Growing up in a small Minnesota town during the 1980s was not easy for Matthew. He was abused by the Catholic Church, bullied mercilessly by his peers, and neglected by public school teachers. To complicate matters, he is also gay. Matthew’s path of self-loathing led to an adult life that’s unfulfilled and depressing. To survive, he regularly retreats into the lives of three friends he invented while growing up.
Nikail, the oldest of Matthew’s friends, is a space-cowboy from the planet Infinia. He’s locked in a deadly dispute with an evil warlord. A second friend, Dr. Nicholas Wells, has been with Matthew since junior high. Wells is a world-renowned Egyptologist on the cusp of making the biggest discovery of his career. Mr. Jack Hartman, Matthew’s friend from his celibate young adult years, is a handsome English teacher who is secretly dating the most eligible bachelor in town.
Imaginary friends are fine for children, but they might not be the best way for a grown man to cope with his mental state. In To See a Narwhal, Matthew navigates the complicated institutions of religion, work, relationships, and identity. He attempts to seek happiness in the real world—a world he eagerly escapes from all too often.