Hermie by Nathaniel Rich
The short story ”Hermie” written by Nathaniel Rich portrays the story of a grown marine biologist, who suddenly sees his childhood imaginary friend the crab, Hermie. Though the story at first sight only portrays an encounter between an adult and a forgotten friend, something much deeper hides beneath this tale. It is the story of an insecure man’s sub conscience.
The narrator is a married man, living with his wife and 3-year old daughter in Philadelphia. His well-considered thoughts on everything from the hygiene of the restroom to the reason of Hermie’s sudden appearance suggests that he is an intellectual and intelligent man, which is a contradicting aspect to the fact that he is having a conversation with a…show more content… This is why his subconscious brings back Hermie, an imaginary friend that gave him comfort during his childhood. The narrator is neither aware of the level of comfort he finds in the memories of this childhood friend, nor that his ritual of repeating “Calm Blue Ocean” really is a way of receiving this consolation that he gets from the memories of Turtle Beach. The level of pressure he is exposed to in this situation is what brings out such a vivid hallucination, because his usual ritual does not calm him down adequately. The whole encounter is created in the mind of the narrator, and thus is the entire conversation between Hermie and him made up by his subconscious. This is the reason why the conversation between them reflects the feelings and cravings of the narrator that are buried so deep within him that he does not even realize it himself. Hermie’s request to come stay with the narrator reflects the guilt that he feels for leaving behind his world of imaginary friends, who always were there for him. He might even feel ashamed that he let his mom decide that it was not appropriate to have imaginary friends at the age of 10. At the same time it contradicts with the fact that Hermie in the end wants the narrator to help flush him out the toilet. This must be a reflection of the narrator’s wants as well, and therefore him flushing out Hermie can be a symbol of him releasing himself from the