Casual Impostor

Though he didn’t usually keep count, over the past couple years, Blake was sure he had been mistaken for someone else at least six times. Throughout his adult life, such misunderstandings had happened and lately the phenomenon seemed to have accelerated. It occurred in train stations, supermarkets, baseball stadiums, anyplace where hordes of people converged, where the odds of running into someone you recognized was exponentially increased by the numbers. It was as if there was some generic quality in his face, a kind of template that enabled people to see longlost friends, classmates and colleagues who still generated a faint signal in the recesses of memory. He seemed to emit an invisible current that called out to strangers.

At first, he felt flattered by these episodes of confusion. It had the merest whiff of celebrity to be singled out in a crowd, to be addressed in a friendly yet tentative way by someone you had never seen before, as if you had a bit part in a small fi lm that had just come out. There was always something marvelous in their initial expressions, thinking they had rediscovered a piece of their lives they had thought irretrievably gone. Lately though, a certain annoyance had crept into these scenarios because of the bewilderment he was beset with, as he racked his brain for some semblance in his own past. He wondered why it almost never really was him but rather some anonymous double, a hundred times more popular.


~ winner of the 2011 Solstice Short Fiction Contest


From Tom's Blog

December 20, 2017

“Home and Castle” coming out in January

The editing and proofreading and thousand other things that go into putting a book together are thankfully finished and my story collection Home and Castle is at last coming out in early January. (see www.snakenationpress.org for the Editor’s statement and further details). Most of the stories in it were originally published in literary journals such  (…read more)

About The Author

THOMAS BENZ graduated with a B.A. in English from the University of Notre Dame. He recently won the 2017 Serena McDonald Kennedy Award for a short story collection called “Home and Castle.” The book is to be published by Snake Nation Press in the fall. In the last several years, he has had fifteen stories  (…read more)