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"Hanging" Out With Friends

"Hanging" Out With Friends"Forget everything you know about suspension" - Adrian The sun was beating down on us as we walked into the barn. The countryside was devoid of people, and the grass was like a river's tide. Meeting Jason within, we started preparing for the day. He had already planned on setting up the back of his father's pickup truck to accommodate for people. Wrought iron pot-holders and volumes of National Geographic Magazines lined the truck bed. There was a hole in the ceiling above it, which allowed for the suspension rig, which is constructed out of a metal beam, with eye bolts to string the 550 pound parachute cord through, to hang down from the roof's support beams. After testing the rig to see if it would hold a human, we waited for people to start showing up. Usually when this group of friends got together, it was to do a flesh pull. Everyone who was pulling would get two hooks in their back. Ropes were then tied between two people, and they would start pulling. It was like tug-of-war, except with blood. When Adrian and his girlfriend Molly arrived, you could see the excitement in his eyes. This was more than flesh pulling. This was the day that he would suspend for the first time, and he looked very anxious. No matter how many flesh pulls he had done, or how big he had stretched his piercings, this was something above that. Today he would test himself, and we all hoped he would come out victorious. Adrian went into the kitchen to have his hooks put in. He suspended on four hooks, which consists of two hooks about four finger widths from each side of the spine, and another set of hooks about two inches further out. The needles are roughly 2.5 millimeters thick, while the hooks are about an eighth of an inch thick. It's always intriguing watching the hooks going in. After his hooks were properly "thrown", or inserted, we all headed out to the barn. Jason began stringing the parachute cord criss-crossed through the eye bolts and Adrian's hooks, alternatively. Once they were all properly in place and tied, he began straightening the ropes, so there was equal pressure on all the hooks. Finally, the rig was pulled up just enough for Adrian to have to stand on his toes. Watching Adrian as he paced back and forth in the bed of the truck, hooks pulling his skin up towards the ceiling, I realized that it's not as easy as it looks. His hesitance was predominant in his body language. Sweat running down his face, while blood ran down his back. Molly climbed into the truck bed to give him support by holding his hands. Finally, he let his feet come off the ground. Still holding on to Molly's hands, he only had one more obstacle to overcome; letting go of her. The emotional barrier that Adrian had to break through was probably the hardest he had ever come across. Molly and he had been together for over half a decade. They had been through everything, but now he had to go through this by himself. The tears in his eyes were reminiscent of a movie when he let go of her hands and swung away from her, becoming a weightless object in space. In a split second, he had finally accomplished his goal. After almost a year of waiting, failed attempts and unplanned set backs, he was in the air. Watching the event unfold before me, I realized how spiritual it all was. This wasn't just some stupid punk getting kicks from going against conventional society, this was a grown man coming to terms with himself, emotionally, physically and spiritually. And to have the one person he loves more than anyone else totally supporting him in his decisions and loving him for who he is, and not for whom other people perceive him to be, added so much to the magnitude of it all. Afterwards, I felt as if I was closer to Adrian. I had witnessed a side of him I had never seen before. Everything had changed; the bond of friendship had become stronger. I could appreciate his relationship with Molly more after seeing how supportive she was of him. Overall, I learned that you could get spiritual enlightenment through more than just religious experiences. Thanks to the IHung Suspension Team and Adrian for making this possible. Thanks to IWasCured for inspiring Jason to start an Ohio-based suspension team.Special thanks to everyone who was there that day who witnessed what I personally went through. You are family.

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submitted by: Anonymous
on: 09 Oct. 2002
in Ritual

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Artist: The+IHung+Suspension+Team
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Location: Enon%2C+OH

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