Did that guy just call me Taylor?
"Hey, good to see ya," I say.
I decide not to correct him mostly because I just want to get to the task at hand, skateboarding. So that's what happens. I move on, he moves on.
Then I start thinking about the name. Taylor. Definitely youthful and handsome sounding. He's probably a snappy dresser with a good haircut and an Apple Watch.
Not much later a woman among the morning's riders at Orlando Skate Park makes a beeline for the exit, saying to me, "See you next time, Taylor." Oh great, now it's spreading. Looks like she's in a hurry so I don't bother slowing her down and correcting her either.
This isn't the first time my name has been confused or jumbled or simply forgotten. And my name is pretty straightforward, so I bet this happens to most everyone. I get Dillion a lot. With the extra i. Like million. My first and last names get reversed. I was addressed as Mr. Paul in a rejection letter from a big newspaper where I applied to work long ago and I'm always ready and willing to answer to Dylan or whatever.
I'll never forget how I was called Mr. Gillum to my face on multiple occasions by my landlord in Jacksonville in the 90s, despite the fact my monthly check to this guy was emblazoned with Dillon and not Gillum, every time. I chuckled once when I opened an email to Phil, thinking at first it was sent to the wrong person but quickly realizing it was yet another twist.
If you call me something strange or not quite right, I promise not to take offense. I really don't care, although I'll probably write it down.
Later at the skate park, my buddy makes his way back over to me. "I think I had you mixed up with somebody else earlier. You're Paul, right. I know a few Pauls. The Paul that works at Disney, right?"
And just like that, it’s all cleared up. And I'm a little disappointed. My bubble is burst. It was cool being Taylor for the last hour and a half. I felt more spry and capable. Smarter and funnier, with more promise.
“Yeah man, no problem," I tell him. "All good."