(If my neighbor(s) wants to fault anyone, then Charles W. Bliss can fault my relationship with Troy W. for being responsible for catching on to him so quickly. Mr. Bliss should even google search "FISH STORE AND MORE." We had a "living" reef tank in my home first year. Except for the aquarium itself, everything else put together from scratch. He was practically a genius; except for one thing, the amount of heat all the motors and fans put off. We had to keep the house cold so the tank wouldn't overheat. That's why I made him pay the electric bill while they(him and his tank) were living here. Genius with numbers as well. His first job was with Ernst and Young. "I've never seen so many beautiful people in one place in my life." I've never forgotten his first words his first day home from work. He just knew he was going to move up quickly, making a six-figure income within a year. Still have yet to meet anyone like him. )
Bill got to see the place. Wish I had. Didn't even get invited to their commitment ceremony in Hawaii.
Then again that was not to be unexpected.
"How could you... live... with him?"
Bill said this to me using a hushed tone as his Troy and my Tom where noisily chatting with each other across the table from us two. Me (hearing impaired) an Bill (dyslexic) just weren't the chatting kind for reasons of our on.
As usual, Bill was pouting (in public) proving Tom's (bf #1 finally after all those years of one night stands) concerns justified. Troy had called me up earlier that day asking me and Tom to join them for dinner that night at Las Margaritas on Cheshire Bridge Road.
FISH STORE AND MORE was doing great business wise.
No doubt about that!
I answered back as discreetly as I could
"That's why he's with you!"
Obviously, Troy didn't tell Bill, I had been given first choice before Troy giving up on me and moving on to Bill. Gave Troy the same answer I had always given him, "In spite of all the sex between me and him, I considered him first and only to be a friend. And I didn't see that changing anytime in the future."
Troy was such a monkey.
And I came to realized this very early in our relationship, not long after we two of us quickly becoming friends after meeting one Wednesday Dress Code Night at the Heretic on Cheshire Bridge Road. Both of us had just having moved to Atlanta; me from Jacksonville, Florida and Troy from Birmingham, Alabama.
At the time, I was living in a two bedroom/two baths apartment at Buckhead Crossing Apartments located on Sydney Marcus Blvd. Wanted my two cats, Jinx and Mr. Ed, to have their own bathroom. Was tired of having to share their litter box; well...felt like it anyway in that one bedroom apartment we shared in Jacksonville.
Was starting all over again working for a different chain of veterinary clinics, this chain making my fifth time around, working full time as one of three daytime veterinarians at the Pets are People, Too, Ansley Square location. Was very lucky getting this job...I think. Probably even undersold myself, maybe too much, just to get that job; having moved to Atlanta without knowing for sure I would be able finding a job once here.
It was a leap of faith; wanting to try life living in a city with a larger more openly gay community. I knew no one here; and no way knowing for sure this would be the answer I was looking for. Pretty much my whole life story moving anywhere once leaving my home of Prescott, Arkansas; drifting with the peripatetic wind.
Troy was living in a small studio apartment near Piedmont Park as he was nearing the end of post graduate studies relating to health administration, when we decided to try sharing an apartment together. Me an Troy began my second year here in Atlanta sharing a two-bedroom/2 baths apartment eighth floor, out of nine floors total, the original Georgian Terrance. This was before the Japaneses bought the place and turned it into a hotel. I insisted on getting the master bedroom knowing full well he was going to turn that apartment into an icebox; the same as he did his studio apartment because of that "living" reef tank; his pride and joy.
At least with the master bedroom, I keep the door shut with the vents closed.
And that was the room we did all our fucking; on the weekend nights I didn't pick up anything, and he didn't either. And that was most weekends. It was hard picking up anything with him standing nearby. And he was the one who got all the attention; not me. Obviously he held out unless it was just too good to pass up.
(A Greek named Jim L. comes to mind; the night remnants of Hurricane Opal blew through town. That hurricane not only cut short Troy's romp with Jim L. at Jim L.'s place that night, it was Troy waking me up very early the next morning, actually same morning, if even enough sleep to bother even mentioning the waking me up part. Troy was extremely anxious needing to find a generator and finding one quickly, before everything his "living" reef tank very quickly dying! Probably only time ever grateful sharing my life with a "living" reef tank; got a working refrigerator and a working television included with that generator that whole week without power. Water heater and stove was gas. Seems like I vaguely remember us having to unplug the refrigerator every time we wanted to watch something on T.V. .But all this took place after we moved into my current home living here in Decatur.)
Troy was obviously one who wasn't comfortable with the sex until he was comfortable with the person first...a romantic. And those romantic attachments he has trouble parting with. And this I learned, the first time his ex-boyfriend from Birmingham came to stay with us at the Georgian Terrance for a weekend. And not until just before John W. enters our apartment, does Troy tell me that him and John would be sleeping in Troy's bedroom; no need for John knowing about me and Troy. And that was all I needed to know about Troy. If he plays that kind of games with anyone at anytime for any reason; then no reason not to expect them played with me.
Like I said earlier, Troy was such a monkey.
"Doesn't let go of one branch until he has a good hold of the next branch."
Me? Was always able separating the sex from the emotion. Of course I wanted both, but for one reason or another, people's attention span with me was very short. So over time, long before I met Troy and even longer before I met Tom, learned to use sex as a means to an end.
Some attention was better than no attention at all. At least sex got me a foot in the door when it came to getting to know other gay men, some of them, that is.
Just another way of saying,
And it's true, all men are pigs.
Isn't hard getting a foot in man's front door. Not one bit at all. Just gotta leaern how to be in the right place at the right time.
A different way of saying the same thing;
just have to know...
where to go, when to go, what to wear(?)not wear, and where to stand.
And look available and/or vulnerable.
And that's where the joke was on them.
I was never vulnerable. Sex might of been easy. But that was it!
I had my honor tied in with my honesty.
It was pretty much all I had of value to offer anyone. Most important, to myself.
I'm definitely a genius of my own kind!
It's how I've been able learning indirectly so much about other.
By removing a variable from the equation,
that removes far more conjectures from conclusions to be considered
one might realize.