Sometimes, if a love is strong enough, it can transcend the physical.
I was obsessed with Cullen McCathers.
Coming to live in a college dorm after years of a hermit-like high school existence was culture shock. Back home I was the weird, skinny nerd, the token gay social outcast who did his best to avoid the rest of the small-minded, small town denizens who were all too willing to torment the obvious outsider given the slightest opportunity, never mind that I had been born there just like the rest of them. So I had made sure the opportunities they got were few and far between, and I had assumed I would continue staying out of the way in college. Keeping my head down was a winning strategy. Why mess with success?
What I hadn’t counted on was the reality of being forced to live cheek-by-jowl with a seeming unending parade of ideal male bodies. Within the first hour I was overwhelmed by them. On the paths of the campus they walked, in the lounges of the dorm they casually relaxed, in the halls they fist bumped with their bros, and one in particular even invaded my room. I had requested a single room and had thought it had gotten approved, but in typical bureaucratic fashion I showed up on the first day of Freshman orientation to find someone already occupying an obvious double room. I had a roommate. Cullen McCathers.
From that very first day, I discovered that even though he spoke to me in a friendly enough fashion and I apparently responded appropriately to the conversation, none of it really registered. He remained a remote and unattainable object despite our sharing a living space, because my thoughts, my gaze, the core of my very being seemed to be pulled into his orbit on a visceral level.
He was muscled and toned like a fitness model, and he had a strong face that lit up when he smiled. His voice was sexy, his eyes were sexy, his walk was sexy. His scent, whenever I managed to get a whiff of it, drove me wild with desire, and after watching him unself-consciously change in our room to go take a shower, I knew he was hung so big that I wondered how he dealt with all of that meat in his crotch on a daily basis.
Within a day my universe shifted, and he became its center. He filled my waking fantasies and starred in my nightly dreams.
I was obsessed with Cullen McCathers.
I guess my capability for intense mental concentration and focus, coupled with the depth of my obsession helped trigger the beginning of it. Each night I would think of Cullen as I drifted off to sleep, going over in detail the fragments of him I had collected in my mind that day, cherishing the nape of his neck, the swell of his bicep, the revelation of his tongue darting out to moisten dry lips. I yearned for him and cast myself towards him with wild abandon in my head.
And then one night a couple of weeks into the semester, I felt myself drift off to sleep as usual with thoughts of Cullen filling my head, like the proverbial visions of sugarplums, but instead of my consciousness slipping away until morning, it slipped sideways instead and I found myself hovering just off the floor next to Cullen’s sleeping body. I looked across the room towards my bed, if what I did could be called looking, seeing as I was a bodiless consciousness, and I saw my own body just where I would have expected to see it, lying and breathing gently in slumber.
I was surprisingly unconcerned with what was undoubtedly a highly unusual occurrence. Instead, I was fascinated by what was happening and started to examine my disembodied self. I seemed to perceive some sort of silvery cord leading back to my body, and a scrap of information surfaced from my endless eclectic reading over the years. Astral projection. This is what this was. I had written it off as new age crap, but here was proof to me that not only was it not crap, but I had somehow managed to achieve it.
I turned back to look at Cullen and saw the same silvery cord stretching out of his body and out through the wall, anchoring his dream self to his physical self as he journeyed through the night. The instant I realized this, my thoughts became action, and I flew out of the room through the wall, following Cullen’s silvery cord.
The world blurred by, dissolving into formless colors, before brightening and resolving into a daytime city street. Cullen was there, arguing with a police officer, a clown, and a talking cartoon goldfish in a bowl hovering in mid-air. Cullen was dreaming, and I was in his dream.
I sensed some sort of change in myself and looked down to see that I had a body again. I walked towards the arguing quartet, but as I did the police officer flew up into the air, the clown popped like a balloon, and the goldfish in the bowl turned into a demonic cheerleader who began to chase a suddenly terrified Cullen down the sidewalk towards me. I was enraged that anything would dare to try and hurt Cullen, so I grabbed a parking meter out of the sidewalk and stabbed the cheerleader through the chest with it. She dropped to the ground instantly and vanished.
“Oh, man! I thought I was dead for sure! You saved my life! Thank you!” said Cullen and hugged me tight.
I went rigid in shock. Cullen had spoken to me, and for the first time it had actually registered as words instead of meaningless gibberish. Cullen had touched me. Cullen had hugged me! For the briefest of moments Cullen’s dream world had become real to me, and the combination of his speaking to me, touching me, and hugging me threw me into such turmoil that between one instant and the next I was suddenly waking up in my bed in my darkened dorm room, gasping for air and shaking in reaction.
I was obsessed with Cullen McCathers.
To say that my obsession with Cullen deepened from that point on would be a gross understatement. Now that I knew I could spend all of my sleeping time with Cullen, I began to do so on a regular basis. He had starred in my dreams and now I began to star in his, sleep-stalking him every night. In his dreams, I found I could actually talk with him in a way that I was completely unable to in the waking world. Admittedly, most of the conversations were variations of his thanking me for one rescue or another since I became his dream protector and hero, saving him from countless monsters, demons, witches, aliens, and bad guys who were gunning for him because someone had framed him for a murder he didn’t commit.
After that first dream hug, I did everything I could to initiate physical contact between us during our nightly escapades, an arm casually draped over his shoulder, a hand gently tousling his hair, countless little touches, smiles, looks into his eyes.
In the waking world, he grew more open and friendly towards me, looking at me more, smiling at me more, continuing to try and engage me in conversation despite the fact that I continued to blank it all out and watch our interactions as an observer, rather than as the active participant I was when we dreamed together.
It also dawned on me that there was a sexual tension between us that hadn’t existed before. I was still jacking off to mental images of him every chance I got, but I realized he was spending more and more time wearing less and less when we were alone together in our room. He had never been shy about displaying his body, but as the days went by he went from t-shirts to muscle shirts to tank tops to bare torso, and from sweats to shorts to briefs to nothing at all. I exerted every ounce of my self control to not stare at the obvious things and be as casual and nonchalant about it as he seemed to be.
The weeks passed, and the days grew shorter as fall progressed towards winter. I welcomed the turning of the seasons, because longer nights meant more time to sleep and dream with Cullen.
Things might have continued on this way, but one evening in early November I went to sleep and slid sideways out of my body to find I wasn’t alone in the room. There was another presence like myself, hovering just off the floor next to my bed as I was hovering next to Cullen’s. It was another waking dreamer, I knew, and as I looked more closely I realized its silvery cord led straight to Cullen’s sleeping body!
“Now it all makes sense,” came Cullen’s voice in my mind. “This is what you do. This is how you’re always in my dreams.”
“Yes,” I replied. “It happened first spontaneously, but it quickly became directed. I’m sorry. I can’t seem to help myself where you’re concerned.”
“You love me, don’t you?” he asked.
“Yes,” I admitted sadly, thinking that this was probably going to be some sort of ending. “I’ve been obsessed with you from the first day. Love followed quickly once I started to get to know you through your dreams. I can’t seem to talk to you when I’m awake. I think the reality of you is too much for me to take after a lifetime of isolation, but all I want is to be with you, in all ways, always and forever, to love and protect you, to be one with you. I’m sorry.”
“Why are you sorry? Can’t you tell I feel the same way? Ever since you invaded my dreams and started saving me, I’ve become obsessed with you too. I go to sleep each night, knowing that you’ll be there to keep me safe, even though you can’t say so during the day. I could tell the feeling was there somehow, that we were connected on a deeper level. I’ve been longing to meet you on that deeper level, and now, suddenly, here we are.”
“You love me too?” I asked incredulously.
“Yes,” he said simply, and even though he had no body at the moment to express it, I felt the warmth of his smile on me anyway. I moved towards his warmth, and he moved towards me. We met in the center of our dorm room, still hovering just off the floor, and with no transition our bodiless bodies merged into a single being with two silvery tethers anchored at opposite sides of the room.
There are no words to describe the unity we experienced in that moment. Pile every description imaginable of physical and emotional intimacy on top of each other, squeeze them all together, multiply all of that by any impossibly large number you can think of, then magnify it all again by an equally impossibly large number and you still won’t approach it. Neither of us were prepared for it, and like the first time Cullen had hugged me, I found myself suddenly abruptly awake in my body in my bed.
The only difference was that this time, Cullen was awake too. He launched himself, naked and erect, out of his bed and across the room to mine. I had thrown my blanket off, and his beautiful bare body landed on top of me, his mouth seeking mine to devour me. His gigantic cock leaked onto my stomach as he ground his crotch into mine, only my briefs separating us. He moaned his frustration into my mouth as we kissed, then he sat up and back, reached down, grabbed the opening in the front of my briefs, and with a grunt and a shocking display of strength, ripped them open and yanked the remains out from under me, leaving me as naked as he was.
He laid himself fully down on top of me again and our legs intertwined. He kissed me again, and we were touching all along the length of our bodies, from feet to crotch to mouth. His cock ground down into me and my hips pushed myself in turn up into him, trying to somehow physically force our bodies to merge as our essences had in the moment before we awoke. Given our frenzy, we didn’t last very long, and we shot together, allowing at least part of our physical selves to merge into one as we mixed our cum together between our heaving bodies.
As amazing as the orgasm had been, as amazing as it was that I now knew this beautiful body on top of me held a soul that loved me in a way that I had never felt before, my eyes started to fill and tears began to drip down my cheeks with sadness, because I knew that I would never be able to experience in the waking world the unity we had shared as we slept. I looked up at Cullen, and saw tears to mirror my own.
I was with Cullen McCathers.
I’m not entirely sure how we got through the next few weeks. We somehow got through classes and kept up some semblance of normalcy during the day, but it all seemed remote and unreal, because at night we left our bodies behind and merged together until dawn. After a while, it became harder to determine where I ended and he began. Our body language, speech patterns, and ways of thinking became similar to the point that at times it felt like we were one person living in two bodies.
Thanksgiving approached, and with it the inevitable family obligations. We had become so detached from life outside school and each other that it was almost a surprise when it was time to part and we realized we should have made plans to avoid the separation. There was no help for it, though, so off we both dutifully went to our individual destinations.
Wednesday night was misery. I was back in the place I had grown up, that I hated and that hated me. I went to bed early, eager to experience the all-consuming love that I had discovered with Cullen, only to discover that I was unable to reach him fully. We had a vague sense of each other across the distance, but we couldn’t seem to connect. I spent the night lonely and aching in my heart.
Thursday was just as bad, spending Thanksgiving Day with my perpetually distant parents. It made no sense to me that they would want me here today after years of not really caring whether I was around or not. I had someone now who wanted me and I wasn’t with him. The night was another one of yearning and a futile struggle to connect with Cullen in our dreams.
Friday the separation became actual pain. My head hurt, my heart hurt, my body and soul ached to be with Cullen. I begged off the Black Friday shopping trip, knowing I would not be able to bear the long drive to the nearest town that was large enough to have decent places to pointlessly spend money on meaningless gifts.
My parents drove off and I went back to my old room and flopped on the bed. After the last two frustrating nights I was feeling defeated and depressed, and I began to resign myself to not being with Cullen again until Sunday. I eventually felt myself drifting off to sleep, only this time, for the first time in months, I actually slept and dreamed. Except it wasn’t a dream, it was a horrific nightmare, the details of which I didn’t remember upon my panicked awakening except for the sensations of terror and profound loss. I curled up on my side, hugged my pillow, and sobbed uncontrollably at the feeling that if I didn’t do something drastic, I would somehow lose the connection Cullen and I had found. I couldn’t let it slip away, to become just me again instead of the unity of us.
I slept longer than I had expected to and it was already late afternoon. Knowing my mom, my parents wouldn’t be back from the shopping frenzy until late so I had hours left to be undisturbed. Dropping off to sleep had almost become second nature to me, so it was easy for me to roll over and take back control of my unconsciousness. One thought was uppermost in my mind. I had to reach Cullen, no matter what.
My eyes closed, my breathing deepened, and unlike earlier in the day, I slipped sideways out of my body as I fell asleep. This time I had a new determination and started to fly across the miles to my obvious starting point in my search for Cullen – the room that we shared. I felt pulled tight across the distance from my body, but I held on to where I was through the familiarity of the location. Uncertain what to do next, I hovered once again in the place that was ours where I could feel him all around me even without his being there.
I knew my sense of time was distorted when I noticed it was dark outside. I had been here simply contemplating Cullen, and hours had drifted by without my realizing. I began to notice, too, that my sense of him was growing stronger rapidly. My excitement and longing for him grew with each passing moment until the door opened, and there he was. I could tell he was as angry and frustrated as I had been. I moved to surround him and comfort him, but he couldn’t feel me there.
He sat on his bed for a little, but his tension didn’t seem to be allowing him to relax. He turned to his travel bag and pulled out a bottle of wine, opened it, and drank some straight from the bottle, then went and sat on my bed and put his face into my pillow, breathing in deeply through his nose. He hugged the pillow to his chest and a tear dripped down his cheek. Seeing him in this unguarded moment express wordlessly how much he missed me and longed for me gave me a sense of comfort in my soul that made up for the last two days of anguish and misery.
After a bit, he got up, tossed my pillow back on my bed, grabbed the bottle and headed out the door. I followed wondering where he was going. His goal turned out to be the top floor lounge at the back of the dorm where very few people bothered to go. It was deserted, since it was the Friday evening after Thanksgiving.
Cullen drank some more wine and gradually seemed to relax. By the time the bottle was empty, he had propped himself up across a couple of chairs and was staring blankly at the wall. Bit by bit his eyes closed, and then there he was, slipping sideways out of his body to join me.
“You’re here!” he said with surprise.
“I’ve been waiting for you. I pushed and pushed to get here across the distance. I wasn’t sure where I was going to go from here. The distance is difficult, but you came back, and you’re here, and now we can be together again.”
And just like that we were. We were one again and our joy was endless. The unity of ourselves into a single being was a miracle, and all the sweeter for having been denied it the last two days. The only things that marred our joining were the silvery cords heading off to different places, Cullen’s to his body in the chairs just next to us, and mine to my far away self. We were one. We needed to be one. All other parts of us were one. The cords needed to be one too. We were tugging on my silvery cord in an attempt to push it into his, when suddenly there was a sensation of severing, and an unattached tendril reeled in from a distance, flailed around as if seeking purchase, then laid itself down over Cullen’s cord and into his body.
We awoke with a start, disoriented from being in an unaccustomed place, uncomfortable from having fallen asleep on the chairs, and still drunk from the wine. We felt such an overwhelming feeling of happiness and well-being that we wished we could tell someone, but we knew no one would ever really understand. As I stumbled back to my room, I knew that the other bed would be remaining empty, but that was ok. I was with my love and I was within my love. We were one person forever. I was one person with no further need for two bodies. I undressed for bed and looked down at my body as usual and also for the first time, happy with what I saw. I was masculine and strong in my body. I was loved and protected in my soul.
I was Cullen McCathers.