My first year as assistant professor at a large Midwestern university was coming to an end. Finals were in a few weeks, and things had gone pretty well for me, despite having to teach some remedial level English courses. I didn't mind teaching to kids who had to struggle with their studies, but the class sized tended to be so large that it was difficult to offer much personal instruction. And because of that, I was worried that some of my students weren't going to pass. One of them was a big football player named Troy.
Troy always sat in the very front row of the auditorium where I taught English 101a. He was the biggest student in the class by far, a strapping presence that was hard to ignore. I tried my hardest to look over him, to avoid his big jock good looks, his blond hair and blue eyes, his ease with his own physical superiority. Not that he seemed arrogant about it at all. Every time I did happen to make eye contact with him, he'd shoot me this big brilliantly white smile. Then he would furrow his brow, as if trying his hardest to concentrate on what I was saying. Seeing him sitting there with his legs spread apart like jocks with big legs tend to do. He tended to make me lose my train of thought, especially as the weather warmed, and he started wearing gym shorts to class. His calves were nearly the size of footballs, and were absurdly vascular. One time he shifted in his seat just as my eyes scanned by his calf. I blinked in awe as it balled up into a fist of thick sinew. I had to lean against my desk for support.
The other day after class, Troy approached me as I gathered my papers from the desk.
"Excuse me, Doc," he said to me, "can I talk to you?" It was a warm spring day, and he was wearing a tank top and football shorts, his hulkish muscularity nearly exploding out of every opening. He walked up so close to me that I could smell his scent, musky with testosterone, but also like fresh cut hay on a fine summer day, with a gentle breeze blowing in my direction. It took everything I had not to flare my nostrils out and breath him in as deeply as possible.
Although not technically a 'doc' yet, as I was still working on my thesis, I didn't exactly correct him."You can call me Doug," I said, much to my annoyance, since I had promised myself not to let the students call me by my first name. At 28, I was not much older than most of them, and thought that I should maintain a certain air of distinction. So much for that.
"Ok, Doc," he said, completely ignoring my request. "Do you think there's anything I could do to raise my grade a little? I gotta pass this so I can come back for football this fall." He stood so close to me that I could feel the heat coming off of him. He was about 6" taller than my 5'11, and probably 70lbs heavier than my 180. He had gotten bigger and bigger throughout the semester, so maybe more than 70. And up this close, his hair was even blonder than I'd realized. He was asking me to help him get a better grade, yet he carried no book and had never taken any notes in class. I knew he was failing, and it was unlikely that there was anything I could legitimately do to help him pass. But I heard myself say, "Come up to my office at 3 o'clock, and we'll see what we can do."
"Ah, thanks Doc, I knew you'd come thru for me," he said, as he grabbed my hand and shook it. He put both his hands, big like mitts, around my hand, his fingers thick and calloused, shaking my arm earnestly, grinning at me with teeth that would make snow envy its whiteness. "I'll be there right at 3." Then he turned and walked away. As he walked up the steps of the auditorium, I stared at his big muscle ass, the kind that only football players seem to develop, thick, wide, and high, nearly bursting with power.
I stood leaning against my desk for a few moments after he left. I imagined him stripping off his tank top and tossing it to me, still hot with his sweat. I saw myself burying my face in his tank and breathing in deeply as he stood in front of me shirtless, his thickly muscled torso bulging from weightlifting and football practice. I saw him raise his arms and flex them, and his big grin spreading across his face as he watched me breath in his musk.
Then I thought about 3 o'clock. I shook my head and pushed myself away from the desk. What had I gotten myself into?