Monday, October 22, 2007

Rockin' Bhavin

As a freshman in college, your dorm and roommate were mainly luck of the draw. Dorm, I won. Roommate, not so much.

As an 18-year-old on his own for the first time, I was not immediately prepared for Bhavin, the Indian national by way of Kenya who preferred the witty society of engineering students to cold beer. For the entire first semester I don't think I ever saw him leave the dorm except for classes. He had no interest in drinking, women, or much of anything except studying and hanging out in our tiny 10 by 10 cell, made even more cramped by the U-shaped loft we installed overhead.

In a school full of kids from exotic locales like Great Neck and Bloomfield Hills, I bemoaned my fate daily. Where was my beer guzzling, late-night pizza ordering, partner in crime? Woe was me. Little did I know, everything was about to change as I would make the discovery of a lifetime. Or at least of freshman year.

Bhavin, you see, was the son of a successful 7/11 owner and operator. Where I came to college with a duffel bag brimming with Girbaud jeans and pastel-colored Ralph Lauren oxfords, he came with a chest stocked full of beef jerky, Coca Cola, and the most glorious collection of hardcore convenience store porn I'd ever seen in my life!

A bit sloppy with his post-game cleanup one night, Bhavin left a mag sticking out of his chest of goodies. It all became instantly clear. No wonder that son of a bitch never left the room! For the next semester, neither would I. From Jugs to Oui to Knockers, the more I beat the less I left! In what became a ritual of don't ask don't tell, I would go out each night, wait for Bhavin to finish his business and fall asleep, then sneak back in and tend to myself in the semi-privacy beneath the loft.

After Freshman year, Bhavin and I rarely spoke although we were always cordial when we ran into each other. Why wouldn't we be? We were beat brothers!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

this is amazing story. tribute to your site but also to the social progress on offer to immigrants in this country of ours.