I was trying to come up with a grooming episode with regards to The Hustler. I realize this years after cutting ties to him. We’re talking about a different form of adult grooming and in this case well we know what he was doing, he found someone he could beg off of. Remember he’s a user he sees something he needs at a given moment and tries to get it. Couple that with some aspects of his control issues….

I could say the grooming began the night I gave him a ride home because I’m such a nice guy. Remember he asked one wild question that night among others and why well I think he was really gathering data. I told him some things about my background and he turns it into I can’t believe you’re at The Show. Well I never really anticipated that he as others did had such a dour view of the world. I think his negative disposition is why he engages in the actions he does.

I find myself wondering if he saw in yours truly someone who was socially awkward and used that as an opportunity to try to connect. Thinking about it now he spent a good period of time trying to connect. How does it do it? With his more paternalistic instincts, I think Ant strives to be a father figure. He hadn’t just done this with yours truly surely, though he tries with everyone else who’ll allow him to. And true to form because I can be a nice and trusting guy who like to see the good in everyone I allowed him to.

Most of his attempts to connect and get involved I never asked him to. He was one of the first people I really told about what was going on with Missy. Events finally came to a head with that young rambunctious boss b!tch. And then there were some other things that let to the party that he didn’t want me to go to which I told in the first gaslighting episode.

Ultimately as things began to happen after a period of distance for most of the summer after he arrives on the scene we gradually start to warm. What I would say is sometimes, if you’re not that strong of a personality perhaps you need a stronger personality behind you. That’s what Anthony was at the time or I wanted to believe he was or better yet this is what he realized he needed to be. I’m guessing that’s his motives once I began to grow distant, he needed to be something for yours truly this way he could try again to get what he needs especially if that’s a ride home or some cash. Better yet someone to pay for his food because he had no cash…..

Also remember one time that during the next summer he put me onto this management gig at a theater in the neighborhood. This I believed was a great opportunity to get away from The Show and the increasing stagnation there. Of course I won’t go through what happened with that word for word other than it didn’t happen. However Ant was in the process and according to him he would’ve been a general manager. He was talking about possibly bringing me and others from the theater with him. Since I wasn’t going to get it outright I was hoping for this because I was READY TO GO and now it’s just moving at a snail’s pace.

One night we were working and talking about this possible gig and I was complimenting Anthony because I wanted this to happen. Suddenly he does in his infamous words a “woman move“. In suddenly and awkwardly changing the subject he quickly says, “I just don’t get you”. When he does that I look back like the hell!

“Sorry for changing the subject” he says, but one of thing he does to justify this odd pivot was to state that “You keep pushing me away”. To be honest in 20/20 hindsight, he kept giving me reasons to his outspoken nature, his need to get into things that shouldn’t concern him, his need to beg early on in our work relationship, to name a few things caused me to stay back from him. To call this a woman move was to inject emotion into what should’ve remained a discussion on business. And it causes me to go on the defensive unfortunately.

After this we got closer. In the new year after this we began to hang out. Just remember earlier the year before he was texting me about having coupons for McDonald’s and I showed no interest. Besides I can go to McDonald’s anytime I wanted to. Regardless it would lead to an interesting year where in spite of his seeming support on some things the negative aspects of his personality comes out.

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