Every Man I Know

A catalogue of every single man — by name — in one writer’s life.

Modelled after Every Woman I Know by Tom Chirella in Esquire

Tyler’s version:  Every Woman I Know by Tyler Kalmakoff

Barry, my father, the standard to which all other men are judged.

Matthew, the baby of the family, has turned out to be the most well adjusted of my siblings.  I like to take a little credit for that.

There are men in my family who defined ideal manhood for me at a young age:  my uncle Rick, my grandpa Svein.  The rest cared for me with appropriate objectivity:  Ken, Steve, Allen.

I have a cousin named Erik and a great uncle named Eric.  They both have stormy temperaments and sit in the corner at family gatherings.

Wilson has two sons, each of them looked just like him as a baby.

Torin, who has been an example for me.

Levi is like my dad, like his dad.  He is quiet, but strong.

Dividing their time between Texas and rural Saskatchewan, my young cousins, Ryan, Kyle and Blake have little chance of growing up without at least a little redneck in them, like their older cousins, Tyler and Jordan,who wouldn’t be offended by the label.

I call Ishmael my brother despite the fact that I am pallid white and he was born in Afghanistan.  He is my brother’s best friend and, by extension, an honourary member of my family.

There are two men I once seriously planned to spend the rest of my life with.  Shaughn and Eric are forever fixed in my history.

When you share every day with one person for a significant period of time and then try to separate your lives, some of the men you know become lost in the shuffle.  Kris, Kashif, Ian, Jordan, J.P., Jostien, Caleb, Brent and DougYannick, Johann, J.C., Jean Sebastien and Leslie.

Derek was my first real boyfriend.  Technically, Travis was the first boy I called a boyfriend, but Derek was the one that gave me my first taste of what relationships would be.  His childhood teddy bear still sleeps in my bed every night.

I broke Tim’s heart at graduation.  It wasn’t my fault it took him 12 years to tell me that he liked me.  Tim’s best friend, Jared, was shorter than me and made me feel like a supermodel when I walked beside him.

Men who have rejected me: Luke, Kris, Aaron.  Two of them became valuable musical collaborators and friends.  One of them turned out to be gay.

Men who have rejected me after I had sex with them: Wayne, Curtis.

Variations on a name:  Rob, who taught me how to do grown-up things long before I could be called an adult, legally or otherwise.  Robbie, who provided me with plenty of bad memories when we dated as teenagers, but, years later, left me with a really, really good one.  And took me out for waffles afterward.  Robert, who I travelled around the world for, intending to give him my virginity.  The closest I got was half-drunkenly fingering the seams of his faux leather pants in the back of a cab on the way home from a party where orange trees grew in the backyard in December.

Jesse was the mistake I saw coming from miles away, but went ahead and made anyway.

I’ve had a crush on S.J. since he was fifteen years old.  As far as I know, he has no clue.  Knowing me, it’s probably better that way.

Jay, the man I’ve written the most songs about.

Following the breakdown of my first long-term relationship, I was very lonely.  The unconsummated veneration of these men helped me remember I was wanted:  Amin, Lloyd, Peter, Chris.

Scott renewed my womanhood.  He didn’t intend to.  It just happened.

I met John for the first time on a typical rainy day at a Thai place on Davie Street.  By the time we finished our noodle bowls, he was comfortable enough with me to admit that his name was really James.  From then on, he always acted like he was just barely interested in me.  Even when we had sex.  This kept me coming back for more.

Percy was my first experiment in dating someone who wasn’t “my type.”  The experiment was short-lived, but precious.

My cousin Chris, who lets sounds escape from where most people keep them locked up.

Aylwin and Ryan, my only official groupies.

I recorded my one and only album in Neil’s studio.  He was effervescent in his enthusiasm.  Sadly, he proved that only the good die young.

I’ve been Jared’s boss more than once.  Every time I see him, he looks more like Bob Dylan in the late 60s.

My brother once warned his friends, Andrew and Farley, to stay away from his drunk, vulnerable sister.  They’ve always been gentlemen.

Shane, Kyle and Kris are all good husbands to women I know and love.

Chris was in my heart from the moment he asked me if I had any songs about tigers.

Paol and I have only met in person once, but I consider him one of my very closest friends.  He knows secrets no one else does.

Tyler, who is my now and my tomorrow.


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