We all know the name. We all know the personality. We all know the danger. Tyler Durden. While Tyler Duden is a fictional character, we have all met him in our lives. He can be a he. He can be a she. I guarantee at some point in your life, you’ve met a ‘Tyler Durden.’ Their looks are twice as good as yours. Their charisma is off the charts. You toss and turn at night, wondering why you weren’t them instead.
Durden comes from the story FIGHT CLUB, where Durden represents what the narrator wishes to be and exhibits characteristics the narrator can only dream of having. Of course, it is revealed later in the story, the Narrator is in fact Tyler Durden, a sort of split personality.
This is the beginning of my story of when I met Tyler Durden in my life. I met Tyler in high school. Tyler wasn’t really a looker. He was 5’7′, not fat. Not thin. Just where he should be. His hair was fluffy and blond, his skin fair with a touch of redness. Where he lacked in looks, he made up for personality. When he talked, you listened. When he smiled at you, you felt acknowledged. We were theatre geeks. While I was primarily an actor, Tyler was also a techie, meaning he sometimes worked on the sets, sounds, or lights of the productions. That was one thing he had over me. I lacked the skills to be technical and admired him for how he could build and design. Like many friendships, I don’t remember exactly how we became friends.
Admittedly, friends were new to me— I was often alone and rarely got out. So, at the age of 16, when social acceptance is so highly important, I found myself with a best friend. It was my opinion that Tyler was very good with people and he was popular. People fought to sit by him in class, people wanted to have lunch with him and so on. I had somewhat become his sidekick— glaringly awkward, but accepted because Tyler Durden wanted me in his group. And that’s exactly what it was. The entire theatre department was divided into three groups. The Popular, The Seniors, and the Outcasts. The Outcasts was where we all start. And I was in that group until Tyler brought me over to the Popular. Tyler was only a sophomore when he and I met, but it was my interpretation that aside from The Seniors, he was the one to be friends with. Tyler came from a broken home life. He was affected by his home and it wasn’t a place he ever really wanted to be. Without going deep into such private information, I will say from a theatre standpoint— Tyler felt pressure from his youngest brother, who was musically inclined and somewhat the apple of his mother’s eye.
Tyler’s brother was getting into professional shows where we lived and winning all kinds of awards. I would often try to help him by giving him words of encouragement. But he seemed to always block my words. While I knew about his pain from what I observed, he never told me anything. For a long time I thought there was something wrong with me, because he would never share intimate details of his life or thoughts. I asked him about it one day and he replied, “Don’t take it personally. I’m just a private person.” When I was finally a Senior– he a Junior— I found myself in a war with Tyler and the Seniors. You can’t be friends with him, they’d say. He’s part of the PROBLEM. You see, in short, The Seniors were somewhat rebelling against the department. There was an issue during a production and they wanted our teacher fired.
For the sake of the story, the teacher did nothing wrong. Some Seniors had broken rules and when punished, they sought revenge. And truth be known, I had never really fit in with these group of people— the people that I ‘should have’ been friends with, because we were of the same class. Now, while some Seniors I did get along with, the main click of that group I did not. For awhile, there was this push pull. The Seniors tried to entice me with offers. Offers of ACCEPTANCE. I was even offered a chance to be featured in that year’s talent show— being run by the Seniors. They had a petition they wanted me to sign. The petition to fire the drama teacher. I didn’t give in. I didn’t sign. In the end, the problematic Seniors left the department and all that was left were a select few– and then, Tyler and the rest. With The Seniors gone, Tyler shot up to the top. Now, understand, this is all sociology. There wasn’t actually a GROUP called “The Populars”, etc. But socially speaking, there was a division and now, Tyler was the leader. And for the rest of the year, everything was dandy. Absolutely fantastic. But, things soon would crumble. Tyler Durden ‘s smile would soon turn into an angry glare—