It was August 4th, 2011. They were stoned upon arrival and then proceeded to drink and smoke some more. Though I feel certain this did a lot to facilitate the threesome that then took place in my bedroom, we all enjoyed the experience enough that we proceeded to do it on another two occasions at the very least. It was this first occasion, the death of my threesome virginity, that had the most impact and tends to stick out in my memory, however.
At some point after we had all fooled around for a bit Jen, who was by that time truly stoned out of her gourd, left to go to the restroom. A short time later she came bursting back into the dark, smokey bedroom, face in her hands, and sat on my bed beside Sadie. Crying, speaking unintelligibly, she was evidently rather freaked out, which in turn got both Sadie and I rather freaked out. Though I couldn’t make it out what she was saying exactly, I thought she had said that she had seen something. We both urged her to elaborate, and she finally said that she needed a moment to figure out how to explain this.
A few moments later, in between deeply drawing off a cigarette, she explained that she’d had this recurring dream since childhood, and she had just had it again while she was on the bathroom. Though perhaps the case is different when you’re considerably stoned, people don’t often have dreams while they’re still awake, and so immediately this sounded more to me like a flashback.
Regardless, in what she calls her dream she was really young, perhaps two or three years old. She was on a trampoline with her brother in the yard of someone’s house. This was a house that was familiar to her in real life, from her childhood. Suddenly a man approaches them. He has a pale, expressionless face, dark hair and dark cloths, and the whole time he is just staring at them.
After that, she said, she remembers nothing. She wonders out loud if perhaps she was molested as a child.
Evidently Jen knew nothing about the Imposters, as I have since come to call the bulk of them. Others have called them, or certain groups of them, by various names. They are all joined by their generally peculiar behavior and, to varying degrees, their “passable” human appearance.
It is no news to me, working in the town I currently do, that some people are, relative to the average, simply strange in both appearance and behavior. One who knew me might argue I may even qualify. What interests me are the patterns that run through many of the reports, differing in ways that justify the independent titles attributed to them and yet similar enough in ways that suggest they are ultimately connected.
The Impostors preceded and seem to have provided inspiration for many characters we are now quite familiar with in popular culture. There are the Men in Black comics and movies, of course, and that one X-Files episode “Jose Chung’s From Outer Space” featuring two MIBs played by Jessie Ventura and Alex Trebek. Less obvious, perhaps, are the Agents of The Matrix trilogy, the Observers from the television show Fringe as well as the Strangers from the movie Dark City.
In real life these Impostors engage in the same scenarios with their subjects over and over. There are cases of plumbers entering the basement of numerous houses only to vanish, the supposed government agents (“the silencers” or MIBs) that arrive at your doorstep after a UFO encounter, the phantom photographers, strange job interviewers or the children with black eyes that want inside your house or car for some reason. Sometimes their script is event-specific, however, and at what turn out to be moments of cultural significance, such as during the JFK Assassination or during the plague.
The Impostors often have strange eyes and peculiar voices. With respect to the eyes, this is typically in terms of shape, and for both the effects are often described as hypnotic. They often wear inappropriate attire, either long out of fashion or absurdly out of season, but have also been reported in more conventional and modern attire, such as khakis and jeans.
Regardless of their type they all play the same roles, ask the same questions. The specific roles they play and scripts they adhere to seem to fall into one of several kind of scenes and they all typically exhibit the same strange, seemingly scripted behavior, though the talent or capacity of the individual actors vary. Some are almost robotic in their behavior or tone of voice, others seem a bit more capable but seem to have poorly rehearsed, and still others behave in an over-the-top, dramatic and deliberately archetypal manner. They often express knowledge about the contacted subject that they should not and one would think could not know. Even so, they seem ignorant of the most conventional things in human society. Regardless of their type, individual talent and dress, however, if you force them to go too far off script, they panic. If they offer their names or occupations they are invariably false ones, and while the references they provide are on occasion real people upon contacting them those real people claim to have never heard of them.
Immediately Jen’s story made me think of two events in my own life. One I do not recall, though it was relayed to me by my parents; the other occurred when I was in my twenties.
My parent’s story involved picking my sister and I up from the two-week Bible camp the summer of 1986. My childhood friend, Jimmy, had gotten my sister and I to go with him and his brother. Though I have committed what I recall of my experience there to writing elsewhere, relevant here are the men my parents remember seeing in the chapel, men who unnerved them both. They wore black suits and were standing at every wall, faces pale and expressionless. They had explained those men just as Jen had explained that ominous stranger.
The other event took place on the anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy, in November of 1998. Sandra had brought me to the JFK Lecture at Kent State, where a writer from the Free Times, who had for years studied the assassination, was prepared to speak. As we walked in, an oriental-looking fellow with a scowl about his face walked passed everyone quite angrily, holding his hands up to the cameras to block them as he went passed. His eyes seemed fixated on something ahead of him, or perhaps something in his mind. Strangely, I didn’t think too much of it. Sandra and I took our seats, got out some paper to take some notes during the lecture. There was an empty seat, Sandra, and then me. The creepy, scowl-faced oriental fellow sat in the empty seat beside Sandra. It was then that I started feeling a bit weird about the guy. Sandra scooted toward me, tugging at my shirt. What she was trying to tell me then came to my attention — because I realized it, too.
This scowling fellow, in a suit and a big, dark-purple, almost black trench coat, was mumbling into his coat pocket, or into his sleeve, his eyes never leaving the stage. He mumbled into it as if it were completely natural, as if no one should think twice about it, as if none of us even existed or it was a perfectly natural thing to mumble into your coat. The lecture started, and he continued doing it. He then got up in a fuss and left as bitterly as he had arrived.
It struck me as odd that I hadn’t realized just what he was — not that, until that point, I had believed in Men in Black or even knew all that much about them, but I should’ve made the connection. Only later, at home, did it suddenly hit me.