Tyler lived in the same apartment complex as me (or is it I) when I moved to Florida for film school. We became fast friends despite his undying love for Queen. Our forces reunited after we had both become changed men in Los Angeles. We’ll never be the same, but our qualities coincide enough to where our friendship remains intact.
When we knew each other we both had long hair, and he had quite a collection of PS one games. He was a part of what I believed to be Chris‘ posse, and we partnered up during lighting class with Patrick and Kevin. Over the next few months the infamous I Know, Right? band was formed, which consisted of Patrick, Kevin, Tyler and Drew playing Rock Band while I sat by and watched, by my own choice. As I stated once before, I grew up around musicians, so I had no interest in getting involved with plastic over metal. When the band dissipated over the break Tyler was upset. His itch had been scratched and I think it was then that he really decided he wanted that more than a feeling that comes from being a frontman all the time.
What do I know, though?
Tyler eventually dropped behind us in school, and after that it became difficult to keep up with him. Eventually when we all moved to New York, he pursued his Texas home state before vacating to LA to work on sound. We kept in touch on occasion, having a catch up phone call every six months or so. When I finally stopped touring the country and settled in the city I tried to avoid for so long, Tyler was there, and as always, a most hospitable host. He offered me lodging in his RV for the beginning of my stay.
What a bachelor lifestyle. We sat up at night, sharing a fifth of whiskey and talking about our adventures in the three year gap since we last saw each other. Tyler had recently joined an 80s cover band called The Flux Capacitors.
Man after my own heart.
Carlos and I went to his second show. I wasn’t surprised at his talent, for I had seen it before displayed in front of a television while little fisher price buttons raced by. It was still great to hear live, though. I’d always wanted sing, which was mostly the reason why I fell so hard for karaoke. It gave anyone the chance to be a rock star, but nothing compared to being up there on the stage for a solid session, with fans there just to watch you go. I was happy for him. I was proud to know him. It was a small dive bar and his band got no kickback for playing, but proud I was, none the less. It was everything I had wanted and he had it. Afterwards we played some pool and mingled. I looked to my right to see a blonde dancing to the next band on stage. She looked over at me and smiled.
My previous luck with blondes taught me nothing as I strolled over to introduce myself. In the midst of a discussion about I forget, Tyler came over and patted me on the back. “What’s goin’ on?” He asked. I could tell something was up. That’s when I noticed another guy standing next to her who looked suspiciously familiar. He was the guitar player in The Flux Capacitors.
And he was her boyfriend.
I put it all together and immediately backed off. Wouldn’t have mattered anyway, I bet. Carlos and I left soon after and the next time we hung out with Tyler was on a day we all were supposed to go to the beach. It was, of course, a bust, and we ended up hanging out at Dalton’s, beginning our drinking process at three in the afternoon. As the hours waned and a game of Cards Against Humanity ended, we decided on a trip to Karaoke. The only place I knew of was the Brass Monkey, which I didn’t like because it was insanely crowded, and the DJ was a dick. When we arrived we immediately entered the bathroom, where we engaged in a half hour conversation about what to do next.
As we moved aside to let the various bargoers take their piss, we eventually decided not to stay at this place and headed to a restaurant for a late night meal. By this time, I was wobbling in my chair and completely unreliable for anything that required thinking. Carlos, however, seemed to be flirting with the waitress, whom I don’t remember. I told them the story of a time when I told Shane to leave his number for a waitress, and when he didn’t want to, I left it for him. “It worked, too.” I think I said.
After we got our bill, I told Carlos to write his number down. He also refused, so I grabbed the receipt and illegibly wrote numbers on it. Carlos got up to walk out, then returned to briefly say, “Write something cool.” before leaving again.
Did I mention I was in no position to do something that requires you to think?
I looked down for a moment at the paper and wrote “Let’s have a good night.” before sliding it over to Carlos’ side of the table. Tyler took one look and lost it. When Carlos found out what was written there he was abashed. He swore to never enter that restaurant again, and when Carlos swears something, he sticks to it.
I hope to have more adventures with Tyler. Until then, I’ll settle for seeing his shows. What an 80s cover band will never include, however, is Tyler’s wonderful Justin Timberlake covers, which was the first time I had ever heard Suit & Tie. Whenever I hear that song Tyler’s dancing around the narrow karaoke area hits my frontal lobe.
I wonder sometimes which hits of today will become classics of tomorrow. I doubt Suit & Tie will stand a 20 year test, but by the year 2020, it will probably still be in circulation among the new hit trend of online request radio stations. In this not too futuristic world I’ll be wearing my self-tying Nikes, tapping my foot to the beat of my favorite mix site, when low and behold, Suit & Tie echos its way through my speakers built into my custom bike helmet. By this time I’ll have mastered the art of bobbing and weaving through LA traffic, or so I think. It’ll be a cool April night and my leather jacket will flap in the wind as I race down the 101. The sad part is I have no destination. Cruising was a hobby built into me during my small town life, and a motorcycle only makes the ride that much better.
As I ride and glance at the wonders that man built, some dick will try to push his way into my lane, but I don’t take that shit lightly. My motorcycle will be no match for his Tesla, as sad as that is, and I’ll go down. Timberlake will cut out at the same time as my consciousness, and I’ll roll and roll and roll down the highway, neck, arms and back shattered, jacket torn and shoes unsheathed. There’s no hope for me, even in this new world order, but at least I’ll have checked out in my Biker’s outfit and thinking of a friend I had too few adventures with.