Astral Sex by Harrison Kim

Seventeen-year-old Matthew has an out-of-body sexual experience that gives him a new perspective; by Harrison Kim. 

It's midnight, I'm in Bonnie's apartment, I'm seventeen years old and she's a mature woman who wants astral sex, she's lying on her back in her bikini underwear. I'm on my side, my stomach, I'm flipping like a porpoise. Bonnie's going for soul travel, the ultimate high, she says. I have a hard time holding back, viewing the sheen of her legs against the moon light from the window,

"Matthew, we have to breathe in and breathe out slowly," she says. "When we hear a loud bang, that's when our souls leave our bodies, right through the middle of our foreheads."

She continues "I've made physical love with many men, but this is a spiritual calling. If I get pregnant with astral intercourse, I'll be like Mother Mary," she laughs. "We're both spiritual sex virgins, Matthew. That's a real turn-on for me."

"Pregnancy?" I pushed that out of my head. My teenage mind had room for nothing but lust.

We met as I rested by my bicycle outside Winfield Hall following my debacle premiere at the Okanagan composers' contest. I'd cycled a hundred kilometres to Kelowna, camped overnight in a baseball stadium in preparation for the event. I entered a song called "Throwback," about a small-town kid who because of his quirks and differences is doomed to work forever in a fast food restaurant.

"We liked your song," Judge Simone Jeanne said in her written assessment, "Though it's not really our style." However, she invited me down to Kelowna, to the shindig in Winfield Hall. "Bring your guitar."

"You'll have a chance to be completely on your own," my Mom said. "It'll be a character-building experience."

At the time, I had no idea Simone offered this gesture out of misplaced politeness.

I bicycled far above Okanagan Lake, on a curving road, my guitar balanced on my back carrier, apple blossoms falling, the scent of pine trees whirling on wind from the south. I hummed my contest song all the way, 'Throwback, get back, you're gonna work at doing dishes 'til you die."

At Winfield Hall, I discovered all the other performers were classically trained musical experts. They played intricate original compositions on piano and wind instruments. I knew ten guitar chords, and couldn't change them very fast. Aged, jade necklace wearing Simone insisted I perform. "Let's give you a chance," she told me, her green rocks shining. "You've come all this way." The crowd of mostly older ladies clapped. "Presenting Matt Andrucci and his guitar."

A slim short haired woman with cat's eye glasses and very short hair watched me. "Go on," she sang out as I walked to the stage with my twenty-five dollar instrument, its sides held together with beige duct tape. "Push out your energy."

My energy did not push. After five minutes of sitting and tuning and retuning my patched up sound machine in front of the thirty or so attendees, I stood up, waved goodbye and stumbled offstage. "Just doesn't sound right," I shouted, sidling towards the exit, exhausted from riding and not getting enough sleep, disappointed in myself and my failure to launch. I heard a few polite claps as I slid through the door to the fresh air and folded myself down under a poplar tree.

"I want to talk with you a moment," The cat's eye lady ran out after me. "I can tell you have spiritual potential."

She appeared nervous and thin and she smiled so wide all her teeth showed up past the gums.

"Okay," I said. "We can talk under this tree."

"Like the Buddha," she grinned. "I'm Bonnie, also with a B. my favourite musical note."

Through the half-open windows I heard the next performer beginning a Bach-like organ drone. Bonnie talked fast, the cadence in her voice moving along with the serious music.

"I know intuitively who is my match," she said. "I know I met you before in a previous universe. Do you believe in previous universes?"

I told her I'd read a couple of books by the Zen monk Lobsang Rampa who used to be an Irish Priest but he had some kind of astral cord soul fusion operation with a Zen Master's body.

"It's surprising that his books are in the school library," I said.

"I've read all Lobsang's books too!" Bonnie enthused. "It's hard to find anyone who knows about him. You must be quite a different type of boy."

She was right. I didn't participate in team sports or school clubs or parties.

My Mom said, "If all you do is sit around reading those weird books, you're going to end up a dishwasher."

Bonnie saw me cycling in up the hill as she drove in. "I sensed you as an old soul in a young body," she said, "such courage and leg muscles, to pedal so far from your comfort zone only to embrace disappointment."

"My song was no good," I said. "It was about a nerdy boy stuck working in a fast food restaurant."

"It was a true song," Bonnie told me. "I heard the recording, and it made me cry."

"Really?" I said. "It sounded sad?"

I looked at her face. There were lines and angles of chin and cheek. Bonnie wasn't sculpted flawless, like Sandra Washington, the girl at school I crushed on, Bonnie was kinda bony, her hair tucked round her rather large ears. Her rhythmic breathing drew me in; as she spoke she whispered, and told me compliments with every utterance, like, "You seem to have a knowledge far beyond your years, young man."

How could she like me so much when she didn't even know me?

"But I did know you," she said. "As my lover in a previous existence," she laughed out loud and put her hand across my mouth. "Don't say anything skeptical!"

I didn't argue, it was rare to be so attended to, and now, a few hours later, here we were in her bed, her hand on mine, waiting for our souls to be set free with astral sex.

She hummed a sound, "Huuuu," and again, "Huuuu," and began exercising her legs.

I asked "What's that hum you do?" and she told me, "That's the highest sound in the Universe."

"Is that higher than Om?" I asked. "I always thought that Om was highest."

My mouth was so dry my words cracked. Bonnie's long legs moved up and down against mine.

My eyes bulged.

"'Huuuu' is the number one sound for soul travel," she whispered, and maybe it was that whisper of the hu, because I heard a bang, right from the top of my head. I'd felt shifts as we lay in the bed, my soul moving jelly like inside my skin, kind of a blue light shimmering atop my chest, but this was a very assertive pop. I'd wanted release so bad and now I floated outside my body, looking down at it lying there on Bonnie's bed. Bonnie stared right up at me, and then I heard another pop, more like a boom. A mix of light and dark shimmered out of her face, billowed up and formed a human shape beside me.

"Hey, how's it going?" is what I heard and there was a lithe and much younger looking Bonnie floating right there.

"It's just like when we met the first time," she said; she spoke telepathically, I didn't hear her words as much as see images. "Way back two thousand years ago."

"I don't remember," I said. She did seem to be channelling Sandra Washington's look, in fact as I watched her she formed into a very close Sandra replica. "I can be anyone you want me to be," she said. "Is this good?"

"It is," I said. "Who do I look like to you?"

Bonnie laughed and merged her body with mine, her soul legs moving through my soul chest. Fuzzy blue sparks buzzed, we moved and slid up there in the astral plane, our souls lifted fast as elevators. I heard the tone of "Huuuu" all round me. Our bed shrank back as we burst through the apartment roof and tumbled together up beyond and above the lake. We merged again gazing down at the darkness below, parted by lights all sparkling along the town shore, until things blackened again along the dark tops of trees along the mountains.

That wasn't what I expected when we ate together earlier at Veggie Pro cafe.

"I am really hoping Mike sees us," Bonnie smiled behind her wine glass and I asked "Who's Mike?"

"That's my ex."

"Oh," I said "What does he look like?" "You'll know," she said. "A guy with a ski-jump nose and a beard. He's boasting to me about all the young girls he's seeing. He's probably with one now." She smiled. "I want to show him I can do that too, with a cute young guy of course."

I stood up nervously, headed to the bathroom to check my profile in the mirror and make sure Mike wasn't anywhere around. I examined my reflection, checked for pimples, then walked back to Bonnie, vigilant for bearded men.

"He's not in the bathroom," I announced.

"Mike always comes back to me." She took a big gulp of wine, and poured me another glass. "On his knees. You're never too young for Pinot Noir," she said.

We ate gluten free vegetarian. Bonnie talked about her job as a music therapist. "I don't have all my credentials, but I have a few contracts. Would you like to come back to my apartment and hear my mandolin?"

"I like the mandolin," I said.

She asked if I had a girlfriend. I told her about my crush on Sandra Washington. "I can channel her," she smiled, and rubbed my foot with hers.

A few hours later, way up above the shimmering astral lake, Bonnie morphed into teenage form, appropriating Sandra's long black hair and shiny young skin. I took her into my soul, or so it seemed, we were bodies within bodies thrashing around in the heavens, the mountains rocking and the lake tilting all around our sexy universe.

Then I discovered her on top of me in the bed moaning, her hands all down my back and shoulders, as I ran my fingers along her arms. "Oh no!" she exclaimed. "The earth's moved back under us." But she kept moving, she did not stop. In my opinion all seemed well, here we were, on earth again doing it conventional style and at this time sex was all new to me, both the terrestrial and the astral versions.

As we lay spent on the bed, Bonnie stated in a low voice "You're very grounded to the physical. You bought us back with your teenage lust."

"I heard that sound, 'Huuuu'," I told her. "It was all down my stomach and legs."

"Mine too," she said. "I think we may have reached the highest level, just for a few seconds."

We rolled out of bed round five as the sun came up. As soon as I stood, my tiredness returned.

"I'll drive you and your bike downtown," Bonnie offered. "We'll put everything in the pickup like yesterday."

"I think I might sleep a few hours on the side of the highway," I told her.

It felt like I wasn't truly in my body, that my soul still lingered up above the astral lake. I felt dazed all day, and pedalled the hundred kilometres back home like an automaton, where I slept twelve hours straight.

Back at school, I daydreamed all day through my classes, I couldn't stop thinking about the astral sex. Sandra Washington walked towards me down the hall. She handed me a note and the note said, "I dreamed about you."

"That's great," I said, without smiling.

She tightened her lips. "You act as if it's normal," she said. "I think you're a trifle conceited, Matthew."

I couldn't tell her I had this soul merge experience, sex in the sky, sliding all over a thirty year old woman's body in a big bed; I looked in Sandra's eyes and imagined her as Bonnie. Daydreams of Bonnie counted now, how she bought me that "Huuuu," and the feeling of intersections and penetrations and the worthiness of being on display. I couldn't study or think; I didn't even know her phone number but I might perhaps remember where she lived.

"Do you want a game of one on one basketball?" I asked Sandra, as she stood there and I held her note.

"That would be okay," she said, "Except I've never seen you play the game."

"I just want to play like a normal kid," I said.

I convinced my Mom I needed to return to Kelowna for a few days and talk to concert judge Jeanne Simone about music lessons.

"I want to learn the mandolin," I told Mom.

"You're pretty preoccupied these days," she replied. "I'll drive you there."

"No no no," I insisted. "I'll take the bus and save you the time and inconvenience."

Jeanne Simone told me, "Bonnie's always been a bit different," but wouldn't give me her phone number. I spent all day searching for her apartment, wandering along the lake; the hours flew by. I absentmindedly gave ten dollars to a panhandler, then found I didn't have enough money for the bus home. I hitchhiked. I couldn't catch a ride all the way back so I slept overnight behind a 24-hour laundromat. I wasn't coping well with the real world.

A number of months later I shopped in Kelowna's Orchard Park mall with my friend Keith. We stopped at a music store, spent time trying out all the guitars and synths. Then I saw Bonnie playing a dobro over in the string section, singing with a tall thin black bearded ski-jump nosed man.

"Must be Mike," I thought.

Bonnie stopped playing and stood up. I noticed a big baby bulge.

"See that pregnant lady?" I said to Keith. "Kid could be mine."

"Huh?" he said, his chipmunk shaped face turning my way.

"That's the older woman I told you about." I said. "Bonnie. The one I had astral sex with."

Keith stared for a moment.

"Then It could be an astral baby," he stated. Bonnie glanced up, then looked directly at me. I pulled my cap way down over my face and sidled hunched over, creeping towards the door like I did at that concert where I never fit in.

"Yeah, maybe the kid'll be another Jesus Christ," I said to Keith. As I passed Bonnie I tipped my hat and smiled large.

"Hi," I said. "Do you remember me?"

She shook her head and mouthed, "No."

Mike stared. "Hi," he said. "Do I know you from somewhere?"

"Oh, sorry," I answered. "I mistook you both for rock stars."

Bonnie smiled, and played some more rhythm on the dobro.

I followed Keith into the afternoon heat. My next dishwashing shift at Hannigan's Burger King began in a few hours. We had to drive back home so I could begin my work on time.

"I won't be living my sad sack 'Throwback' life much longer," I told Keith as we hopped in his van. "That's not the actual world."

"What is the actual world?" asked Keith.

"The one Bonnie showed me," I told him. "Above in the astral, man." I glanced back. Bonnie played at the music shop window, looking away from the outside. "I'm going into music full time," I told Keith.

"Well, you do play a few chords not too bad," he agreed.

In about thirty years I'll know the holy truth about Bonnie's child. In the meantime,

I'll be a dreamer shaping my own reality, practicing, playing, and trying to reach the stars.


  1. Matt, the narrator, is likable. Plot intriguing. The mom's dishwasher comment to Matt made me laugh. Lots of cool phrasing, e.g. "my soul moving like jelly inside my skin." Love the final line.

    1. Thanks for commenting, Taocat. The story is a pretty weird one, a bit out of the box. I am glad you checked it out and got the humor in it.

  2. A trippy tale. Bonnie is an intriguing character, almost get the sense that her agenda might be darker somehow than Matthew realizes.

    1. Thanks for your comment, Ron. Indeed, Bonnie had some very eccentric beliefs.

  3. Seems to me, the MC was already reaching for the stars and Bonnie was there to take advantage of him. I agree with Ron's comment....a trippy tale, but a very good one. Thanks for sharing it with us.

    1. Thanks, James. It is a tale from the trippy seventies. I am reading your stories in a number of short story magazines these days. Congrats!

  4. I really enjoyed the Matthew character. Who wouldn't identify with, or at least have sympathy for, the struggling teenage nerd? I like the way the story combines magical realism with the very concrete reality of an older woman teaching a young man a thing or two. ;) If Bonnie's taught him nothing else, at least she's boosted Matthew's self confidence.

    1. Yes an experience like that can boost confidence for sure! Thanks for the comment, Tony.

  5. Hi, you've clearly read into the esoteric and Theosophy and eastern mysticism, something that used to be a lot more prevalent in fiction than today, and created what feels to me like the embryo of a much bigger story. Matthew comes across authentically as a diffident and ingenuous young man looking for a bigger purpose in life, and Bonnie is also an intriguing character. Personally I felt the story stops and starts and isn't entirely sure of its direction, much like the main character. I liked it and would love to read more of all these scenarios and characters. It has the making of several stories, or a novella or full novel length work. Hope you write more of him!

    1. Yes theosophy is a main theme...thanks for the intriguing direction for future story possibilities.

  6. The comparison between creating music and having sex reminded me a little bit of the end of Wackenroder's tale "A Wondrous Oriental Fairy Tale of a Naked Saint". I wonder if you are familiar with it. Interesting story!

    1. No I am not familiar with it, but am very interested...I just read a synopsis of this tale, indeed, there are parallels. Music, love, and beauty save the creature of the cave. Thanks for the reference.