I had an imaginary friend when I was about 4 or 5. When I met him, he was standing in my doorway. If I recall correctly, he was a tall mother fucker with a black and white pinstripe suit, matching pants, a dark red bow tie, and always went around barefoot. Most notable was the fact that he had a lantern for a head. There was no face, just a glowing lantern that, strangely, never lit up anything in the dark.
It began with him just watching me play, and it didn’t really bother me at first, but then I acknowledged he was there and began talking to him. All I remember is that he said he didn’t have a name – I ended up calling him Tribby – and that he came from a place called ‘The Q,’ but never told me what it was. He was pretty nice; he would help me with my homework and things. Sometimes we would play hide and seek, too, but we eventually stopped because he was able to flatten himself like Flat Stanley and turn sideways so I could see him.
When I turned eight, he told me I was old enough to learn about Gateways, which was some fucked-up thing he tried to explain to me. Basically, every child is linked with The Q by a gateway made specifically for that child and a ‘Q-Person’. The gateway is built in the child’s brain and it opens and closes randomly. The chances of whether or not the gateway will be open when the child and Q-Person are aware of it vary from kid-to-kid. In some cases, the gateway never opens at that point. I never understood it at that age.
Tribby understood and said my gateway would eventually close like everyone else’s and he would have to leave before that happened so he could return to The Q, but some thoughts would be able to be transferred between us due to our long-term connection. Tribby said that because of this he would eventually be able to transfer a complete understanding of gateways to me later on after he left.
Tribby left when I was ten. Then, sometime when I was twelve, I remember that when Tribby tried to explain gateways to me again I fully understood. I wrote all of the information down, too. That’s how I’m able to explain it here.
From what I can gather of this, gateways are some sort of psychic energy that only young children possess and it links a child with some sort of alternate dimension called ‘The Q.’ All of our imaginary friends are denizens of The Q, and are specifically assigned to a certain child for whatever reason, and based on our psychic strength, the gateway can open up to The Q and let our friends visit. Only we can see them because the energy is linked to only our brains.
As we grow older, that psychic strength fades because we’re taught there’s nothing but our world; our link to The Q fades as we begin to believe this. Our imaginary friends return to The Q before the gateway is permanently closed, but the residual energy allows for some things to be transferred over, such as thoughts, which is how Tribby managed to get me to fully understand the concept of gateways and The Q.
I’m unaware as to why Tribby gave only me this information. Perhaps he is a Q-Person scientist, or a rogue that wanted me to spread this wonderful information around, or perhaps I was just a batshit insane kid. I’ll never know…