The Right Imaginary Person by Robert Anthony Siegel: My Review

"I walked beside them with a mixture of anxiety and hunger, waiting for a chance to use one of the phrases from my fl ashcards, waiting for the chance to be loved."

- From the Text.

This story is about Benjamin, an American who has visited different places to seek fulf i lment and settles in Japan with cold-hearted woman Sumiko. They both are dating, but Sumiko does not seem serious in a relationship while Ben is happy even with the cold touch of another human. The story has an essential message to convey, that, as humans, we seek fulf i lment in material things and success in wealth. In contrast, success and fulf i lment solely lie in spending time with our loved ones and loving the ones close to us while success lies in contributing to the society and world at large.

I found the story quite tender. Ben’s sister Daisy had succumbed, and he is unable to connect with his parents since he writes them letters which he never mails. Sumiko advises him to write letters as an imaginary person, which he starts to do. At the same time, Sumiko herself is a writer, she has written many pieces of writings in science fi ction but never published them, and Ben loves them. When Sumiko gets a job, she burns all of her writings, and Ben too realises that Sumiko’s cold-heartedness is no better than the isolation he suffered throughout his life. When unloved, it is somehow fulf i lling to care about someone and love someone by giving what you have not been given; this complex keeps Ben stuck with Sumiko.

  • Things I explored through this story.
    • Success lies in contributing with your abilities to society.
    • Fulfillment lies in love and time dedicated to human relations.
    • A sense of belongingness is a blessing.
    • We should respect and spend more time with people close to us.

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