Everybody needs a Daylan.
Fortunately, in my group of friends, I not only have a Daylan, we have the Daylan.
I’ve known Daylan Kinser since sixth grade, and I both admired and hated him at the same time. I had a good reason, too, but more on that later.
Daylan inspired me to write about him last Monday when I bumped into him while in Lexington to watch Transformers. Actually, we didn’t so much as bump into each other as he nearly scared me to death while I tried to pee, thus causing so much stage fright that my bladder refused to empty.
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a blog about how I faced difficulty peeing one day because my boxers were on backwards. Daylan, to his credit, not only read it but remembered it. He just chose an inopportune time to share that with me.
I was full of water, having come to the theater post-workout, and with Transformers running about 135 minutes, I wanted to make certain there would be no need for in-movie potty breaks. I headed off to the urinal and was about to find success when I someone said, “Better luck this time, Kevin.” From the corner of my eye, I saw a man with a shaved head and a red shirt slip into a stall. I didn’t recognize the voice, so I freaked out. Any hope of peeing ended, so I zipped up and turned to find this stalker. The stall door didn’t shut, and there stood Daylan. We talked as he peed (he’s clearly much more comfortable with this than I am, but to be fair, he had the advantage of actually knowing who he was speaking with, rather than standing in fear that some unknown assailant was monitoring his every move).
He laughed at the trouble he’d caused, and then we went off to watch the movie. All the while, the blog hamsters in my head started running about their cages, pumping out memories of Daylan Stories for a future blog.
And here we are.
Everybody I know has at least one Daylan Story. There’s the one about the wheelbarrow. The one about the sword. The one about laser tag at Whitehall in the middle of the night. The one about him being late to watch Anchorman because stopped to get food to eat on the way, and not just fast food, mind you, but a full Chinese meal (the thought of him speeding up the interstate while balancing a foam container of General Tso’s chicken absolutely slays me).
For me, my Daylan Story goes back to 1986 at the start of our time in sixth grade.You see, it was early in our middle school years, and with Picture Day fast approaching, we wanted to look good to stake our claim as the cool kids. In short, we had to look good for our pictures.
(Tangent: Two years later, Daylan also factored into my humiliation during our eighth-grade football pictures. As luck would have it on my then-12-year-old body, my forehead chose Picture Day as the exact moment to begin sprouting pimples. I got two, one on each side of my forehead, and they were those cyst-types that a) hurt; and b) stood out and drew attention. Daylan, of course, waited until the largest group possible was gathered around before spouting off: “Kevin, are you growing horns?”)
In elementary school, I didn’t care much about fashion, preferring to dress in blue jeans and T-shirts, a look that has come full-circle for me today, as that is apparently the look my official Kevin Hall Action Figure would wear. On occasion, usually Picture Day, my mom would dress me in a dapper Izod shirt and give my hair a nice, dorky part before sending me on my way.
But in sixth grade, my mom and sister had other plans.
“Kevin, you want to look nice,” they said. “You want the girls to like you.”
Although I was still years removed from my first girlfriend (probably in part because my mom and sister were picking out my clothes), the thought still appealed to me. I took their advice and let them pick out a wonderful shirt for me to wear for the pictures. It was not quite a sweater, not quite a sweatshirt. It featured some suede here, some leather there. I’d never seen anything like it, and I was convinced I would be the only kid in school quite that cool, although to be fair, that might just be because my mom and sister told me this. (In hindsight, I now realize that my sister has always hated me).
So, off I go, looking damn handsome (or as I like to say, damnsome), ready for the ladies to do sixth-grade-type things to me, like sending love notes, making goo-goo eyes or punching me in the arm.
And then there he was, Daylan Kinser, wearing the EXACT SAME SHIRT. There’s no possible way I could have been the coolest kid in school if Daylan was wearing my shirt, just like there was no way Daylan could have been the coolest kid in school if I was wearing his shirt.
As much as I wanted to hate him, there was just no way to do it. We were kindred spirits, dressed in high fashion. And, after all, at least I wasn’t going down alone – we both looked like a couple of dorks.
Now, years later, we’re both still a couple of dorks.
But at least we don’t dress alike.