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The Impersonator

April 2002

While working in Taiwan in 1988, I lived in a dormitory used by the employees of a security company. The company owned the high-rise building and the dorm was located on first floor.

I had become acquainted with a few of these security "patrol men" who invited me to stay there rent- free. There were several rooms with 3 or 4 guys per room. One of these rooms was a larger room that was simply petitioned off by framework and paneling to create two rooms. It was in one of these two rooms that I had my unique experience.

The guys I lived with did shift work -- driving around in their patrol cars waiting for the call from headquarters that one of their patron business' alarm had been triggered. I was home alone except for a couple of guys that were sleeping. It was about 3 a.m. and I was finding it hard to sleep. I heard a rustle in the other room and quickly got out of bed to see who was up-and-about. I was dying for some conversation.

I walked over to one of the "petitioned" rooms to find the lights on, the door open, and one of the guys rummaging through things in the room, as though he were searching for something. Although the guy that was snooping around wasn't in his rightful room, I didn't think it strange because these guys were all "share and share alike" kind of guys. But what happened next was totally out of character for this friend of mine.

I said, (in Chinese of course) "Hey, what's going on"? He simply looked up from his intense search and stared at me with cold glassy eyes and said nothing -- then promptly went on with the search. "What are you looking for"? I asked. No response. He stopped, turned and walked right past me into the main hallway where I stood and continued on down the hall. As he walked away, I gave him one more chance to speak. "Hey, why won't you say anything to me? I'm talking to you"! Nothing. He just walked out of my field of vision. I shrugged it off, but felt confused about his atypical behavior. Incidentally, he was wearing a T- shirt and shorts. Typical attire for relaxing in the dorm.

The next morning as I readied myself for work, and was heading out the door, In came the usual graveyard shift crew back from their night work. I was stunned to see the guy who had me puzzled the night before. He was laughing and joking with the others just as he normally would.

"Why wouldn't you talk to me last night when I was talking to you"? I asked.
"What do you mean? I've been at work all night". Sure enough, he was dressed in the security uniform.
I must add at this point that only one or two nights later, again in the wee hours I was awoken by yelling and I ran out of my room to find one of the other guards running out of his room (the one adjacent to the previously mentioned room) in a panic. I asked what was wrong and he told me that he was sleeping when something held him down. Unable to move or yell out, he was slowly lifted off his bed and then dropped. At that point he was once again able to move, and ran out of the room screaming and yelling.

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