I’ve spoken of the Summer of Tylers before, Gentle Reader. There ended up being four Tylers in total – five if you include me. While Tyler Two was my favorite, I actually ended up going on a date with Tyler Three. Well, almost.
I met him at a Mimosa Sunday – a rather special one at that. Miss Ward and her young man were there, about to leave for a year in Australia, as was Miss G.G., who I’ve known since I was nine and hadn’t seen since we were sixteen or so. When the karaoke host called my name, I stood up – and so did a chiseled blonde Adonis, stubble neatly framing his square jaw. My own jaw may have dropped.
Not only was he the most gorgeous creature I’d seen, not only did we share a first (and a middle) name, he seemed interested in me as well. Unfortunately, the bar boor, known for his predatory practices and bad singing, kept cornering him, plying him with Kamikazes. Auntie R, knowing how rare it is for me to meet an amenable young man, ran interference and pulled a few strings, called in a few favors – the bar boor was asked to leave, for at least three months. Victory!
The lot of us traipsed down to the Graffiti Garages, where (until quite recently) one was able to legally spray – the out-of-towners wanted to leave their mark on the city before flying out, you see. Meanwhile, Tyler Three pinned me against some fresh sky-blue paint and took liberties. I still have the cardigan, stained with paint. I was sorry to neglect my long-distance friends, but I was swept up in the moment. Auntie R warned us that the police were about, and they didn’t look favorably on gay P.D.A. As it was time to depart for the night anyway, we made arrangements to meet the next week for a date.
A few days later, I rode the bus into a dodgy part of town – an area well known for gang fights and drug use. I hadn’t known the area from the address – I recognized it as I rode through. Couldn’t be helped at that point – although I was nervous enough about the date without that on top. I debarked in a shady alley, dressed in my customary attire. Uh-oh.
I called once, twice, thrice – no answer. I was dejected, scared, and alone. But wait – is that our young paramour, descending the stair? It is indeed.
“Sorry, bro – my girlfriend called in sick to work. She huffed too much, and I gotta take care of her. It’s cool that I can’t bring you up, right? We can do this next week, instead, if you want.”
“Sure, man, it’s all good. I’ll see you around,” I lied. It was pretty clear at that point that it wouldn’t have been a date anyway, and I didn’t really need all the drama or moral quandaries such an entanglement would bring.
I walked off into the night to a friend’s apartment, and I never saw Tyler Three again.