There are some people you meet who you’re instantly drawn to because you have so much in common. Then there are the people who are nothing like you but are so lovable you have no choice but to want to be around them. Troy is the latter.
Troy was one of the first people I met when I moved to California. I can’t imagine any two people being more different. I love to read; Troy’s spelling is atrocious. I don’t have any tattoos…Troy is covered in ink.
My friend Molly introduced us at a house party; she had gone to school with him. I shook Troy’s hand and 20 minutes later, Troy decided he wanted a new tat. He geared up his home tattoo pen and handed it to me. “Here, do something on my leg,” he told me.
“Um. Sir? I don’t really have any artistic ability and I’m a little drunk. I don’t think I’m the best person to be putting a permanent marking on you….now or ever,” I told him as I nervously held the needle.
“HA! It’s fine! Just go for it! Whatever you want!” He rubbed a spot on his leg with a (hopefully sterile) wipe and told me to have at it. My hand shook as I came closer to his skin. I knew how to draw approximately zero things. Maybe I could put a neat quote on there? My handwriting is decent….I approached his appendage and touched the needle to the skin so lightly it barely left a mark. “Okay! I’m done! It’s a…it’s a period. End of the sentence. I think that’s pretty profound!” And then I threw the needle, still buzzing, on the floor and ran away.
Troy is the kind of person whose laugh reaches out and tickles your soul. It’s impossible not to laugh with him. Troy doesn’t pretend to be someone he’s not- he doesn’t apologize for who he is and he doesn’t have a reason to. He’s made mistakes. Unlike a lot of people, he’s okay with talking about his. Troy’s smile lights up a room and his energy can’t be ignored.
It’s been almost 12 years since I first met Troy. I haven’t seen him in ages. We’ve all gone our own ways and we aren’t the same kids who at 22 could hang out every night down by the beach at keg parties and tattooing each other over beers after the sun went down. I know if I ran into Troy today, he would give me his toothy grin and a big bear hug. He’s just that kind of person.
Troy still finds a way to sneak his hilarity into my life now and again, just when I need it.
After a long week at work, I noticed I had been tagged in a photo on Facebook by Troy. He had taken a picture of Molly and me and photoshopped their mutual friend Ryan into it. I don’t know Ryan, but the picture made me laugh.
Then I noticed that this photo was one of a whole album he had made goofing on his friend. I don’t know most of the people in these pictures and I’ll probably get sued by someone for posting them, but I couldn’t help it- I was laughing so hard at all the places he had Ryan popping up, I was snort laughing. I had to share them.
Thank you, Troy. You make me laugh more than you know! I hope you look occasionally at the punctuation I left on your leg and think of me.
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Thanks for reading! ~Tracy