The fiction of Anthony Jones appears in the May issue. He talks to us about writing as a woman, religious geometry, the duality of the soul and more.
1. How challenging is it as a man to write from a woman’s perspective in fiction?
It actually wasn’t very challenging to write this story. I’m not sure why, but the words flowed pretty nicely from the beginning. Right before I started it, I had been in a strange relationship with this Colombian bartender that I dated while I was living in Spain. About a month into the relationship she just very casually mentioned one day that she had a boyfriend, like it was no big deal at all. I found that pretty odd, so I started to wonder, what sort of girl does this? But what really bothered me at the time was that it wasn’t the first time this kind of thing had happened to me. So maybe what I was really wondering was, why do I keep winding up with these kinds of girls? I guess my curiosity fueled the story– I really wanted to get inside Naomi’s head so I just let her talk and talk and I did a lot of listening. Looking back, I think I also wanted to clean myself out in the process and hopefully stop dating women like her.
2. Who believes in geometry from a religious perspective? What cult you would start?
Haha, I’m not sure who believes in geometry from a religious perspective–Cal Mirada and Mark obviously do in the story– maybe the ancient Greeks did too in their time. What cult would I start? That’s a strange follow-up question that I’m not sure how to answer. Actually, my last name is Jones so out of respect of the victims of the Jonestown massacre I think it’s probably best if I don’t joke about the subject.
3. Del Taco or Taco Bell: which is the superior mass produced taco chain?
Oh, Del Taco no question. My stepmom actually used to work for Taco Bell so I wound up eating a lot of that stuff as a kid. I think I’d had every item on the menu four or fives times by the I turned eleven, so I got pretty sick of it after a while. I remember we got a Del Taco in Stockton when I was in high school and it was a pretty big deal for me and my friends– I mean, they served french fries with tacos and that blew our minds for a while.
4. Do you believe that we are dual souled?
Hmm, I’m not sure. I do know that a few Native American tribes believed that some people possessed both a man’s soul and a woman’s soul–that’s where I got the idea in the story–but I haven’t thought about it much past that. I do think that the differences between men and women are much smaller than most people think though.
5. What does it mean that dirt doesn’t go anywhere?
Well in the story when Ronald says that, I think he means that the Earth is the only constant while other things, like people, are temporary– actually, I have no idea what he means. He just got really stoned one night and started babbling and that’s one of the things he said. I’m not sure that he even fought in the Korean War, to tell you the truth.
6. What war, fictional or real, would you fight in?
Probably none. When I was a kid I was convinced that I was going to join the Navy when I turned eighteen, so I used to dream about becoming a war hero all the time. My dad had a lot to do with that– he was never in the military but he was obsessed with the Marines because his older brother, who he looked up to very much, had been a US Marine and fought in the Korean War. For while I was pretty caught up in that too. I was even in the Sea Cadets, which is like the boy scouts for the US Navy. It didn’t last though. I guess I just grew out of it. I think the turning point for me was probably during my junior year of high school– I went to Catholic school and between the rules there and my dad at home, I just got sick of people telling me what to do. After that, I figured I probably wasn’t cut out to take orders for the rest of my life.