Aliens, UFOs and Abnormal Psychology.

Dismissing myself as crazy has been my convenient go-to, a default triggered when my strange experiences and their apparent implications become too overwhelming. When this surreal aspect of my life comes to face the giggle factor, meets the laughter curtain and exceeds my boggle threshold, the barrier beyond which I am no longer able to suspend disbelief, I endure a sort of nausea of the mind so intense that I, for a time, submit to it. Declaring myself crazy by no means makes me feel better — to the contrary, I always feel worse — but condemning myself in this fashion requires less energy than continuing my efforts to actually understand my experiences. The issue is that once I get beyond the emotional devastation of labeling myself crazy and subject this self-diagnosis to analysis I ultimately come to realize it really doesn’t constitute a diagnosis at all. “Crazy” is just a buzzword, dismissive in spirit and entirely devoid of true explanation.

So early on, back in high school, I found myself trying to identify a more specific self-diagnosis by reading through books on psychology, even an Abnormal Psychology college textbook I got from a friend. I didn’t know whether to be relieved or terrified when I found that no single condition I read about seemed to cover the crazy shit that I had been experiencing. No umbrella terms appeared to be available. When I began seeing a psychologist shortly thereafter, and one that I had quickly developed a respect for, I explained how I had tried diagnosing myself and failed, as no disorder seemed to encompass it all. In my memory, he retorted, stating that I was wrong, and when I pressed him he fumbled and mentioned schizophrenia. The fact that he immediately seemed to backpedal when he saw my reaction only made my terror increase. The moment hung with me and I fell back on it when the weirdness weighed me down. At one point I remember finding a page on the net that described traits of the schizophrenic and the schizoid personality that seemed to fit me perfectly.  I scotch taped it to my bedroom door.

In 2002, when I came back to him after an intense cluster of experiences and casually acknowledged in our session that I was fully aware that I was schizophrenic, he immediately asked me, with a skeptical look on his face, who it was that had given me that diagnosis. When I stated that it had been him, he was emphatic that this could not have been the case. After explaining to me that the term schizophrenia was essentially a dumping ground for what may turn out to be various disorders, he took on this proposed diagnosis directly.

“If you’re a schizophrenic,” he told me, “you’re certainly a highly-functioning one.”

I found the notion that I, a twenty-something living at home yet again and working fast food, could be described as “highly functioning” by any measure to be ludicrous, but he was, after all, the goddamned professional. Though he predicted that I had particular abnormalities in certain regions of my brain and called my experiences “perceptual anomalies,” he never gave me a diagnosis.

For a time, specifically after reading Dr. Marlene Steinberg’s book, The Stranger in the Mirror: Dissociation — The Hidden Epidemic, I also explored the notion that I might suffer from a dissociative disorder, perhaps even Dissociative Identity Disorder. Without doubt I experience what has been labeled dissociative symptoms. In addition, my memories and experiences may in part be due to some alternate personality or “alter” and there appears to be evidence of its beginnings in my childhood. My initial rush of memories and the flashbacks that followed might represent a previously compartmentalized sector of my mind, one belonging to this alter, colliding with my conscious personality and merging. My experience with the ideomotor response in my use of the Ouija board, in my spontaneous artwork and writing, as well as during the hypnosis session, all may have represented the alter gaining slow and localized control over my body. The entity I encountered during my “astral projections” might be one manifestation of an alternate personality or alter as well — perhaps after sharing previously isolated memories the separate aspects of mind we have governed over blended further, giving rise to shared lucid dreams I took to be “astral projections.” Maybe the incidents between June and August of 1995, climaxing in the incident at the java juicer, represented transient periods where the alter took control of my body entirely.  

The issue is that this degree of dissociation is typically associated with intense physical and psychological trauma. On the surface, at least, this presents itself to me as an utterly insane proposition. As I imagine is the case with anyone, I have my share of complaints and grievances with respect to how I grew up. My mother favored my sisters over me and I had endless power-struggles with her over the course of my childhood. It hurt and enraged me, and I continue in my attempts to deal with those issues. Even so, I recognize that I was one lucky little asshole. My parents never physically abused us kids. I was certainly never sexually abused. Our harshest punishments as children, which I faced often enough, involved either staring at a corner for a length of time measured by my mother’s oven timer or being under “room arrest,” confined to my bedroom until further notice. Without doubt this nonviolent discipline is what made the abuse I witnessed at Jimmy’s house all the more traumatizing — and indeed, that was all certainly traumatizing from the position of a witness as well, but that it might provide the fuel for alien encounters seemed far more ludicrous to me than the thought that, well, I might have legitimately had alien encounters.

It isn’t just trauma and mental disorders that can allegedly produce these alien encounters, however. People have linked alien abduction experiences with various drugs such as Salvia Divinorum, Ketamine, and psilocybin, but most often DMT. All are classified as psychedelics, I believe, aside from ketamine, which is a dissociative, but unless you’re willing to concede that each of these chemicals constitute different rabbit holes leading to the same parallel universe, all are psychedelic in the true sense of the term, which is to say that they are “mind-revealing.” In other words, these drugs draw back the egoic curtain and let you take a peek beyond the veil of mundane consciousness, bringing you can deal more directly with the more subliminal aspects of the mind — just as psychosis can.

Some believe sleep paralysis alone can produce the abduction experience, which I find ridiculous for several reasons. Even among the popularized abduction cases one can see that bedrooms are not the only place encounters occur and that often enough the people involved are not asleep at the time of the event. They might be fishing or driving, for instance, and be among others who are taken along with them. In addition, I have had sleep paralysis myself and the earliest such experience is the succubus experience mentioned early in the book. Even at the time of the experience I did not interpret it as an alien breaking into my dark room, crawling atop my bed, straddling my immobilized body and proceeding to dry-hump rape me. Instead, I assumed it was a disembodied entity doing something analogous or — more likely, I supposed — this was all a hallucinatory experience brought on by one-part sleep deprivation and one-part prescription medication.

So I have explored the Psychological Hypothesis (PH), which alleges that while it may require activation through trauma, drugs, mental disorders or the peculiar circumstance in which your mind wakes up before your body does, the abduction experience is purely a product of human psychology. There is no external intelligence at work here, only my own. It’s all in my head. A related school of thought I explored posits what I’ll call the Psi Hypothesis (PsiH), and it attempts to compensate for the failure of the PH to account for physical evidence by bringing parapsychology into the fold — specifically, the psi capabilities of the human mind.

My train of thought ultimately ran along this track: if one finds the PH absurd and instead accepts abductions as nuts-and-bolts physical experiences, these physical experiences require you to accept the existence of paranormal phenomena. It is simply a given. After all, a cursory glance at abduction reports should make it clear that telepathy and moving through walls, for instance, is by no means rare in abduction events. To the contrary, paranormal phenomena is pretty fucking standard — and not just during these events, either, but in the wake of them. There is the matter of the “paranormal afterglow” that manifests in my life during these experiences, and while some investigators fail to mention them, personal reports from abductees reveal that I am by no means alone. Others also experience spontaneous telepathic experiences, poltergeist activity, vivid dreams that seem like awakening in a parallel reality, odd coincidences and other strange events.

As this paranormal afterglow runs the full spectrum of psi, stretches on indiscriminately into the gamut of the strange, it seems natural to wonder if the aliens themselves, rather than extraterrestrials, might just be another manifestation. In other words, it could very well still be that the phenomenon is purely psychological at the roots, that it is governed by compartmentalized aspects of my mind that influence me subliminally, that this is truly my conspiracy against myself. Maybe it also branched out into physicality utilizing psi abilities, however: powers which for whatever convenient reason I cannot wield consciously.
This would by necessity be a form of poltergeist. In this view, the phenomenon of poltergeists is explained as a living individual who is experiencing recurrent spontaneous psychokinesis; the psychokinetic activity is the result of subconscious and involuntary acting-out of the focus individual.

For a clearer picture of how this might work we might first turn to a series of parapsychological experiments that have been conducted since 1972. These experiments sought to demonstrate that the display of psi phenomena often attributed to deceased individuals could manifest without them, and so such phenomena were not necessarily evidence for life after death. In the beginning, which in this case was 1972, there was Philip Aylesford, the child of eight members of the Toronto Society for Psychical Research. He was a fictional character they developed with an elaborate backstory regarding his birth, life, and eventual death. They collectively meditated on him before attempting to communicate with him in the style of a Spiritualist seance. Participants reported not only communications but manifestations — they not only saw and heard things, in other words, but poltergeist phenomena also manifested. Other groups conducted similar experiments, reporting that they had successfully created and then conjured Lilith, a World War II French Canadian spy, Sebastian, an alchemist from medieval times and finally Axel, who was from the future.

As expected, results of these experiments were disputed — as were the tales regarding the more extreme manifestation of what has typically been called the tulpa in Western culture and which is also variously known as an egregore or a thought-form. It is often conceived as an imaginary entity that achieves, through ritual intent of its creator, a physical manifestation — according to some, an intentional and advanced rendition of your typical poltergeist.

Though the notion is reasonably dispersed across the collective consciousness at this point, methinks, the only alleged personal account I have come across is the one told by Alexandra David-Neel. In her journey through Tibet, she became interested in tulpas. Having elected to make one herself, she decided on a friendly, pudgy monk, and was eventually able to visualize him as a hallucination in her visual field. Over time the hallucination gained clarity, and eventually she found it indistinguishable from a living, breathing, physical being.

The frightening aspect of her little experiment soon became apparent, however, when the monk began appearing when she hadn’t conjured it, and then began behaving in ways it had not been programmed by her to behave. The monk also seemed to be losing weight and had taken on a distinctly malicious appearance. Nothing was as shocking, however, as when an individual she knew, who knew nothing of her practices, began questioning her about the stranger that had been meandering about in her tent. She reports that it took half a year, but she was eventually able to abolish the creature through other Tibetan techniques.

Though in both of these cases the entities were intentionally generated, in both cases they reportedly also exceed their programming and seemed to take on a life of their own, independent of the conscious aspect of the mind: essentially, a spiritual form of artificial intelligence. It also fits the profile of a dissociative identity state, an alternate personality. They are essentially intentionally-generated alters that can manifest physically.

An interesting aspect of the Philip experiment was that none of the eight involved were gifted psychically. Nonetheless, they were apparently capable of creating and programming a spiritual entity that could communicate in a way that was consistent with that personality and, most important and amazing of all, producing psychokinetic effects. David-Neel seemed to be at least moderately gifted psychically and have some degree of discipline as well; despite being a lone individual, she was able to produce a creature that could be seen by her and others. The entity was also able to become independent of its creators, functioning autonomously. Naturally, this might lead one to wonder what kind of effects a large group of psychically-gifted individuals might be capable of producing.

All the people I know that have had experiences similar to mine seem to have no knowledge of the UFO or abduction phenomenon beyond the superficial reports that the media regurgitates every now and then. Despite this, correlations between our narratives are plentiful right down to unanticipated details. From the way one friend described the shadows of the beings from outside her tent during a formative experience while camping as a child to the way another friend described the manner in which one of the creatures in his encounter ran, there are correlations even in the details littering our experience that I cannot in good conscience deny. This extends to many of those of whom I have read and read about in blogs, articles and books and seen through interviews and documentaries. Could the answer really be that our collective unconscious is conspiring against us, utilizing telepathy to share a narrative and RSPK to bring that narrative to life?

Despite finding the concepts of both the PH and PsiH fascinating, I have, in the end, always choked in my attempts to swallow. Those who have posited that poltergeist activity is the unconscious product of an individual note the similarities in individuals around which the alleged recurrent spontaneous psychokinesis (RSPK) manifests. In cases of alien abduction, on the other hand, it is clear that these experiences are shared by people from all walks of life, people all across the spectrum — racial, religious, cultural, class, education — as well as people of wildly different constitutions who react to these shared experiences in very individual ways. This sounds less like a psychological disorder — with or without psi effects — and more like an actual, nuts-and-bolts experience.

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To Mentally Maim.

So again,
they descend
upon the zoo,

pluck out
their pet projects,
examine, test
and tweak
from mind to skin.

All those questions,
all those nightmares,
every hope and fear
attacks

me viciously
like shot arrows, alive,
hungry for me.

Expected this.
No surprise.
Better fucking luck next time.

Go ahead,
insist it was all a dream,
wipe the subjects’ minds clean.
Now just give them space
to feel it out,

explore their black-and-white
options: to dissociate
or embrace…

Subliminal influence
will keep you in line.

Train your brain,
follow your heart
and in time
we shall meet
again, predictably
in this very same place.

Chapter ends.
It moves
on, be patient…

Despite those ever-cautious
expectations
of yours, even in the light
of your diverse and rich disillusion,
your cautious nature
clearly now called
into question, answers
will trickle in, bleed,
leak like a sieve,

stain you,
mentally maim you,

a virus that replicates,
breeds like bunnies,
evolves a cultural bowel movement
into a goddamned revolution.

Our keynote flood.

Force, Counterforce: Revisited.

At the tail end of my former attempts to procure a new and respectable job for myself — just before acquiring the humble abode I have been in now for still under a year — I had an experience that my mind keeps coming back to.

To the chronically oversensitive, to those who live in a perpetual state of fixed overreaction, life is marked by traumas. This was my most recent major self-manufactured one, I suppose. Another mountain made out of a mole hill.

I lay in bed, painfully sober after an epic failure at job-acquiring one day and descended helplessly into this dark vortex of violent emotions, of relentless guilt and self-hatred. It was as if it were eating me alive. In retrospect, the experience was the emotional equivalent of some aggressive and uncompromising animal tearing into my skin, ripping apart my insides, but I could not sleep and even if I died I felt certain there would be no escape. I was plagued by horrible thoughts, but it all stemmed from this sense that I was fighting against some force that, however insurmountable, came from within me and refused to listen to reason.

Now I fear running up against that uncompromising force of seeming though subliminal self-sabotage again. Like an electric fence erected around the boundaries of my comfort zone, like guard dogs at the threshold of the known pond where I reside, where I can sink or swim or float through life and a land of hope, however unpredictable, ready to fight to the death to keep me within, where life is predictable, however increasingly miserable.

In retrospect, the experience itself reminds me of my experiences with Ee as a teenager. Perhaps, I think now, this is no coincidence. Maybe he, the autonomous figure who chased and tortured me in those lucid dreams or OBEs, was a manifestation of that “guard dog” force and that is why he manifests as a canine so frequently, and did so especially in the beginning.

My assumption is that this is ultimately all me, of course, it is only that a inner split is there and the other half is disturbingly autonomous. And if indeed that is the case, than I wonder just what it is that I expect of me, what I really want of me out of this life. I ask that other part of me now, officially:

Is this where you would like to die again — alone, in poverty, weighed down and torn apart by your emotions, dependent on others for survival? Is this static, infantile existence satisfactory in your eye? Isn’t this endless redundancy boring as fuck to you, murderous of any sense of meaning, useless and caging? If I am punishing myself, haven’t I endured enough at the hands of myself already?

Can’ this shit he over? Aren’t I allowed to grow — to try and live a life of meaning, to feel joy?

Of Astral Planes & Entities.

The astral projections, or whatever label you wish to throw on them — they began for me in May, 1995. Before that, before I began slipping down the fault lines of corporeal reality, I had been concerned about ending up in a rubber room because I was having memories and real-time encounters with what appeared to be alien beings. With this additional strata of insanity, I did not foresee contact with a mental health professional resulting in anything less than a new, sleeveless jacket and a small, well-padded room.

I did, however, have a peculiar circle of friends who were willing to listen.

When I had explained these out of body experiences to a friend of mine during high school, he remarked that they sounded eerily reminiscent of people’s experiences when they took various kinds of psychedelic drugs. This was a comment I found intriguing. Until twenty years of age I would not so much as drink a beer or smoke a cigarette, though I was already — spontaneously and against my will, free of charge or foreign substance — having the kinds of experiences that some people paid to have delivered to them by means of inhalation, injection or ingestion. To top it all off, knowledge of this did not even make me feel privileged.

Subsequent research confirmed his allegations: not only did many psychedelic experiences bear the qualities of my OBEs, some of the most potent ones — namely Salvia Divinorum and DMT — seem to comprise all of them. I also found that the world I experienced closely corresponds to the allegedly parallel, non-physical worlds described by many out of body travelers, among them Robert Monroe and William Buhlman. They described this world, popularly referred to as the astral plane, as being “thought-responsive” or sensitive to consciousness, effectively molded by the conscious and unconscious aspects of the out-of-body traveler. Even later, I would find that my otherworldly experiences — and so the astral plane and some full-sensory psychedelic experiences — also fit the characteristics of some lucid dreams.

Whatever the experience was, then, it did not require psychosis, psychedelics or death to get there, though that is not to say that they were not effective avenues. All one really required, however, was a slumber of appropriate depth, a snooze that sufficiently inhibited our senses receptors and brought on sleep paralysis while keeping conscious awareness acute.

From this one might conclude that lucid dreams might be mistaken for trips to the astral plane or vice versa, but what it really reveals is that the two are indistinguishable. The attempt to find distinctions has proven to be futile. Meeting up with a fellow out of body explorer in a predetermined otherworldly locale could be interpreted as evidence in support of a parallel universe, for instance, but it could just as easily be presented as further suggestion of what is variously called a shared, mutual, meeting or telepathic dream. This is a dream shared between two people, presumably through the medium of telepathy. Some are allegedly even shared lucid dreams.

Some of these dreams are shared between two living individuals, but there are also reports of dreams between the living and deceased. From this we might presume they can be shared between the dead as well. This would suggest that in death we not only retain access to the physical locale, but the capacity to dream. Even the dead, then, could not determine whether the world I am evidently dealing with is a network of dreamscapes or another plane of existence. If death is a transitory state, though, and both the physical worlds and telepathic dream worlds are constants, isn’t the distinction ultimately arbitrary? There are perhaps two different kinds of real which we have access to, be us alive or dead, much as the entity in my initial experience had gone to such lengths to convince me.

Of course, that still leaves the nature of that entity open to question, and if that was the same entity that later went on to attack me for years as I continued having these experiences. Dream characters are manifestations of your own mind, but that seemed more akin to a real conversation, and the later incidents felt like real, excruciatingly painful interactions. Was this another person, and were they living or dead? Was this a dissociated aspect of my personality?

I’m not sure how I could ever know for sure.

Goblins of the Threshold.

I. Samhain.
11/1/09

Closing my eyes, letting go, my mind drifts, blossoming spontaneous motion pictures, as is usually the case before I slide into a dream. Relaxed and numb, I am certain I will fall asleep for the few hours I have until I have to start waking up for work, but suddenly, in the silent movie in my mind, one of them pop up. Short, slender, large head and black, slanted, almond-shaped eyes. I come out of it, then drift back into another motion picture, but again they emerge, uninvited.

Curse my unconscious.

Getting up out of bed, I pour myself a mug of coffee. Sit in front of the computer. And then I just stare off into space. Stare into the void where answers should be.

II. Just Another Paranoid Afternoon Morning.
11/13/09

It is the eleventh; the day before my birthday. Something feels “off” from the moment I open my eyes. Suddenly I just wake up, as if out of a trance at the snap of fingers, and look at the clock, which reads around one in the afternoon. Apparently I had gotten up, turned off my two alarms and fell back asleep without realizing it, which happens a bit too often. Either in my hand or just near it on the bed is my cell phone, which immediately struck me as odd, as I always keep it in the chair next to the head of my bed and would have no reason to have it in my hands anyway, as I hadn’t set the alarm on my cell last night. Strangest of all, I was positioned on my bed wrong; my feet were towards the head of the bed, my head at the foot. I sure as hell hadn’t fallen asleep that way. Granted, I must have gotten up to turn off the alarm, which I’ve done countless times without realizing it, but I’ve never settled back down in bed in the opposite direction. And that still didn’t explain my fucking phone.

Later, I would become disturbed by the possibility that I might have been sleep-walking, or more specifically sleep-talking — that I had either answered the phone in my sleep or called someone and had some conversation I didn’t remember. Checking my cell later on, I saw no number called or received during the time I was out. I’d had a few beers the night before, but I certainly wasn’t drunk when I fell asleep. So I just got up, made some coffee, checked the net, took a shower. Tried not to think about it, tried not to reinforce my own stupid paranoia.

And failed fucking miserably.

III. Faces Out From the Haze.
11/16/09

Saturday night, more like Sunday morning. No sleep aide tonight. No pill, no bottle. Back to the mattress, lain straight, I close my eyes, focusing on deep breathing, imagining a cocoon around me, and then relaxing myself from toes to the top of my head, going deeper, deeper. Just breathe. Just relax. Again I see them in my mind’s eye. Involuntarily rising up from the mental haze, this time it is just their faces staring down at me, real close up to my face. Eyes raping my eyes. Breathing deeply, relaxing further, I try to find focus on Ajna, the third eye region, but even with that calm concentration where I feel entirely compact and focused, I see one of them looking down at me, face so close its almost touching mine. Even my mind is against me. Rolling over, face to the wall, clutching the wadded-up blanket like a child, I tell myself just to go to sleep. To forget them. Just sleep without dumbing yourself down tonight. Ignore the sounds, its just the neighbors, the people upstairs, the cars outside, the plumbing, the computer. No one is there. No one is there. Fucking go to sleep.

IV. Supine.
11/20/09

I wake up on my back, my body positioned straight, legs together, both my hands placed on my chest, and paralyzed. I am unable to move anything but my eyes. Unless I am meditating, this is a weird position for me to be sleeping in, and even when I do meditate and eventually fall to sleep I roll over on my side or my stomach shortly thereafter. As I open my eyes, staring at the ceiling, an afterimage of a straight line blinking in my field of vision for a few moments for some odd reason, I immediately recognize how peculiar all this is, and though perplexed, I am unafraid. I move my eyes, which is the only part of me I seem capable of moving, towards the clock, but I cannot remember what time it was that I saw. Nor can I recall my dreams, though I feel certain I had more than one. I remember thinking it was a shame I had not kept my webcam recording me sleeping as I had several nights prior. I then close my eyes again and drift off to sleep.

V. They Are My Waldo.
1/12/10

If you ever watch South Park you may have noticed that in many episodes that have stretched out across the seasons cameos have been made by “The Vistors,” as the writers call them, or, as they are more popularly known, the Gray aliens. Its like Where’s Waldo? only in this case Waldo is short, skinny, with a huge head like an overturned egg upon which rests two big, black, slanted and almond-shaped eyes. And even if you don’t look for Waldo, he pops up out of nowhere, haunting you. Sometimes these cameos are blatant, but more often you’ll find them hiding in the crowds or in the scenery.

Well, for the past few months this is precisely what my head has been like when I’m lying down trying to go to sleep. As is always the case, pictures emerge out of the haze of my mind as I am on the bridge of sleeping and waking; sometimes these images are in color, sometimes they manifest in this crisp, vivid, opaque kind of quality, as if I’m viewing it all through a pair of dark sunglasses. Often its scenery, sometimes people; sometimes freeze-frames, sometimes there’s movement. So I’ll be letting my mind go and drifting calmly off to sleep when out of nowhere one of the Grays will appear, walking around, and they will look dead at me like some character on television that suddenly looks back at you from within the screen and you get the startling sense that the character is real and can actually see you. As can be expected, this freaks me out and I bolt awake, physically bolting upward, only to try and fall asleep again, often to only have it happen again.

To be entirely honest, I prefer this to what was occurring maybe a month or two ago, when I could not lay my head down into the pillow sober without seeing, within my mind, images of a group of Grays looking down on me from real, real close-up. I always sleep on my side or with my face down in the pillow, rarely on my back, so the fact that I always saw them looking down on me from a supine position shocked me even more; despite the fact that these were before-dream images, it felt as if I was actually there, real-time, on my back, despite the fact that I most certainly was not (or at least at the time, I can say with confidence). I really would have hoped that after all these years the sight of their faces would not haunt me so; that they would not be so very entrancing and yet simultaneously frightening.

To some things, it seems one can never become desensitized.

Somnambulism, Alters and the DOP.

You try and shrug it all off. After all, perhaps life has the occasional continuity error. Maybe the universe has periodic existential glitches, rare quantum events. Finally you heard of the “disappearing object phenomenon” or DOP, as paranormal sites on the net have called it, happy to not be alone — but still the cause, or causes, remain unknown.

The last hypothesis you would have suspected to find yourself entertaining is that of the complete dissociation of identity, where amnesia is instilled in you, the host, for the time in which an alter personality is at the wheel of the body. Indeed, the switching may fly beneath the radar of one’s life for enduring periods of time, it is suggested, so how does one go about ascertaining whether one is possessed of this level of duality in consciousness?

The first red flags that waved unambiguously to me (when I read a good portion if a book and then proceeded, as is chronic in my life, to fall past event horizon into the surreal bowels of my obsessive-compulsive Internet research frenzy) dealt with instances involving objects. These came in three types. There are objects that mysteriously come up missing, objects that mysteriously pop up among your belongings and objects that disappear for some time before reappearing in an unlikely place.

As for objects that have come up missing, there is, to begin, that childhood incident involving the timer.

Growing up, my parents never resorted to physical violence with my two younger sisters and I. Instead, mom would sentence her disobedient little larvae to that dreaded place the three of us kids knew only as The Corner.

I saw it often enough. Left there alone to study the subtle contours of the paint, I would stew away at the absence of justice and grow mad in the overwhelming boredom thrust upon me in a prison limited to the narrow, banal space where one wall met another. If matters were mot bad enough, the duration of my term of torture was measured by the irritating, persistent tick-tick-ticking of that blasted oven timer. Boredom only ended with its angry, frantic ringing. In a way, all this was preparation for schooldays to come.

Clearly I hated that unholy, piece-of-crap timer with that steady, mechanical pulse serving as the soundtrack to the agony of unrelenting boredom. So on the day my mother discovered that the wretched oven timer was missing, disappointment was not my reaction.

Sadly, my capacity to be thankful to the kind hero who disposed of it took a back seat to defending my own innocence. After asking me in steady mantra in a voice of growing volume where I had put it, her fury growing with my every denial, my mother made me tear apart my room looking for it. This went on for some time. I was looking through my toy chest when she finally told me to stop and made me turn around. Facing her now, she asked if I was ready to tell her where I had put it. Even today, at 34 years of age, she operates under the same faulty assumption: that it was me.

After we moved, sometime around seventh or eighth grade, there was a sort of sequel to the timer incident. Strangely, this incident never seems to stick out for my parents like the previous, but it was considerably more plaguing for me.

It happened when I suddenly became hyperconscious of my appearance and social image. I wanted to feel like I belonged, be looked at in a different way, and it was all a disaster, but my determination had yet to run dry. Of particular focus was my hair. For years I had wanted my hair to look like Luke Skywalker’s after he emerged from being pulled down in the watery trash pit by that weird creature in that scene from the first Star Wars movie. To make it easy for you: his hair was slicked back. I liked that look and it was what I wanted, but I could never get my hair to do it.

Then came eighth grade, and I became even more obsessed about my hair. This time, however, I wanted my hair cut in such a way that it would grow into the hairstyle Edward Furlong had in the movie Terminator 2: Judgement Day. Once a week it seemed I would grab the stool, scissors, mirror, towel and other supplies and bring them into the dining room, where my mother had promised to cut my hair. Trim a little here, clip a little there.

More and more often I would also grab my father’s electric hair clippers, which he used to trim his beard. He kept it inside a small cardboard box inside the plastic cabinet above the toilet in the downstairs bathroom. In the basket there were perhaps five of six clipper cartridges which you could put in or take off the clipper to trim at varying lengths.

How many times I grabbed the clippers and returned them until the cartridge went missing, I do not recall, but when it happened, it brought back a strangely familiar sense of frustration.

Everyone’s Columbo, everyone’s Sherlock Holmes, and they all peg you the culprit. They did not catch you red handed, sure, but the trail of blood leads to you. You are guilty until proven innocent, and it is up to you to prove the negative. This becomes understandably more difficult on the second occasion a cartridge goes missing after you have used it and, I promise you, entirely impossible on the third such occasion.

Frustratingly, the only possibility you are in the position to know is not true is what the other party takes as a given actuality for what you must confess are perfectly legitimate reasons.

I feel certain that there is an internal logic to the universe, but I feel equally certain that it feels no obligation to fall into accordance with the human-made logic with which we strive to understand the universe. All signs can point to Yes, but the answer is still fucking No — our Magic 8 Ball brains be damned.

I know I didn’t take the timer just as I knew I had put everything back just as I had found it after my mother helped me customize my gnarly mesh of gourd follicles. Even in light of all that, as you tear apart the bathroom looking for a little black plastic clip of detachable trimmer teeth you hope but somehow know is not there to be found as you have done this three or four times before, you really begin to question yourself.

There was, so far as I can recall, only one personal instance in which the reverse occurred and an object mysteriously appeared amidst my possessions. I believe it happened shortly before moving out of my parent’s house in 2003. A book ended up in my room that I had never seen before, and no one else in the house knew where it had come from or would have put it there. The book was the 1994 book It’s All In Your Head: Remarkable Facts About the Human Mind by Jean Stine and Camden Benares. Though it was a good many years until I began reading it, it proved to be full of intriguing entries dealing with all matters of the brain.

Lastly there are those objects that disappear and then reappear. As a sort of subcategory here we might mention objects that appear in unlikely places, as the numerous times I have woken up with the phone beside me in bed, and have even found it in my hand. Sometimes I wake up with my head on the opposite side of my bed, too.

Only on one occasion do I recall an object disappearing for a time and then reappearing, and this happened rather recently, during the first year my roommate and I moved in. I had a heavy, black, felt button-down shirt that seemingly vanished, and then one day I walked into my room and it was laid out on my bed. Thinking I had perhaps left it in my roommate’s car and he had seen it and put it back in my room, I asked him about it, only to receive a confused negative. The confusion came from the fact that if he had not done it, I must have, but I most certainly did not.

This brings me to an incident that occurred when my friends and I were still living in the last house we shared together. I awoke one morning and went to make a pot of coffee when I found the funnel you put the grounds in missing. It seemed strange that my roommates would play a prank on me, at least like this, and they denied it when I asked them. Eventually, I found the damned thing in the microwave.

Something similar but slightly more interesting had happened a few weeks prior. I was going through my usual insomniac routine one evening and watching a movie alone in the living room. Suddenly, for just a moment, I distinctly smelled brownies, and this transient olfactory hallucination inspired me to get up off my lazy ass and actually make some. As they baked I watched my movie and when they were done I had a few, placed the napkin over the top, and went upstairs with the hopes of lapsing into a coma.

Upon awakening, I meandered downstairs, saw my roommate and his girlfriend in the living room and turned the corner to grab a brownie before making my morning pot of coffee. Lifting the napkin, I found a barren desert of a pan plastered with dark, brown crumbs. After confronting my roommates in the nearby living room, my prime suspects, they insisted that it had, in fact, been me. Ever open-minded, my response was, “Bullshit.”

They were not joking, unfortunately. Evidently I would come downstairs, grab a brownie, and walk back up the stairs. I did this multiple times. After I got my coffee and returned to my room, I found three butts in the ashtray I could have sworn I emptied before crashing the night before.

That got me a bit worried. People can sleepwalk, sleep-talk and even engage in complex activities and conversations during sleep without remembering it. As far as I can tell, an alter would appear to be just a highly developed rendition of it all.

In the brownie instance: was this was not merely an instance of something disappearing, but suggestion that an alter inspired me through an olfactory hallucination to produce the very thing that was destined to disappear? The hallucinated scent of brownies that had spawned my post-midnight baking — could that have been my sleepwalking self who, having already planned to take the wheel of the body as soon as I conked out, thought he might manipulate me into making him a little snack?

Roots of Divergence.

Certainly the deepest form of dissociation, the very bowels of depersonalization, is found in the dissociation of identity into the “host” and “alter” personalities.

Some alters are clearly born not within, but are thrust naked and empty behind the wheel of the body. They are tabula rasas and must develop from the ground up through experience.

These are fugue states. Fugues are cases in which a strong stressor triggers a transient episode of amnesiac wandering where one establishes a new identity in a new location. Their geographical relocation would help prevent any external reinforcements of one’s identity and would provide all the recurrent feedback one requires to fashion or reinforce the establishment of an alternative identity.

It is the perfect, fertile soil to plant the roots of an already germinated alter or the seeds to be nurtured with development from tabula rasa onward, with it as the backdrop to rapid character development. This typically lasts days at the most, after which one switches back to their original host identity, who cannot access the memories and identity assumed during the fugue episode any more than the fugue alter can access the memories and identity of the host.

Other alters emerge fully-developed out of the seeming ether, however, which would appear to suggest that an alter, as if a kind of inner child, can be born and raised within, only to break free and slip behind the wheel of the body during a stress-triggering event.

Perhaps seeds of alters are planted in our use of explicit self-talk, expressed semiconsciously through monologues or, more importantly, dialogues with an arbitrary “devil’s advocate.” Subliminally this manifests as those rampant automatic negative thoughts or ANTs which manifest as judgmental, critical, abusive, nagging inner voices, often subliminal but always influential with respect to the conscious personality.

We know that most interpersonal communication is nonverbal. It is expressed in body language and facial expressions and subtleties such as tone of voice that covey through animate imagery the emotional components of the verbal communication.

Verbal intrapersonal communication also uses imagery to convey emotions or subtleties that compliment or compensate for the words. In either the semiconscious or subliminal case, experiences produce thoughts and emotions associated with the explicit memories. These thoughts and emotions are both expressed and react implicitly through the dissociative function of imagination or by means of enactment through behavior.

When cognitive-emotional dissociation crosses a critical barrier the dissociated portion is compartmentalized and autonomous. The conscious personality cannot control or predict what the dissociated portion will say or behave, what it will think, emote or imagine. You have lost all sense of being on the other end of the internal conversation.

Dissociation of memory deals with amnesia, of course, but also conversions and flashbacks of explicit and implicit memories.
Explicit memory is composed of two subgroups, semantic and episodic memory. In semantic dissociative amnesia one suddenly draws a blank when it comes to well-ingrained knowledge or skills. You temporarily forget your own name or age.
Flashbacks involve information you were previously unaware of knowing

With respect to the episodic, one experiences lost or missing time, where there is a gap in one’s memory of events. Episodic flashbacks
involve either panoramic memory, where your life flashes before your eyes, or flashback re-experiences of events in life that you did not recall having experienced the first time.

Remembering again that the categories of dissociation are but arbitrary tools, there may also be selectively dissociated aspects of the already-dissociated memories.
This editing is an attempt to soften the emotional blow by discharging excess emotion through sublimation or conversion symptoms and distorting the memory into a metaphorical “screen memory” that may allow one to finally process the traumatic experience.

The unconsciously-governed implicit memory is essentially memory of form, pattern and context. In some cases this is procedural memory. Imagine that for an enduring moment you suddenly don’t know how to drive, play guitar, draw, write, walk or talk, even though you have done so for perhaps decades on a daily basis.
Implicit flashbacks would be, for instance, the return of a lost skill — or, for reasons of simultaneous identity dissociation, the arrival of a developed skill you do not recall having learned.

Beneath the surface consciousness, the dissociation-driven compartmentalization of thoughts, emotions and memories give rise to complexes. As it was used by Freud, Jung and others, the psychological concept of the “feeling-toned” complex involves an emotionally-charged cluster of unconscious associations often arranged around an archetypal image. Less-powerful complexes will either be replaced by or blend with more powerful complexes. The higher its emotional charge, the more potent the influence of its themes. In some cases they are described as operating like sub-personalities.

Similarly, imaginary companions (to give the title some neutrality) may reside on the spectrum of identity dissociation. They seem real to the child and may appear as either an imaginary character, an external hallucination or simply a sensed presence. They often function as tutelaries — guardians or protectors of the child. Studies suggest that up to middle school having an imaginary companion can help one more successfully adapt to life conditions, which makes sense given the many roles they serve. According to Lawrence Kutner in his book, Insights for Parents: Midnight Monsters and Imaginary Companions:

“Imaginary companions are an integral part of many children’s lives. They provide comfort in times of stress, companionship when they’re lonely, someone to boss around when they feel powerless, and someone to blame for the broken lamp in the living room. Most important, an imaginary companion is a tool young children use to help them make sense of the adult world.”

Like dissociation, however, which it would seem imaginary companions must be a product of, there are instances of dysfunction, and it would be reasonable to assume that a dysfunctional, autonomous imaginary companion would constitute an alternate personality.

Given sufficient reinforcement of dissociation, perhaps a complex evolves further complexity and becomes an imaginary companion, which then evolves into an alter, perhaps slowly in a state of psychological hibernation.

Perhaps the development of an alter is akin to Shelly’s Frankenstein, where the grave-digging doctor assembles sewn-together parts of the dead and then brings his monster to life in a violent lightning storm. Our living monster of sewn-together buried parts requires an experiential storm, an emotional jolt of lightning to bring it to life.

Out of the intensity of a crisis, then, our monster rises from his unconscious tomb and subliminal womb. A duality of consciousness emerges composed of the host personality and an alter that assumes possession of the dissociated memories and their associated thoughts and emotions. Not just a catacomb of lifeless “former selves” that serve as containers for “former lives” but present, alternate identities living in corporeal cohabitation.

One can assign dissociated thoughts, emotions and either real memories or screen memories to simultaneously dissociated aspects of their identity. If you dissociate any aspects of identity in response to a trauma, you may elect either those aspects of yourself that remind you of the perpetrator or aspects of yourself that you feel made you vulnerable and allowed you to be victimized by the perpetrator. In either case, the result would be a personal personification of the Shadow archetype: an alter that embodies all the dissociated aspects of the host personality.

Intersection of Midwich and Innsmouth (2).

Though I cannot say that I have ever personally seen an aura, it does appear to explain the “vibes” that I feel from people and what feels like a subtle energy around all our bodies. It feels like a radiation of some sort, like an energy or light which I am blind to but can “feel” in a way I can best describe as a sort of hybridization of the typical tactile and kinesthetic sensations.

Different people feel different and the same people don’t always feel the same, but they have unique patterns and perhaps even omnipresent individual and group “signatures” beneath it all. I think of it this way: sometimes you can feel someone staring at you from the back of the head, so you can feel foreign energy. Sometimes, however, you can feel precisely who and what is staring at the back of your head: your mother, your dog, an alien, perhaps. General, group, and individual patterns therefore seem to exist in the experience of energy.

You can feel people leaching energy from you, and you feel utterly drained for some time after escaping their presence. Others feel like a psychic furnace, an irradiating sun charging all those who surround them. I can feel the energy of others as it pulls back from my own or as our energies reach out and mingle, resonate and coalesce. Through that energy I feel emotions, more rarely thoughts and images, that I feel certain are not my own. While I feel energy around their bodies, it becomes incredibly more intense through eye contact, almost as if serving as direct interface to an individual’s working memory.

During high school, I could not help but feel that at least to some degree I could tell who were abductees. I even began making a list of people from school that I suspected were having encounters. Despite this inner sense of certainty, I didn’t know why, so tried to find some unlikely common element they all shared. Eventually it came down to the fact that their energy had (at varying intensities) the same characteristic “feel” of the aliens and they even carried some physical characteristics I associated with the creatures.

There was, for instance, Maddox. With his skinny, tall frame and his stringy, light brown hair stretching down passed his long, bony, almost reptile-looking face and intense eyes, yes, he could come across as intimidating. Maddox always seemed strange, but he was also a polite and reasonably-cheerful fellow.

It was during high school that he underwent his grim metamorphosis, one that seemed abrupt and dramatic to me, as if somebody had just suddenly flipped a switch inside of him. Whatever the trigger was, he seemed to transform mentally, emotionally, and even physically he seemed different somehow. He had shaved his head, gotten tattoos. He seemed dark, lost, cold and angry and had isolated himself from his former friends.

One day I remembered him sitting motionless in the art room, arms crossed, staring with remarkable intensity into oblivion as if it were his master. Through word of mouth during high school, there was the pieced-together story that he had taken a drug at some party, which I believe was LSD, and that his friends had turned on him rather than helped him out. There was no way for me to know, because I had never known the guy personally.

It was not until high school, I believe, that I learned that a girl I lusted after was in fact his long-term, on-and-off girlfriend. Her name was Hazel, and she was slender with beautiful, dark eyes and long, brown hair. She, too, had that feel about her. It had tended to steer me away from such people, but with her there was also the desire to plow into her, so-to-speak, for she was strange, beautiful, insatiable — and with me, that only resulted in additional anxiety. It took me forever to talk with her at all, and about every day in the school library I had the chance to talk with her alone, one on one. She always looked near the bookcase that held all the paranormal material — my section — but the tension was high and paralysis always set in.

Then one day I’d gone to the very back of the library, where the Occult section was, and I noticed her quietly walking back there as well. I found her looking at the books right around the Occult section. Damned if I can remember how, exactly, but I ended up talking with her.

Life is full of let-downs. She was not one of them. She was all that I had hoped she would be, which essentially comes down to intelligent, mysterious, dark and damned interesting. She told me she loved reading these books about serial killers — books that were located a few shelves down from my section on the paranormal. Somehow that made me all the more curious about her on multiple levels.

Eventually, I managed to bring up my relatively-recently acquired obsession with the paranormal and asked her if she had ever seen a ghost or anything of that nature. “I’ve seen aliens,” is how she responds, and I didn’t know if I wanted to run away screaming or bury myself in her then and there. While insisting they were actual events and describing them as real, she nonetheless referred to those childhood encounters she had as dreams.

This was the first time I’d ever met anyone else who claimed to have had experiences with them, and I was blown away. Not only was she dark, mysterious and beautiful, but she’d seen `them’.

I couldn’t cough up the courage to talk to her again, though, let alone go so far as to make a move on her. As the years went by, I’d occasionally receive updates on Hazel, as my mother worked with her mother for a time. Mom explained the lady as Hazel had explained her, namely as so incredibly Christian that it bordered on the psychotic. Hazel and Maddox had apparently run off together out of state for a time, but eventually returned and, the last I heard, had broken up.

Though I did not immediately see a connection with the alien-vibes I first sensed from some people in high school and the telepathic child with the Cheshire Cat grin I had encountered, it would begin to set in some four months after the telepathic toddler, on April 7th, 2002.

On my way to meet up with Channing, I had stopped to get gas and cigarettes. As soon as I walked inside the door I met with a pair of vivid blue, piercing eyes staring at me. The eyes belonged to the skinny, bald-headed guy leaning beside the register behind the counter. It was Maddox. I had seen him but once, in passing, since I had graduated high school half a decade back, but we had not spoken.

After a pause for processing, I said his name in a manner as cliché-sounding as anyone who’s bumped into a fellow ex-high school classmate nearly five years after graduation. In a poor attempt to be polite, he returned by confirming he remembered my name as well.

He only lightened up when I shifted into customer mode and asked for a carton of Marlboro Reds. My plan was to ask him about his girlfriend before exiting, but I opened up my wallet to find it empty. Apologizing, I asked him to wait a moment and went to the ATM a pace or two behind me, got money, turned around and he was gone. Some girl had taken his place, and he was nowhere to be seen.

The day following my encounter with Maddox, on April 8, I was back sitting in the same dining room I had seen that kid in, perhaps even the same booth. I was sitting across from Tess, just another girl I had failed to develop a relationship with. We had finally had one successful date — a double date with our coworker, Angela, and her boyfriend — but she had ended up going out with some other kid shortly thereafter. She wanted to exchange writing and comment on each other’s work, and this time instead of poetry I’d given her some writings on my strange experiences. I felt certain she hadn’t read them, and to be honest I really didn’t give a shit.

As her and I spoke, I found myself a bit distracted when this family of four came in. There was a curly-haired brunette lady who I presumed to be the mother; a tall, dark-haired man who’s face I never saw, and two kids. There was a younger one who had blond hair and blue eyes and looked rather frail-looking. His head was kind of big, too. The other was older with dark hair. The mother sat down in the booth behind my friend – booth number five – with the frail boy between her and the wall. Across from her and back-to-back with my friend was the tall man. Across from the blond haired kid and tall man sat the dark-haired boy.

It was the blond that first caught my attention. He was a cute little kid with bright blue eyes, but something about him made me uneasy. Though I was quick to attribute it to paranoia, for a few moments I watched him closely just to be sure. As I was scrutinizing, both kids stood up at one, leaned towards one another from across their table and placed themselves forehead to forehead, like playful bucks locked in a duel, staring dead into one another’s eyes. The mother lightly backhanded the blond kid and told them both to stop.

My attention slipped back to Tess, who was still talking. I had absolutely no fucking clue what the hell she had been saying, and even what she was saying at present seemed to be empty words lost in a jumble. I was getting really, really uncomfortable, and I had no idea why. It all seemed very odd. Somehow, something just didn’t feel right.

Then I looked back up over her shoulder. The dark-haired kid seemed to sense my eyes on him, and he suddenly turned around and looked dead at me and have me a Cheshire Cat grin. When I meet his eyes his pupils grow large, darker-than-dark, and it suddenly it feels as if I’m violently dragged forward and right into them. It’s like we’re in this foggy bubble where we’re only eyes and mind, and only him and I exist, and the rest of the world grows blurred and distorted. It was definitely visual — he looked magnified, abstract and surreal, and I could still see that Cheshire grin, wide and cartoon-like. It certainly wasn’t limited to image, though. It was as if our eye contact had merged us mentally, fused us. I felt as though I was in his mind, or that he was in mine, or that we now shared a mind.

I looked away. It took me a few seconds or so of staring at the table in front of me to realize just what the hell had happened. I knew I wasn’t sleeping, so I couldn’t be dreaming. I wasn’t on drugs. Tess was still talking, but when she looked up at me she did a double-take and then stopped dead in her tracks. I imagine the look on my face must have been about as fucked up as I was feeling. She studied me another moment before asking what was wrong.

Looking at her, staring deep into her eyes, I found that nothing happened. If this was in my head, I wondered, wouldn’t looking into her eyes do the same thing?I looked back at the kid, thinking this might have been something I’d imagined — half hoping, as a matter of fact, that it had truly been something that I’d imagined. Then it all happened again. He goes into my head, grinning again, almost as if he’s a fucking cartoon. If I focused at all, I feared I might be locked there forever; that I might be trapped there and the rest of reality might fade away.

He looks away. While I’m sitting there pale as a ghost and freaking out, he’s sitting there amused. It’s almost as if he thought it was funny that he could do this. He leaned over the table again and whispered to the blond haired kid. Then he turns back to me and does it again, grinning that wide and freaky Cheshire cat grin, eyes as big and black as universes.

For the next few weeks, I began to wonder if all abductees were to some degree alien in terms of psychology, and if the creatures were slowly genetically manipulating us throughout the generations. Maddox, Hazel and I were an earlier generation and these kids I was suddenly encountering we’re simply the most recent upgrade. Still, it terrified me to think their might be adults like them walking around with telepathic abilities just as potent. From the back kitchen, I would look out into the dining room and look at the people ordering at the counter, wondering if some of them may be alien minds in human bodies.

Any hope that I might be overreacting died on May 18th. I woke up late and was in the process of pouring myself a cup of coffee when the phone rang. As my father went to reach for it, I told him, “Tell them I know,” figuring it was work calling. I wasn’t late for work, but it’s rigid routine for me to go their four hours early every day and sit around, drink coffee, smoke cigarettes and write. When I’m not there at least three hours early, they usually call and wake me up.

In response, my father handed me the phone. It wasn’t work. It was Melanie, a friend who I had drifted from during high school, and who had spent the last several years desperately trying to rekindle a friendship with me. I’d accepted that we had changed. I’d flipped out during high school and began seeing little aliens and having out-of-body experiences — I knew I’d be too weird for her now, and I was significantly different than how I’d been when she knew me. I didn’t want to live in the past and try to be who I was, and she seemed to expect that of me, so I had kept my distance.

“Did you hear about Maddox and Hazel?”

“No. What?”

“They’re dead.”

It was the way she said it — with not a hint of apparent sorrow. She almost seemed happy to tell me the news. She said it in the same tone she used to use when she called those frigid winters during high school to announce to me we had a snow day.

My father dropped the newspaper down on the counter in front of me just at that moment, as if to confirm her words, and their yearbook photos stared back at me from the front page.

After they had both graduated, they ran away together out of state, only to return a year or two later. They broke up and, after he became obsessive, irrational and abusive, often stalking her, she moved out of state again to distance from him. Apparently she had begun dating someone else; a kid from high school. Maddox kept coming back to her, though, trying to get her to take him back, but she refused. Things had gotten so extreme she had been talking to people at the store where she worked about getting a restraining order against him.

When police arrived the first time that morning in response to a call, they knocked on the door, leaving shortly thereafter when no one answered. After they were gone, a neighbor from across the hall then saw Maddox leaving the apartment. He was covered in blood. When he saw her he lifted a finger to his lips, went “shhh,” and left.

When the police returned, they found her purse outside the door. Inside, they found a trail of blood leading from the living room to the bedroom and bathroom, where they found her body. Beaten with a pair of brass knuckles they found nearby. Stabbed with the chards of a broken mirror. They had enough evidence to bring Maddox in for questioning, but they never got the chance. A hiker found his body in a secluded area in a park nearby my parent’s house, where he had put the barrel of a gun in his mouth and pulled the trigger.

I didn’t feel right going to either of their funerals, and scary things began to run through my head. It took me awhile to sit down and seriously consider the implications of it all.

Intersection of Midwich and Innsmouth (1).

When he approached my booth in the crowded dining room, it only took me a moment to remember him. We had met back when we had worked together at the other fast food place, a mere gas station away from this one. He had taken a look at my notebook and seemed to like what he read. Based on that he lent me his Slipknot CD, which he seemed to feel I would like.

He disappeared before I got the chance to return it. I had met him and last saw him back in 1999. It was now December 15, 2001.

I found that though he was a nice kid, he could come on really strong and it was really easy to trigger his anger. Inside he seemed so intense, so loud it drowned out any thoughts of his that might help him override the impulse. He became absorbed in his anger, it saturated him. Every verbal exchange with him felt like walking through a mine field.

Later I learned that he had spent some time in a mental institution. This had been on more than one occasion due to violence against himself and, if I remember correctly, others as well. I chose my words, my body language and even my tone of voice around him very carefully. In that vein I brought up the CD and told him I still had it, and I could bring it to work sometime if he wanted to swing by. Angry at first, when he realized I actually remembered and gave a damn he quickly cooled off. He told me to keep it.

He asked me if I was on break, but I confessed to him I hadn’t even started yet. I usually spent my free time sitting here, at a booth in the lobby, where I read, wrote, smoked my cigarettes and fed off the free refills of coffee.

As I looked at him across the table now, I couldn’t ignore how the side of his face would twitch every few seconds. He had not had that before. Cautiously, I asked him about it, only to learn that he had ended up in an institution again, where they had restrained him with shackles, as he described, and proceeded to subject him to electroshock therapy.

I was amazed to discover they still practiced electroshock therapy. At this point I would have thought we would have learned that its appropriate to jump cars, but you just keep the cables off the fucking people.

After a short discussion, he told me he had to go, explaining that he was here with some friend of his, some older guy with a small child, selling tickets for his band, or someone’s band. He asked if I was interested. I didn’t have much sincere interest, though instead of just telling him that I found myself lying to him in the attempts to be nice, giving him the false line about not having the money on me.

Though disappointed and clearly suspicious of my line, he accepted it. He returned shortly thereafter from his attempt to sell tickets, grim due to lack of sales, and we bid each other farewell. That, it seemed, was the end of that, so I went back down to writing in my notebook.

Not long after returning to my writing, however, I was jolted out of it by the sound of something hitting the far end of my booth. Startled and curious, I looked up to find a dome of blond hair poking out from just beyond the end of the table.

It was the upper hemisphere of a toddler’s head. One hand of his was grabbing a hold of the end of the table; in the other, he held his cup with the sippy-top. He was looking dead at me, and instead of meeting his eyes I just sort of laughed under my breath, turned my head back down, placed the pen to the page and continued my writing.

My eyes didn’t even reach my notebook before I heard it again. Looking back up, I immediately locked eyes with the kid and found myself imprisoned there. The gateways to my mind were being held hostage.

My peripheral vision was suddenly enshrouded in this dark, blurry overcast. While the eyes at the end of the tunnel shared the shadowy opaqueness, it was also possessed with a hyper-vivid quality. This sense of pressure built in my head, as if energy from his eyes were literally pushing into my mind, as if breaking and entering the mind and scanning and downloading personal files. A virtual form of search and seizure or, in this case, a telepathic analogue.

After a moment, he seemed satisfied and strangely amused, looking at me in a creepy way, as if he knew a “dark secret,” as I had later phrased it, that somehow connected him and I. The edges of his lips then curled slowly upward to an unnatural height, almost as if this surreal Cheshire Cat grin belonged somewhere in the twilight betwixt reality and cartoon.

Soon he walked away slowly with who I presume to be my ex-coworkers friend holding his hand, but my line of sight was still ensnared by his eyes. He held me in his ocular tractor beam until he was out of my line of sight, at which time I felt him release my mind from his psychic grip.

Sinking down into the booth, I was cold and trembling, heart pumping wildly beneath gooseflesh. My eyes felt a strange, widened sort of pain, and it felt as if I could still feel the residual feeling of him being inside my head. I tried to look intensely out into nowhere, to “stare” the feeling out of me as if I were trying to flush out the psychic lines or something.

It felt like mental rape, and as an added bonus, this experience was not at all foreign to me. The only difference in this case was that this was not some strange, presumably alien creature kidnapping me from my bedroom at night, but rather what by all outward appearances seemed like an ordinary human toddler in the dining room of the fast food joint where I worked.

Aside from a short poem I wrote in my notebook about it that day, I would not find the strength to reflect on it to the most minimal degree until the dream I had on the second of January.

In the dream, I was in this dark-lit restaurant I liked to hang out in, writing and watching people. I suddenly took notice of this waitress in the dining room, standing by the drink bar to the left of the counter. Though attractive, she seemed distant, even drugged, operating as if she were in some zombie-like, somnambulistic state. Instantly I recalled having seen her before, unable at first to recall from where but then realizing that I had met her while I was in the altered state of consciousness typical of an abduction episode. The altered state had endured, however, as her and I had sat down in a booth in this very restaurant and had spoken with one another on our experiences. It was there that she had given me a box, inside of which there were computer discs and what she described as pictures, which I had taken to be illustrations of her encounters.

Having finally remembered, I looked behind the counter, where I met eyes with a fat man. My sense was that he was of high authority, and I searched myself wondering if he played any role in the abduction. That, I believe, is when the fuzzy memory came to me.

In some hotel room, I am lying on the bed as an argument is going on between the girl, the fat man and I. Due to something said or done in that room, I was sure there was another girl involved, though not necessarily in a sexual way.

Sensing suspicion in his gaze, I casually looked away from the fat man, doing my best to seem calm and casual while trying to hide my face in a way that would appear incidental. The last thing I desired was for him to know that I was onto something, that I had gained awareness of my secret relations with this girl.

Upon leaving the restaurant and going home, I went to the downstairs computer, where I thought I had put the box that the girl had given me when we met up in the restaurant, shortly before the memories disappeared behind a wall of amnesia. The box was indeed there, seemingly confirming my memory. Inside the box were the discs as well as some tiny red folders or envelopes within which there were pictures, as she had mentioned. Rather than illustrations from her encounters, however, they were instead nudie pictures of her.

It bothered me that I had forgotten all about this, that I had not gotten back to her or so much as opened the box. There was also evidence that someone had opened the box and gone through it, and I feared that it had been my parents.

I left the family room in the back of the house, where the computer was, for the dining room, where I spoke with a man who seemed to be an authority in some way. Unlike the fat man, he was on my side, however. In some way I knew this man was me, despite the fact that I talked with him as if he was some separate entity standing by support beam in the dining room.

As we are talking, the fat man walks into the dining room from the direction of the living room, where I had been at the computer. Suddenly, I become frightened at the prospect of the fat man seeing me talking to my secret twin, but he is suddenly and simply not there anymore. Now my only hope was that the fat man would not recognize me as he passed through.

He did, and began to talk to me, specifically regarding some reference to a claim I had evidently made to him in the hotel room about being in the Army. As I put on my Army boots, I told him that it was rough for me. There were some things, top secret things, that I could not talk about, so I preferred keeping altogether silent about the matter.

Suddenly, the dream shifts scenes and I find myself in entirely different surroundings. I am uncertain as to whether this was a scene directly following the last or a memory within the dream akin to the one of the hotel room. Regardless, I am either in the back of a bus, a train car or van without windows, sitting in a seat typical of those vehicles. Directly behind me, in the very last seat, there was a girl sitting alone.

As we began talking, it occurred to me that there was already some secret bond between us, that there was more going on between us than I was aware of. She was aware of it, too, and she was keeping that secret from me. It suddenly struck me that this may very well be “the other girl involved” that had been spoken of in that hazy scene in the hotel room.

Regardless, I found her incredibly likable and fascinating, so was eager to comply when she suggested we exchange emails and requested mine directly. At the same time, however, the fact that she had an email surprised and confused me to no end, as if I felt she could not belong to the world in which that would be possible.

I found myself asking her if she was an abductee, to which she responded, “Not exactly.” Then I asked her if she was a hybrid, though I caught the same kind of ambiguity from her in response, I don’t believe she answered. Finally, I just openly asked her who or what she was. She explained that she wanted to tell me but she couldn’t, or that she was certain I would be incapable of understanding it.

It was at that moment that I finally let her entire face sink in. Even in retrospect, she seems so real. She wore a black winter’s hat over her blond hair, and she had very deep, sweet, blue eyes. They were also very sad, and I felt certain that they were sad for me.

After I awoke, the dream continued to fascinate me, and the themes it held that resonated with the encounter with the strange child in December made me wonder if it was merely a hallucinatory expression of the same underlying unconscious aspect. In the dream, the blond-haired girl’s request for us to exchange emails constituted a desire for communication, an indirect channel for keeping in touch, so perhaps this suggested a sub-personality in my unconscious wanted to engage in dialogue.

In the spirit of experiment, I utilized some techniques procured from Jung & the Alchemical Imagination by Jeffrey Raff, a book based on Jungian alchemy, in the attempts to conjure her in my mind and hold a dialogue with her under meditation on January 17th.

This only resulted in me falling asleep, but in the twilight between waking and sleeping I heard a distinct voice in my head. In retrospect, what bothered me about the voice was that it almost seemed like an external interception. It announced, “We’re going to have a problem here.”

When I awoke the next morning, I remembered having turned off my alarm clock three hours before and lying back down to think about something in particular, something I considered extremely important and which, of course, I could now no longer recall.

As my mind was not providing answers, I turned to rampant Internet searching, where I came upon “Indigo Eyes,” an article written by Mark Andrews that described a strange experience he had in the Spring of 1994. After an initial encounter with a blond-haired boy of roughly two years of age, the eyes of which delivered to him a “psychic jolt,” he encountered what seemed to be the same child on two subsequent occasions, each time accompanied by a different mother. The eyes of the child, or the children, he described as being almost cartoon-like, with an iris he described as looking like an indigo-colored pancake resting on a white paper plate.

From there, my internet searching brought me for the first time to the subject of what some had come to call the Indigo Children. There were, in fact, many such titles ascribed to children and adults regarded as somehow “special” or “strange” such as children of the blue ray, starseeds, wanderers, crystal and rainbow children. On the whole their descriptions seem to resonate with the Indigo, however.

The idea first came from Nancy Anne Tappe. She has the neurological condition known as synesthesia, in which sensory (and perhaps extrasensory) wires get crossed, leading to bizarre, consistent and highly individualized means of sensory experience. This can manifest in many different forms: hearing colors, seeing taste. In the case of Tappe, it manifested itself as an alleged capacity to see an “electromagnetic energy field” or aura around all living things in the form of a spectral field of colors.

For the most part, this field of colors is in a constant state of flux, changing in correspondence to an individual’s emotions, thoughts and physical health. The only exception was a single color in every individual aura that persists from womb to tomb, and it is this that she calls a person‘s “life color.” Early in life she noted that life colors appeared to be associated with similar personality characteristics.

All the details were condensed into her 1982 book, Understanding Your Life Through Color. In that book she recounts how she originally distinguished only eleven colors, but began to notice a new color in newborns in the late 1960s which she identified as indigo. Over time she came to identify four types of Indigo, which she refers to as Humanists, Artists, Conceptualists, and Catalysts, and believes that their joint purpose is to globalize humanity.

The concept of the indigo was fleshed out further and popularized by Jan Tober and Lee Carroll with the 1998 publication of their book, The Indigo Children: The New Kids Have Arrived. Their argument is that those who have worked with children have been noticing an increasing number of children displaying distinct psychological and behavioral patterns, and that these are the children who bear the indigo auras. In addition to having larger-than-average or intense eyes, they are often described as being telepathic, and new age circles regard the indigo color to be associated with the third eye chakra.

They are generally described as independent, sensitive, hyper-cognitive, weird kids with a strong sense of entitlement and purpose.

At roughly the time she met Nancy in the 1970s, Tober claims, she began having strange dreams where children would approach her, tell her who they were and why they were arriving. Upon awakening, she would find herself drawn to particular infants or toddlers with peculiar eyes and “old souls” — an experience that echoed my own too closely for comfort. Certainly the experience of Mark Andrews as well, who had been kind enough to answer my email. He reported that he was a schoolteacher, and while he had not bumped into that child again, he has noticed a change in younger generations in school.

Their resistance to strict, absolute authority systems and the use of fear- and guilt-based manipulation and discipline tends to cause issues with social adaptation, specifically with the school systems. This has led them to be diagnosed with disorders such as ADHD, ADD, OCD and treated with prescription pharmaceuticals that serve to wedge these square pegs into their assigned round holes.

Mainstream regards the “indigo” label as an irresponsible and dangerous new age belief propagating with the help of the Forer Effect — which is to say that the qualities allegedly characterizing the children are in fact so vague that they could with little effort be used to describe nearly anyone. Further, they assert that the Indigo label only serves to exacerbate mental disorders by placing quasi-religious value on them rather then having them properly diagnosed and treated. Many of the children in the school shootings and similar crimes were diagnosed and being treated with medication at the time of their given crime, however, and despite that they became front page news.

In her aforementioned book, Tober interviews Tappe, who first identified the children. “These young children — every one of them I’ve seen this far who kill their schoolmates or parents — have been Indigos,” Tappe explains. Others have gone further to note the correspondences between the characteristics of psychopaths and those attributed to the Indigo.

In a book published two years before The Indigo Children, and it is the 1997 publication of David Jacobs’ The Threat. There he transcribes the 1994 hypnosis session of Allison Reed (pages 246-250.) Along with fellow abductees, she was brought into a room where they were made to watch a “media presentation” on a large screen. It is a colorful, sunny, springtime scene that takes place in a park where numerous families are having picnics and the children are playing.

Though the aliens told her to try and distinguish the true humans from the “creations” of the aliens within the scene as a whole and then in individual families, but she finds it impossible. After this, the screen seems to pause and one by one certain individuals turn their head to look toward the screen and turn black and white. These are the alien’s creations. The scene them goes back to color and the scenery becomes alive again. “There’s only one way to tell,” her transcript records, “and that is that energy field around them but unless you can see it, you’ll never know.” The aliens also informed her that those that were capable of detecting the energy field and elected to cause problems would be dealt with.

What I found amidst some more searching on the internet was the film Village of the Damned, originally made in 1960, then remade in 1995 and based on the 1957 book The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndham. I had vaguely recalled hearing of the films, never the book, but the online descriptions gave me the chills. I eventually watched the movies and their sequels and bought the book.

In the story, the military is called in when it is discovered that the British village of Midwich, Winshire has evidently been enshrouded in an invisible dome some two miles in diameter. Any living being that breaches the dome’s parameter immediately becomes unconscious, though after being pulled back out again they appear to be fine. Even more curious: at the center of this massive half-bubble force field eye-in-the-sky military photos detected an unidentified silver object.

Come the following day, the object is gone, the dome is gone and save for a collective gap in memory, the village of Midwich seems back to normal.

Death comes to this illusion of normalcy some months later when the women of the village all find themselves pregnant with the “dayout” as the date of conception. Ultimately 30 girls and 31 boys are born from these women, all with pale skin, golden eyes, advanced telepathic capabilities and, to top it off, the same fucking birthday.

Other abnormal qualities of the children become clear as they grow, not least of which is the accelerated rate at which they do so. Perhaps the most peculiar, however, is their powerful telepathic abilities, which allow them to read the minds and even control the behavior of others. In addition, they seem to group up into two distinct telepathically-mediated “hive minds” — one for the boys, one for the girls.

The cuckoo reference in the book’s title is drawn from the tendency of the now-extinct bird to lay eggs in the nest of other bird species in hopes that the unwitting targeted foster mother will take them in as her own flesh and blood or in the very least adopt them. Adoption, as it turns out, was not the typical response for cuckoos of the Midwich variety. The military discovers that this had occurred in several other places, on each occasion with the children being killed at some point.

Apparently aware of the danger, the Children utilize their telepathic capabilities to make those who harm them kill themselves or one another, eventually requesting safe migration to an isolated area by the military. One man who had been teaching the children and gained their trust learned he had a fatal heart condition and killed himself along with the children like a faithful suicide bomber in the war against alien toddlers.

As I continued researching into the whole Indigo notion, I began getting an uneasy feeling. One of the very first fragments of memory to surface during high school had to do with the topic of auras, as I would later learn them to be called. It was also the very first recollection I had of a female and my seemingly alien Teacher, Nimi.

Leaning over the bunk of my loft bed, I looked out my bedroom window and communicated mind-to-mind with her on the other side of the glass. There she explained how there is an energy or light that exists around all forms of life in the universe. There was also some discussion about the significance of the colors in general, and though I do not remember specifics, I have vague recollections of seeing a rainbow, or some form of the visible light spectrum.

She went on to explain how her light was green while my light was a certain shade of blue. We had a discussion about my color and what seemed to be some confusion with respect to its classification. What that had been all about was a question that gnawed at me for years. Then I learned that though indigo was once accepted as part of the color spectrum, it has since fallen out of favor among many modern color scientists, who have dropped the “I” from the ROYGBIV mnemonic and now divide indigo between its neighbors, blue and violet. This may explain the classification problem.

A friend of mine with whom I meditated during high school was of the opinion that auras differed not just between people, but in the same person depending on his mental and emotional state at any given moment. He believed in no life color. Despite this, at least two times while under meditation and trying to see, in his mind’s eye, the colors of people’s auras, a friend of mine has described my aura as dark blue with streaks of red in it. A dark blue with a mix of red, it would seem, is a good description of the color indigo. On the second occasion he had evidently forgotten what he told me on the first, though repeated the same description.