I love the first day of class: new classes, new opportunities, and acres of new beefcake to scope out: collegiate jocks in tight t-shirts, nervous freshmen, cute nerds, chubby mid-life students with chest hair peeping out over their shirts.
I see Jameer in all three of my classes, front row center.
He's hard to miss: not a lot of black guys on campus, especially black guys in "midlife," returning to college after several years away, typically in their late 20s or 30s. He is taller than me, broad-shouldered, and extraordinarily handsome, with a broad flat face, dark eyes, and thin-cropped furry hair.
"You can't be in the advanced class without taking the intro class first," I tell him.
"Oh, I want to finish my second degree in a year," he says, flashing a dazzling smile that has probably been getting him exceptions to rules his whole life. "I'll work hard, I promise."
"Won't you get sick of looking at me three hours a day?"
He smiles again. "No, not at all."
Jameer turns out to be one of those guys who answers every question, comments to everything, and stays after class to ask my advice on everything from how to deal with a crazy roommate to what career he should prepare for. But after three weeks he suddenly drops every class. No warning, no nothing -- he just vanishes.
I feel hurt. Did I offend him somehow?