“Is Tyler here? Tyler?” I asked the class. I was substitute teaching second grade at the beginning of my illustrious career, and I thought I knew everything- including that Tyler would be a boy.
“Here,” said a voice, and I looked up.
“You absolute magnificent badass,” I thought at the kid, stunned but smiling at her placidly. Tyler was a girl, and I wanted her name.
Oh yes, I would have her name.
Fast forward to adult nights in the Old Port, and Tyler would become my bar moniker. You know the deal- the one you give to people when you’re not really interested. When the guy is drooling the Bud Lights he ordered at the microbrewery onto your toes, or when instead of buying you a drink, he buys you spinach artichoke dip. Or oh! Just hands you his lease instead of trying a line.
Those cobblestones get weird in summer.
Anyway, Tyler became my bar name, and when this real guy named Tyler joined our staff after a few years of doing Peace Corps stuff in Cambodia, I noticed he had some abstract art instead of a human profile pic so I started using his last name, too, in hopes that dudes would send him hilarious off-color messages while looking for me.
This did not happen, but I like to think it cemented our friendship.
I reminisce fondly upon those glory days, as I age gracefully into not getting hit on in person a single time in five months of Asia. (Stricken from the record: the guy in the karaoke booth who snuck in and ran his hand up my leg. It doesn’t count because before I even know what had happened, he was stumbling into Katie for a post-Celine Dion ballad mammary honk. Clearly I could not take it personally.)
Anyway, the point is that a few weeks ago I asked Tyler what to do in Cambodia, and he responded with some recommendations that I hope do not turn out to be revenge for all the bandying about with his birthright. So bam: here I am. I’m booked for a week, then wide open until July 1, when I head back home to see if I’ve still got it.
Now, y’all- same question to you. What (literally on earth) should I do? I’ve got some work left to finish so wifi is a must, but outside that I’m free to roam.
Suggestions? I eagerly await.