Brett is sort of a composite of a guy I dated in college and the singer in a band I was friendly with. Toby was a tall, blond sweetheart of a guy. Visually he was a lot like Ryan Stiles of The Drew Carey Show, but completely unlike him in personality. Toby was sort of a doormat when I met him. He was dating a girl who was only dating him because she was trying to get back at her most recent ex and who, as soon as the ex crooked a finger at her, she went running back to him. The only reason I split up with Toby was because he moved to the other side of the country or I’d probably be married to him now. Toby is where Brett got his soft heart. And his height.
The other half of Brett is Dave, the lead singer and guitar player of the hottest band in the area at the time. Yeah, I know, he must have been some big deal, right? No. Not really. But they did manage to get a song on the radio. Of the four guys in the band he was the most down to earth and used to chat with me about Stephen King novels. (The bass player, on the other hand, thought he walked on water. I don’t even remember his name.) Dave was the first man to casually strip in front of me. We were talking about the latest Stephen King novel and he needed to change, so he did, while I was standing right there still trying to speak English and failing. That’s where Brett’s unflappable bluntness came from.
Creating Brett gave me a chance to revisit those guys without having to discover what really happened to them. I heard through the grapevine that Toby was trapped in a bad relationship with a leech, which wouldn’t surprise me, but in my mind he’s leaving for California all excited at the prospect of the big new job. And Dave is forever on stage performing his heart out wearing those 80’s tights and pursuing his dream. I think it’s better this way.