A strange encounter

by Dream Big

On his first cautious trip to a pre-Stonewall gay bar, Barry meets an old man who tells him about a remarkable encounter from his own youth.

Added: Jul 2021 Updated: 24 Jul 2021 4,756 words 2,084 views 5.0 stars (2 votes)

I

It was on a rainy evening at a public house in New York when I met the man, and I shall never forget the tale he told me.

I should explain.

It wasn’t just any public house; it catered to men who fancied other men, one of several off-the-beaten-path establishments that had begun to surface in the Village and Chelsea in that era.

I was young, and fit, but nervous and timid about exploring my sexuality. A bit of fooling around with my college roommate after a party proved life-changing for me, and apparently forgettable for Bryan. My mutual silent agreement, we’d gone on as though it had never happened, at least in public, but in private, my very core was shaken with the unmistakable fact that I’d found myself at last. No more wondering about why women held little interest for me, or why I was drawn to sports—watching them, not playing them, of course. From then on, I found myself torn between wanting to go to the fraternity and other campus parties where sexy young men frolicked, and feeling terrified at being discovered as a homosexual.

Looking back, I was a reasonably good-looking and fit young man of twenty, and though I lacked confidence, I wasn’t lacking in wit or bearing. My fear was a private one, expressed largely through introversion.

And so, after many weeks of furtive exploration—there was no internet then, you see, and most of the rainbow world was hidden from public view, marked by signs you had to learn and keep secret—I had at last found the name of the place and ventured cautiously within.

Years later, such places would be identifiable by numerous means: rainbow flags, suggestive names, certain types of music, and so forth. But here, it seemed an ordinary, comfortable pub of the Irish or English variety, with a mahogany and brass bar, and a very fit and meticulously groomed lad in a tight shirt tending bar. The only thing that gave it away was the fact that every person in the room was male, and many of them were kissing openly.

I cautiously ordered a beer and found a seat with a nice view of the room, and sat there nursing it, gazing rather shamefacedly at the shapely bottoms and well-crafted arms of the lads here, or the wide burly faces of a few older gentlemen with snow in their beards who seemed to be old friends. I longed to fit in, but I barely knew myself yet, nor my tastes. My furtive reading had only sketched the rules of such places, so I’d resolved to test the waters by going, and watching. By the time I’d ordered my second beer, the place was filling up, and the mood shifted slightly. Or perhaps I was finally realizing that these were just people having a drink and a chat, not predators waiting to pounce or to judge.

Just as I settled in and began to feel comfortable, a very large, and very muscular man walked in, and mine was not the only gaze drawn to him. He formed a bit of a gravity well of his own, being both an extremely well-formed specimen (wearing tight trousers and shirt that accentuated his assets) but also an exceedingly handsome one. Just utter masculinity, raw sex appeal, served up for our approval. He smiled at the attention, then spotted a friend and wound his way through the growing crowd. He ignored the appreciative whistles and catcalls and settled in next to his friends.

“Gorgeous, isn’t he?”

I hadn’t noticed the thin older gent sidle in next to me, so his voice was a surprise. He was probably 70 if he was a day, but still handsome despite his crow’s feet and thinning hair. He must have been rather good looking in his youth, but I have to say, the lighting did him no favors. Still, his smile seemed genuine.

“Sorry, I didn’t mean to startle you. Peter,” he said, offering a thin hand in greeting.

“Barry,” I said.

“Nice to meet you. I take it your taste runs to the sporty types,” he smiled. “Mine does too. And that fellow… he is exceptionally nice to look at.”

I blushed, caught out.

“Oh my! Is this your first time at one of these places?”

I nodded like a shy toddler.

“Oh, my lad, welcome!”

I stammered a thank you and sucked back a fair amount of my beer after clinking glasses with him.

Peter smiled at me and took my hand.

“My dear boy, you’re safe here. I remember my first time. First you have to come to terms with the fact you fancy other boys, and then you have to figure out the code to make sure you can admit that safely, and then you have to work up the courage to approach one of them, or to say yes when one of them approaches you. Daunting.”

“Just a bit,” I admitted.

“Well, it’s always good to earn a bit of good will with the new blood, so you’ve got yourself a guide,” he said. “And don’t worry, you’re not really my type, so I’m not expecting anything untoward. But at least you’ll have a friend here, and that’s always a nice start. Plus, you’re cute.”

Before I knew it, Peter had ordered drinks for us and commandeered a table near the bar. He had a genial, almost professorial, manner to him that made me feel safe and in good hands as he explained various things to me: the straightforward etiquette of seeking companionship, the coded handkerchiefs, the terms I hadn’t figured out, and so forth. He was a pleasant companion and an engaging spinner of yarns, and insisted on buying.

Several hours passed and he had, I suddenly realized, learnt a great deal about me, without revealing much about himself. He must have sensed my sudden realization and the accompanying mild suspicion, because suddenly he shifted gears as though he’d read my mind.

“Ah, my apologies, young man, but I may have come on a bit too strongly. I’m naturally curious and wanted to be a reporter when I was your age. But it’s unfair to quiz you so, but reveal nothing myself.”

Before I’d even begun to reassure him, he insisted.

“It’s been a long time since I told anyone about this,” he said. “But I think it’s a story you need to hear. It may help you figure some things out.”


When I was just 19, I was much as you are now—recently discovered my boy-fancying nature, and too timid to fully embrace or explore my sexual impulses. There was a place much like this one, long gone now, but filled with a rougher clientele. Mostly dock men and sailors, which suited me quite well. I feasted as you have—with my eyes—until he walked in.

What a magnificent specimen he was. My god, I could spend my life just taking stock of that amazing body of his, from his glorious mane to the nails on his feet.

Allow me to describe him to you.

He was tall—but not freakishly so, a few inches over my own six feet. He had a gloriously full head of hair, spun of dark gold, reaching down to the top of his neck, and styled in a way that looked intentionally rakish, without being too messy. Thick brows over deep set intelligent, emerald eyes. A nose that conveyed authority; full sensual lips and a wide, smiling mouth. A perfect jaw with just the barest hint of stubble. Strong neck, wide shoulders. And the muscles…. Not the overbuilt form of a bodybuilder or strong man, more like that of a predator—lean but powerful. Arms of a gymnast, or baseball player perhaps, but just… just a little more than that. Under the tight shirt, a hint of the taught abs beneath—you could imagine tracing them with your tongue.

He wore comfortable trousers that hugged his perfect bottom, and accentuated a basket just shy of lewd. Sturdy legs and soccer-player’s calves, slightly oversized feet.

As I’d learn later, he also smelled fantastic—leather and herbs and iron, somehow, and his own natural musk. Perhaps they were the same.

He strode in like the confident god of sexual appeal he was, and every eye was upon him.

And then, he caught my eye and smiled, and walked toward me.

I had no idea how to react, and my first instinct was to look for his true target behind me somehow. Suddenly he was at the table where I sat alone, and he smiled as he gestured at the open seat.

“Hello. Do you mind if I join you?”

God, what a voice. Utterly masculine, a low baritone rather than an overly bass rumble, but it reminded one of a big cat’s purr. Confident, at rest, but full of potential for danger. To have it, and his attention, pointed anywhere in your direction was flattering, but to have that megawatt charisma aimed at you? There was no resisting it.

I stammered out an affirmative, and the gorgeous man sat.

“Call me Peter,” I said.

“Lovely to meet you, Peter. Allow me to buy you a drink,” he said, and silently signaled the bartender, who wasted no time bringing our drinks.

Have you ever connected with someone so immediately, so deeply, that you skip right past the awkward stage where you’re feeling each other out verbally, and go right to those deeply personal conversations? Our conversation was like that—talking of everything, my hopes and dreams and likes and dislikes, all drawn out of me with no discernible effort. On some level I couldn’t believe he was talking to me, and so I never noticed that somehow I was the one doing most of the talking.

Somehow in the background, the rest of the noisy bar seemed to drift away, and it was as though the world barely existed beyond the confines of our table. His voice rumbled away to encourage me to talk, his magnificently beautiful body filled my gaze, and his intoxicating scent suffused my nostrils. My manhood grew increasingly stiff as I tried to hold his attention.

“I like you, Peter. Why don’t we leave here and continue elsewhere?”

I don’t remember leaving the bar, but very shortly I found myself in a comfortably appointed room not my own, with the strong hands of my new friend helping me disrobe while his lips teased their way around my face and neck.

Just as I’d been smitten by the sight of him, I felt drunk with the very scent of him, and his touch was almost too much to bear. I felt my manhood surge and begin to leak with the want of him.

“Ah!” I said. “I don’t even know your…”

“My name? Just call me… John,” he said. I could guess it wasn’t his proper name, but somehow that didn’t matter. Within moments he’d touched my member, and caressed my bottom, and kissed my lips… and whatever name I moaned in my ecstasy, it was probably his.


Peter leaned back in his seat, smiling at the recollection. He somewhat discreetly adjusted himself with an apologetic look, and then sipped from his glass. I finished mine, and was about to offer to buy us both a refill when the bartender materialized with two fresh glasses.

“I asked the bartender to look out for us,” he said by way of explanation. “He knows me well. I know you were drinking beer, but please try it.”

It was my first sip of really good whiskey, and I was glad I’d only sipped. That stuff was strong—but it had amazing flavor, and it warmed me as beer never had. It was delicious, and I said as much.

“I’d love to buy the next round,” I said.

“No no, it’s my treat. Besides, unless I miss my mark, it’s likely beyond your means. I keep a bottle here for myself. It’s a rather rare bottle, and older than you are, but you’ll agree it is well worth the cost. I’m pleased to treat you to a glass.”

“Thank you,” I said sincerely.

I didn’t dare ask, though it occurred to me to wonder how much the drink was worth. I didn’t know much about whiskey, but this reeked of class and quality. Later I’d find out it was worth about $500 a bottle, well beyond my means at the time. I felt grateful, in the moment, for the chance to taste it. We wasted a few minutes discussing the tastes and scents I’d picked up, and I seemed to have passed some quiet test.

“I shall have to watch out for you, my lad. You could develop a rather sophisticated palette, and I’d feel guilty spoiling your enjoyment of lesser spirits.”

“I don’t drink much, but one thing I picked up in college was that cheap booze isn’t usually worth it. And you get fewer headaches from the better stuff.”

“Sound advice. Now where was I?”


We made love with abandon, for hours. He was insatiable, and in his care, so was I. When he entered me, I could have sworn he grew within me. When I entered him, it was as though his body was built for naught but my pleasure. His touch was electric and addictive, his taste incredible.

One reason I liked that bottle you’ve just tasted was because it somehow reminded me of him, some faint echo of his scent.

But I digress.

Imagine my surprise on waking the next morning to find not the golden-haired adonis I’d spent my evening with, but a shorter, stockier, dark-haired man, staring at me with dark emerald eyes.

They were the same eyes, I realized, only to then gasp as they continued to darken to a deep mahogany brown.

“Don’t worry, it’s just me,” the stranger said. “You’re Peter and you called me John.”

“But… but how?”

He sighed and smiled as he reached out to caress my hair. “It doesn’t matter. I could never explain it in ways you’d understand.”

He was, objectively, still incredibly attractive, just shaped very differently. His scent was ever so slightly different, and he had larger, meatier muscles, but he was also shorter and far hairier than he had been.

“Just accept that it’s me, and perhaps think of it as… a change of clothing, perhaps.”

Somehow, I managed to do that. And my reward was another day spent in the arms of the second sexiest man I’d ever seen up close. I was no fool.

For three days, I didn’t leave my apartment—we made do with what was at hand, or called for delivery. And on each morning, I woke up held by a new set of arms, yet embraced by the same man.

Peter sighed, smiling at the recollection.

“Every morning waking with that man was different, but special.”

“I expect it was.”

“Not just because of the sex, mind you, though that was… remarkable. It was the intense feeling that I was utterly at ease, utterly comfortable with this man, this miracle boy filled with seemingly supernatural power. It was almost distressingly intimate, being with him.”

“Did he ever explain any more to you?”

Here his face revealed something for a moment—frustration, and a bit of wounded pride.

“No, he was very adept at leading me away from such investigations.”

“That’s sad,” I said, drinking the last of the excellent spirits Peter had bought us.

“Ah, it was, but it also was not.”

I arched an eyebrow.


On the fourth morning, my lover awoke, having woken as a very youthful, compact Asian gentleman with long straight black hair. By features and skin tone, I would have suspected Thai or something in the southeastern part of that world. He was beautiful, but in this form a little delicate and young, verging on effeminate. He smiled at me with brilliant white teeth and a twinkle in his dark eyes, as he moved to straddle me.

But as he rolled out of the sheets, he caught himself, and me, by surprise, because of all the forms I’d seen so far, this one had by far the longest prick I had ever seen. It looked especially outsized on his slim frame, but he was at least a foot long and it appeared only half hard.

“I have rarely been so gifted,” he said, his eyes bright with wonder.

“I think that gift is for both of us,” I said. But in practice, I found I could not take his girthy prong as I wished to, and so instead I filled him. It seemed his body loved nothing more than being fully plugged with my cock, and his own far larger one reached remarkable size under the stimulation. I was so caught up I nearly forgot, but the scientist in me needed to know.

That body was only 5’3” tall, but his penis was 14 and a half inches long, and looked utterly massive on him. He wasn’t particularly girthy, proportionally, but he more than made up for it. I’d no sooner recorded the measurements (and others as well, in the name of science) than my own arousal got the better of me.

But after breakfast, he said he needed to go away for a few days and hoped I’d be here when he returned. I said I hoped so too—I was feeling slightly hurt—but he promised to find me again, saying only that he knew we would find each other again. We chose a special phrase from Shakespeare so we’d know each other.

He was gone for 10 days, and I had all but given up hope of finding him again. After the first three days, I resigned myself to being at his whim, and wrestled with hope and resentment in oscillation. Free of the cloud of his presence, I began to ponder how his miraculous body might have worked. I sought clues in Ovid, in other legends. Was he an incubus or a succubus? A mythic beast? A lost soul or a doppelganger? I sought clues in the classics and in other more esoteric tomes near at hand.

And then, as I walked from my apartment one evening, I heard the voice in the dark say our words.

“Oh, that this too too sullied flesh should melt, thaw, and resolve itself into a dew…”

The voice was low and accented slightly; its owner was an absolutely massive man, nearly seven feet tall and looking of Russian or Slavic descent. He looked like he might lift cars for fun. I would wager his arms were larger around than my waist.

“Sorry I had to leave you.”

I hugged him fiercely and kissed him deeply.


This time he was there for 16 days, and grew accustomed to his presence. Yet, our lovemaking was slightly less fierce, because I grew somewhat irritated that he never told me about himself. I assumed it was due to his changing form, at first, but as I grew to know him better, I began to see him as hiding something deliberately from me. My mind simply would not let it go, but he seemed to intuit precisely how to distract, evade, and otherwise misdirect me when I’d pushed.

And then, nearly a month after I met him, John woke up with the body of a fraternity pledge in a college. This was the first time he’d made me uncomfortable (because he looked like one of my students and surely people would assume the worst), and I confessed as much. He had a wistful look to him, and he sadly nodded.

“It’s time for me to go, Peter,” he said. “I’m sorry.”

“That’s it? Must you leave?”

“Yes. I am truly sorry. One day, Peter, it will make sense to you. I promise you that.”

“Will I hear from you or see you again?”

He seemed to weigh his options carefully. “Yes, but not like this. We’ll keep our code phrase, so you’ll know it’s me. But it will be some time.”

In fact, six months passed before I stopped pining for him. But in my loss and suffering, I found a focus. I began researching the mystery of my friend, wading through the literature and the extensive mythological possibilities, and eventually turning my focus to the physical changes I’d observed. All in my spare time, of course, because I was on tenure track and had other duties. Progress was incremental at best. I set it aside when I realized it had been a year—and then I picked it up again when a random phrase in a scientific journal triggered a thought. On and on that went, for five years, then ten, and as my lovers came and went.

But none of them were him. Or maybe they were, but he didn’t tell me—somehow that would have been even worse.


“Worse than what?”

Peter had grown pensive suddenly, and his eyes darkened. “Him being gone, I could just about cope with, but the idea that he might still be around, but unwilling or unable to talk? That was starting to gnaw at me.”

“Jealous?”

“No, not quite. It was a profound sense of missing something, I think. I did sow my wild oats, in a restrained fashion, but I never again had the sort of profound connection I had with that mysterious John. My work gained a hidden purpose, to understand my mysterious lover. And so I spent years, decades, doing just that. Of course I was very careful to avoid muddying the waters or mingling my search for myths and legends with my cutting edge research. At least until I had tenure! Even then, I conducted much of it under several aliases. But it was slow going for many years. You must of course remember that this was a long time ago, and the state of the art was far removed from what we take for granted today.”

“Of course,” I said.

“So much has happened since we split the atom, no? We shall soon land on the moon, they say. Remarkable times indeed.”

“Hear hear,” I said.

“But two things happened this week. One, I was diagnosed with terminal illness. There is no escaping that fate that isn’t more horrible than dying. And two, I completed my research. What I’d seen was, physically, possible with the correct circumstances. And I think I might know what they are.”

“Really?”

“In theory. In practice, well, we’ll find out. Very soon.”

It was a fascinating story, but I couldn’t help but feel disappointed. Still, I’d passed a few hours in pleasant company, with some excellent whiskey, and it hadn’t cost me a dime.

“So… not to be indelicate, Peter, but why did you tell me that story?”

“Because I needed to tell someone. And because you looked cute and lonely, and you reminded me of myself when I was your age.”

“I’m not really lonely—” I began.

“Barry, please don’t take offense, but I know the look all too well. It’s the same one I’ve had for the past four decades, if not longer.”

I blushed. He was right.

“A little advice, then. Don’t sell yourself short—there is someone out there who will see more in you than you expect, and who will draw out the best in you. And you’ll find him, or he’ll find you. Even if it’s not forever, it’s usually worth it.”

“Well, I’m glad to have met you, Peter. And I’m really sorry about the diagnosis. I hope you’ll survive it.”

“If I do, I’ll let you know. Thanks for being a friendly ear, Barry. I hope you find what you’re looking for.”


About ten minutes after he left, as I nursed the last bits of my whiskey and the bar noise wound down a bit, I felt a presence behind me.

“Excuse me,” said the bartender. He had the look of a young professional—well groomed, average but fit build, clean shaven, piercing blue eyes and dark blue-black hair. Glasses that reminded one of Clark Kent. “May I join you for a moment?”

I honestly have no idea if I responded, but he sat anyway, with a glass and the special whiskey. He made an inquisitive gesture, and I nodded, so he poured a little more for me and some for himself.

“Won’t Peter be cross with you for sharing his expensive rare liquor?”

“Possibly,” he smiled disarmingly. “But this is my bottle.”

“It really is quite good,” I nodded. “Thank you.”

“Barry, isn’t it?”

“Yes,” I said before wondering how he’d known. “And you are?”

“Call me John.”

I raised an eyebrow… but no, that was silly. Peter’s story had filled my head with fantasies.

“So, how do you know Peter?” I asked.

“I know him better than he realizes,” John said. “And for longer than I care to think about.”

“Oh?”

“Oh yes,” he said, smiling.

“Did he tell you about…”

“I know all about his illness, and about his mystery man,” John said. “And about his research.”

Ah, that explained it. Peter was an eccentric, a looney, spinning tall tales and being humored by the staff.

“It seems so far-fetched,” I said. “But who am I to say what is what?”

“He’s on the right track. Almost there,” he smiled.

“Well, good for him. I guess he’s hoping that what he learned might cure his illness?”

“Oh, much more than that. He has a surprise or two waiting for him. Listen, I’ve just got off work, and I’ve been watching you all night. You’re handsome and I think we might hit it off.”

I blushed again.

“Barry, I have some of this very good stuff left, and I’m off work, and I’d rather share it with a handsome man than drink it alone. Do you live nearby?”


And so I found myself, at the end of this very strange evening, in bed with a very frisky stranger, who was delighted to show me many ways two men might please each other. He was a generous lover and paid me so many compliments as I fumbled my way through, that I found it hard to deflect all of them. But by morning, my hesitation had fallen away, and I had learned much, and had fun. I knew it would probably end immediately after breakfast, because we had barely talked, at least not about anything important beyond the moment.

But when I woke the next morning, the slim Clark Kent I’d spent the night with was gone, and an athletic blond man with muscular arms was holding me tight.

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