To download a PDF copy of the General Information Booklet, click here. By the time Daniel decided to move to Philadelphia for the new job, it was long overdue. His old job was an absolute nightmare, he hated living in NYC, and it was far too expensive for him to reasonably afford anyway, even if he loved it. Sure, Philly wasn’t as conceptually glamorous, his family wasn’foot locker boy shoes as excited to come visit him, and theoretically he’d have a harder time meeting the right girl to settle down with, but honestly that hadn’t been so easy in NYC either.
He flipped through the local craigslist listings and found a few candidates for roommates that looked pretty good. One stood out high on the list—in the right area, sounded like a good guy, rent was cheap, place looked spacious. The only potential downside was that he said he was gay. Now, Daniel didn’t have any issues with gay guys. He just wasn’t sure he wanted to live with one, especially if he was really girly.
Turned out he had nothing to worry about, though. He went over to meet up with Stu and he answered the door with a smile and a firm handshake. He was younger than Daniel, 21 and just about done with college, but he was six feet tall, broad-shouldered, dark-haired, with a five o’clock shadow and a voice that was almost gruff. If he hadn’t known from the ad, Daniel would never have guessed he was gay, and said so. I assume it’s not a problem for you? He stammered, realizing he could easily say something offensive next.
Nah, bro, I don’t respect the really queer gay guys. But they’re just fags, you know? Not real men like you or me. Sure, this guy might sleep with other guys, but he was as manly as they come. He already looked forward to watching the game and throwing back a few with Stu. They toured the apartment and it was great, exactly what Daniel was looking for.
They shook hands, talked to the landlord, and he moved in the following week. He brought them home all the time. At first Daniel assumed it was just someone he was dating, but he soon noticed it was a different guy, multiple times a week. Their bedrooms shared a wall, too, and it turned out it wasn’t very well-insulated.
He tried a bunch of stuff. Earplugs, pillows over the head, whatever he could think of. Daniel also started to suspect that Stu was eating his food. He’d come home or wake up to find cereal bags in places he hadn’t left them, wrappers opened that he swore he’d never opened, just little signs. Again, he was not comfortable discussing things with Stu and to be honest he didn’t notice that he ran out of food any faster, so he assumed he was just picking at it every once in a while and decided to let it pass. One thing Daniel did talk to Stu about at length was working out.
They were both pretty big gym rats. He got him started with a free membership to his gym, which he assured him wasn’t just full of gay guys, and it turned out he was right. It was a real powerlifter gym, and they’d go together, spotting each other for lifts and then discussing supplement regimens afterwards. The very first day they went, Daniel told Stu how much to put on the bench bar for him and he looked back in shock.
He smiled and assured him it’d be no problem, and it wasn’t. His life may have had some ups and downs in NYC, but he never let his body go, and it showed. When they got home Stu made a big show of deference, insisting Daniel sit down and getting him a beer and turning the game on. They sat and watched and every time he got up for anything other than going to the bathroom he showily insisted he sit. No way, man, you put me in my place at the gym today! Maybe when I can outlift you by that much, then you can wait on me!
Until then, you’re the man, dude. And so it concerned Daniel when he noticed, over time, that Stu was making more progress than he was. Not really so fast it was unreasonable, but fast enough it made him a little insecure. Daniel’d be spotting him on his lifts and at first when he moved in they’d have to put some more on for him. Guess I caught up—saves time on the plates!
After a few months more, though, they were taking plates off for Stu after Daniel’s lifts. What’s worse, he was pretty sure his weights were actually less than he was lifting back when he first moved in! You go forwards, you go backwards, it’s how it goes. When they got home that day, Stu brought him a little MP3 player and some headphones. Here, man, I feel bad making so much more progress than you because of this, it’s like I’m cheating.
But it’s not about winning or losing. Why don’t you give this a shot? You just put it on when you go to sleep and it gives you so much more energy, it’s amazing. Daniel was skeptical, but at that point he was willing to do anything to keep up with him, or even just start making any progress again. He put the headphones in at night and the next day he had to admit he felt pretty good.