed to be my ex-girlfriend, Claire. Once I ate Ee, her and I got back together. I no longer demonized by feelings for her and ran from them. Instead, I managed to embrace them.
At one point in the new beginning, we lay on our backs on the carpet of our friends’ front room one evening, my arm around her as we both just stared at the ceiling. One of our friends got up and lit a candle, placing it right before us, and the glass covering he put the candle in cast the color from the colored glass all around the dark room. It was a beautiful moment. Enshrouded in Cauda Pavonis, emotions blossoming in me as the spectral display advertised all that could be.