The recent amount of heat that we've been getting where I live (aided by the fact that my apartment seems to work like an oven) has had me stuck awake a lot these past few days. Sometimes I'm just uncomfortably sweating, other times it is a combination of the heat and my brain not being able to shut down. And it has reminded me a lot of the first ever dorm I lived in back in my Freshman year of college. That dorm was neatly tucked into a tight corner of the third floor next to the stairwell, a tube of brick walls that acted amazingly well as a chimney, by the way. My dorm room was smaller than most because it was shoved next to the stairs, actually, which meant my roommate and I had some pretty close quarters. Now, there was no A/C or central air in the Freshman dorms, and if you were on the third floor and didn't have a doctors note allowing you to use a window A/C, you were pretty much shit out of luck as far as the heat went. Even in the dead of winter, that top floor was warm enough that you'd easily be comfortable walking around in just your underwear.
And that's what a lot of guys did.
One particular guy I always remember was staying a few extra days into a break, like me. Those of us going to the college from out of state often had to wait a bit for flight plans, and the college was lenient about letting us stay. At first I thought I might have the hallway all to myself, the noise levels I had grown used to were gone and things felt dead quiet.
That first night, however, on my way to the showers, I bumped into him as he left his dorm. Literally. I slammed into him, muttered an embarrassed and slightly tired apology, and then noticed that he was just wearing a towel. And I noticed that the towel was no longer covering all of his lower body. His ginger-colored pubic hair was sticking out in the front and I was seeing some serious ass cleavage when he rotated.
I don't know if it was because I was tired or horny or a little bit of both, but I definitely stared longer than I should have. I also wasn't paying attention to the fact that he was staring at me in just my trunks. I was too busy thinking that I had just gotten caught and there was nothing that was going to stop him from telling everyone and soon I would be the guy no one talked to and avoided. Why I was worried about that after already having hooked up a few times on campus, I don't know. But I never really got along with the guys in my hallway and tried to stay out of the way when situations came up that would make them angry with me. Like when the Red Sox beat the Indians, for example. I had to keep my head low for a week after that.
I made my way to the showers quickly, trying not to think too hard about the fact that he was right behind me. Once I was in the shower stall I stopped worrying so much about it and just let the warm water wash off all the grease and sweat and grime from the day, relaxing my muscles in expectation of a relaxing few days before I went home. He finished showering before me, which I thought was good because it meant I could just slink back to my dorm room and hope to avoid him.
I didn't expect that he would still be at the sinks when I got out of the shower with a towel around my waist. He paused from whatever he was doing, brushing his teeth or scrubbing at pimples, to shoot me a, "Hey." I replied in kind and began to leave, but he said to me, "You wanna watch a movie in my room or something? I think we're the only guys left in the dorm right now."
"Sure," I said, practically blurted. And with that we were making our way to his dorm. I spared a few thoughts to the fact that all I had was my underwear and a towel, but I was used to hanging out with other guys in just my underwear at this point, so I didn't worry too much about it.
I have absolutely no memory of what movie we watched that night, side-by-side, with our legs propped up on his roommate's desk. I vividly remember, however, that it seemed like his curly red hair never seemed to dry that night, either because of the shower or the sweating in the close space. I remember watching it drip onto his forehead. Drops sliding down his back, making a line to that round ass I'd glimpsed under the towel earlier.
I remember the feeling of tension every time his leg brushed against mine. His were so much more smooth compared to my hairy, blond ones. Yet with his pale skin and bright fur, they look so much more hairy than mine. Every time we cracked a joke and looked at each other, there was a sense that something more was coming, something building, but neither one of us wanted to act on it. I wanted to wrestle and kiss him and order pizza and watch more movies. I didn't know what I wanted, or what he wanted.
Looking back, I think we were both confused as to whether we wanted a friendship or sex. Or both. And we were both a little tired and a little nervous. But back then it was exciting. It was new and it was discovery, and it was a little frightening. And I was captivated by the water dripping down his chest I shivered feeling the drips on my own skin as they raised my hairs and sent goosebumps over my body. The heat and the tension were electric.
Finally the movie was over and we were both tired, so I decided to go back to my dorm. As I was walking out of his room I turned and said, "I'm sorry, but I never got your name."
"James," he replied.
And then I did something that surprised both of us. I kissed him. Then I said goodnight and walked to my dorm.