Sometimes, people and entities allow themselves to be exploited by Hollywood. I did. I am the Long Island Smoke Monster. I was at the same Hamptons barbecue as J.J. Abrams and Damon Lindelof back in 2002, and it’s always been clear they based the Lost smoke monster on me. Well, I have news for you—it’s a totally inaccurate depiction! I never said anything before because I thought the producers would eventually offer me something in exchange—like creative control over my own project, or even just a set visit in Hawaii. Wrong! So now that Lost is coming to an end, there are some things I want to get straight.
First, no smoke monster ever kills people. We are mischief makers, not murderers. Why does Hollywood have to exaggerate and give everyone a bad name? Did every Native American want to kill a cowboy? No. And not every smoke monster wants to turn hippie-temple people upside down and slam them into the ground until they die. Sometimes we like to cause stampedes in nightclubs, but only when they are full of scumbag drug dealers and aren’t filled to capacity (we check the fire marshal’s posted signs first), thus not putting any lives, useless as they may be, in danger.
Second, we don’t turn into people. We can form our smoke selves into a general human shape, but we still look like smoke. That’s how I can write this. I’m doing it with my smoke fingers on the public computer in an empty corner of the Montauk library. Unlike on Lost, real smoke monsters like ourselves. We don’t have to try to be someone else, like some person who wears black all the time. The only problem is we often set off fire alarms. Which I’m really hoping I don’t do because smoke monsters respect intellectual pursuits and we don’t like causing evacuations of storehouses of knowledge.
Third, we love islands. We never want to get off them! Islands are a place where we can be ourselves. Island culture is forgiving to those who are “different” like us. Islands are a refuge. The thought of killing everyone on one of them and then leaving is not in our wheelhouse. Also, people on islands tend to have lots of barbecues so we have other smoke to talk to. And have you heard of volcanoes? That’s the biggest smoke party ever, and almost always on islands!
Fourth, no one can hear us coming. Your smoke monster makes some noise like a giant, half-broken hamster wheel going around and around with or without a hamster on it. Or maybe that’s supposed to be the sound of the wind blowing the giant empty wheel, which is rusty. In any case, our effectiveness at being playful sprites would be totally ruined if we announced ourselves with some trademark sound.
Fifth, we don’t create some gale force wind when we move around. If that happened, the Montauk library would not have any books left on the shelves.
Sixth, we are not rolling industrial factory smoke in a black-blue-gray. We’re more of a black-gray-blue.
Seventh, we are not pure evil, nor are we just possibly evil, nor are we good being mistaken for evil, or whatever that other fictional smoke monster is. There’s just no question as to where our moral center lies. It’s in Port Washington, one of the nicest, most normal, most middle class towns you ever visited on Long Island.
There’s more but like I mentioned, the fire alarm could go off at any minute. In closing, I’m flattered we inspired a television character—but we are not Smokey the Killer! Please know that the Lost smoke monster does not actually depict anyone living, dead or eternally rolling through the world in billowing columns.
Oh drat, there go the sprinklers.