After finishing the novel (and watching the movie), I wanted to write this little sequel-type drabble on an encounter between Tyler… and, well Tyler.
"I don't want to hurt you," is the first thing Tyler says when he returns to me. He catches me off guard while I'm brushing my teeth by the kitchen sink and whispers in my ear that he was waiting.
With my toothbrush in my mouth, I ask, for what?
"For a better moment," he says and leans his chin on my shoulder. Even after all this time, Tyler's company feels more natural than Marla's. And I love Marla. Much like i once I loved Tyler.
Can you move your head off, I say. I have to rinse my mouth.
He chuckles and the noise reverberates inside my head. Tyler takes a step back to assess the kitchen. He asks me if I ever went back to IKEA since the day he- well, I blew my condo up.
"I got myself another yin yang coffee table," I admit as I clean the toothpaste off my face with the running water. When I'm finished, Tyler turns off the faucet for me.
"Do you miss the old place? I really do," he says, right next to me. "That smell of gas and those broken windows find a special place in your heart and never leave."
If you don't want to hurt me, why are you here, I ask him instead. He is completely taken aback. He blinks a few times before a large grin makes its way onto his lips. I think of the scar on my hand for a split second.
"You remembered to cut the foreplay this time around," he laughs. Then, "I'm here because I want to make a truce."
I stop to consider this for a moment. Tyler Durden and truces did not rightfully belong in the same sentence. The combination of the two itself was a solid freak of nature. That's very uncharacteristic of you, I say.
"I haven't changed," Tyler says. "I just realized I've become bored with organized chaos."
Has death made a bigger philosopher out of you, I ask with utter lack of surprise.
"I never really died. I only faced a setback in my inevitable cycle of evolution. Through utter destruction I have been able to make it this far. For that, I want to thank you. Seems like your bullet in my head was a blessing in disguise." Tyler then puts his hands around my shoulders affectionately. Somehow this too feels more natural than when I'm with Marla.
My eyes shift away from his. I am Jack's Nausea. "Should I feel happy for you," I say.
"No. With this newfound understanding, I decided I want a truce," Tyler continues without missing a beat.
His arms become heavy by my neck, which is ironic, because he isn't real. I shake my head.
"I don't want to become a justification for the rebirth of Project Mayhem," I say.
Tyler sighs. No, no no, he says. "This isn't at all about Project Mayhem. Fuck," he says. "It's not even about the Fight Club anymore."
I shift my gaze back onto him. "It's not?" I ask.
"Well, not really. Look," Suddenly, Tyler leans in close and his forehead bumps against mine. "My proposal," he says, "is that you trust me once again. I've been away for a while. I want you to give me a second chance."
I scoff. Tyler's hand holds my head against his.
"Like I said, I don't want to hurt you. It's not about that anymore."
I catch myself thinking: Tyler Durden's middle name should be Pain.
Pain in the ass.
"How is trusting you a truce? It works only to your advantage," I say.
"Then let's call it a compromise. And in return, I won't commit crimes under our name."
"Our name." His hold against my head tightens. I don't feel scared. I don't think I want to feel scared.
"I won't accept," I say.
Tyler steps in. There is no negative space left between us now. Our noses brush the other's. This is too close for comfort, obviously. But Tyler is me, and I am Tyler. I have no excuse.
"How many people can you say have been fucking shot through the head and lived to talk about it?" Tyler laughs. His breath smells like mine -a minty toothpaste. "No one, except for me. I want to teach you what I've seen at the other side, man! I can show you a whole different perspective to life as you know it, but you have to trust me back into your life."
I tell him nope. No, thank you very much, but I don't want any of this Resurrection bullshit involvement in my life anymore.
"Is that your final answer? This is the proposal of a lifetime," he tells me.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. I'm not interested at this point in time, I groan. Ever since I shot Tyler in the head, it's as if he needed permission to regain his control over half of my life like he used to. Sometimes he hangs around me like a ghost. I wonder if that's what he's truly become: no longer part of me, but a separate entity altogether, trying to reattach itself to its original source.
i realize this isn't about what he's trying to teach me, or any of that crap. These are all trick questions to allow himself back to me.
Tyler Durden doesn't want to educate me, or be my friend. He wants to regain ownership. The epiphany strikes me like a slap, and my stomach churns. I correct myself: Tyler Durden and altruism do not rightfully belong in the same sentence.
"You'll be missing out," he pouts.
"I'm tired," I say.
Tyler Durden hums. Then he removes his hand from the back of my head and lets it explore the space between my clavicle and my navel.
I won't be too happy if Marla walks in on us, I say.
"She can't see me, remember? Only you."
I nod offhandedly.
Tyler gives me a little peck on the cheek and in a minute I am Jack's minor panic attack.
"What was that all about?" I ask. I step away from Tyler and crash into the counter.
"Affection," Tyler responds coolly. "Consider this a warning. I'll be coming back later."
Suddenly I blink and Tyler is gone. He is like a glitch in my life: temporarily bothersome but otherwise imperceptible, and part of the system.
I know the glitch will turn into a virus. I know this because Tyler has decided this.
I've already shot myself once to get rid of him.
Now that he's returned, I must admit, I don't know what to do.
Hello! It's been a while!
I just wanted to add that this story probably has no plot and makes little to no sense. Please forgive any spelling/grammar mistakes. I did try to emulate Chuck Palahniuk's writing style a little bit, but I don't think I'm at that level to get it right so quickly.
Despite this being a little random drabble, I hope you enjoyed it (and the gay. I do apologize for the gay, sort of).