There is the short version and the long one. You could skip to the last two paragraphs for the short version which aren’t that short either. That would mean you miss the long version of events, which saves you time, right? Maybe.
The ball was rolling and it was a Saturday afternoon. I turned from Kampala road, walked down Dustar street, stopped at the pathway between Radio One and Maria Galleria and stood there like a sheep with an undecided mind. Should I buy it? Or I should let it pass. I decided I should. I should buy myself a woofer.
Boda guys were hooting and riding at the speed of bodas, like they owned the street. There was one riding towards Nakasero market with his butt on the fuel tank and the whole seat behind him looked like a casket. His hands were on the handle bar, extended into an ox-bow. Boda guys will always be boda guys. They make their rules and sometimes fall in the trench with them.
The clouds were grey, grey like they were about to tear. I looked up and said, “Come on clouds, please wait until I get home.” Nimbus clouds listen. They listen and change their minds when they want. I went past the leaves of travel and school bags hanging outside Maria Galleria and ran across the road. It was a one-way street. You can’t trust motorists on any road in Kampala. Trust only yourself and your running feet. And there I was, at the entrance of an electronics shop looking at the display of speakers through the glass door. I walked in with two steps.
A man of Indian descent ran the shop. I’ll call him Singh. His shop smelled of incense and mint. Fresh smell. Singh, with a red dot on his forehead was as cheerful as a box of clowns ready to close a deal. Broad smile, that guy. A blabbermouth too. He made me feel comfortable, speaking about the specifications of each woofer I pointed at in a rather amateur way. “This one,” he said, pointing at one, “good for you. Good for you.” He said things like, “This one, good music my friend. For nice loud music.” His assistant, a young Ugandan man in his mid-twenties was blushing all through, not a blush of joy. It was a despising kind of blush. He shrugged his shoulders and communicated something through his eyes, something I didn’t understand. His eyes blinked more than usual.
I scanned around the place, looking at the speaker systems lined in open cabinets along the walls and on the floor as Singh spoke. He had Panasonic and Sony and…I don’t remember the others. I saw a Philips brand and I told him, “That one. Get me that one.” His assistant climbed up a stool and got it. He placed it on the counter. I liked it. We negotiated the price. I wanted to get the lowest possible price. He wanted to get the highest possible price. We hit a snag and when I was about to leave, he said, “Wait….” I turned back. “You pay money. I give you this. You are customer customer…”
I paid him the money and just as he was about to pack the woofers, he said, pointing to no specific speakers on the wall behind my back, “Did you see that one?” I turned away from the counter to check what he was pointing at. It took under 10 seconds. When I walked out of that shop, got into my taxi, I snapped back into reality and noticed Singh had packed a different speaker system in the box. And it was raining. This was six years ago. It was my first experience with a grifter. He was a smooth talker. I missed the sign from his assistant. I trusted him.
Grifters draw you in, make you believe some thing is real. Then they take your heart and your money, everything that they want, including your boxers and they leave you to bleed in your loss with no one to save your sorry self. It’s entertaining to watch, not to experience it.
Imposters is a series about that. Grifters. A girl, with many names, steals three hearts, hearts of two men and one woman. She cleans them of their money and vanishes with their left ventricles. She leaves each with a message at the click of a tab. It says they will never see her again. Brutal. It’s her job. She scores A’s at it. And at her new job, when she is just starting out, working out a way of stealing the heart of another one, she lets her guard down and misses a step, tumbles down the stairs and lands, not on her head, not on her stomach and definitely not on her sitter. She lands on her knees because she has the help of a team, a team she had betrayed. She gets back on her feet and keeps running. And her mantra is, Always Forward, Never Back.
Do you have about 42 mins to spare? Yes? Good. That’s about how long one episode takes. If you like it, then you can watch the next episode and the next. Season I has 10 episodes. That would mean 420 minutes of your time. If you have it, then take a tight seat and give your eyes a feast of dark comedy. It’ll be good for you. And if you don’t look forward to Season II after that, I’ll write an apology letter to you the old school way, in pen. Deal?