Tyler Payne

Tyler Payne grew up in the small town of San Diego where he made a living off basket weaving to help feed his dyslexic nephew until his journalism skills matured. Today Tyler can be found avoiding objects that reflect his image or deciding if he should wear black or pigeon-ash grey shirts that day. Currently looking at his 24th summer of singleness he believes he is ready to wake up next to something other than a body pillow this fall.


A Sample of:

Dharma of a Dope Fiend

by Tyler Payne

     It’s 10 am; there is a radiant heat illuminating off of the long line of cars waiting to get to the other side. It’s just another day on the Tijuana side of the San Ysidro Port of Entry to the United States. There is an unsettling calmness within me as I walk, like the places I’ve been and things I’ve seen don’t actually exist. I keep walking. A part of me actually may believe that none of this is happening. Dreamlike. I have found myself at another line, a line of people. Something about it is grotesque and offensive. A line of people all waiting to get somewhere else. A line of people all unsatisfied with where they are at right now. Suddenly, I’m curious if anyone is in this country by choice.

     This line of people, all wishing they were somewhere else, at some other time, where circumstances were more conducive to happiness and lucidity and stimuli. I look around and I don’t see anyone, but everyone. All of these innocuous faces wanting to be somewhere else, and more likely than not, someone else. I think to myself that it must be a shame to wish your life away, to always be striving for something “up ahead,” to believe that happiness exists only in a moment yet to come, that something needs to happen in order to achieve happiness. But for a change I turn inward and see that I can relate to these lackadaisical faces. I don’t particularly find the no documentation line at the border very stimulating either. And I realize that the only reason I can bear it is because I am high out of my gourd on heroin and Xanax.

     I’m not saying I didn’t spend my night in a Mexican strip club curiously named Hong Kong followed by a solitary night of intravenous heroin use in a latin “hotel”, I’m just saying it doesn’t feel like I did. I shake the thought and take a sip of my Monster Energy drink that has a strange plastic taste, which could probably be attributed to the four syringes I have floating in it. I try to keep a straight face as I swallow my drink and approach the desk. I smile and lather on whatever boyish charm I can muster to distract the working officers’ simple mind from accurately calculating my age, God forbid he can read me and discover that I am a minor.

TO READ THE REST OF Dharma of a dope fiend AND MANY OTHER GREAT WORKS OF LITERATURE PICK UP THE FIRST ISSUE OF CROOKED TEETH: SUMMER IN THE CITY