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suspended in time..

I finally did it. After months of thinking and weeks of planning, I just completed my first suspension: a 10-point superman suspension and it was worth every minute of anticipation.

I have seen pictures of suspensions, and even had a friend who participated in them fairly regularly, but I never really knew much about it, and was definitely in the thought crowd of "Oh my god you're crazy!" That is until the summer of 2001 when the thought started creeping into my head. I started looking at pictures from time to time, then started reading experiences, and the more I learned about it, the more the idea intrigued me. I was very apprehensive about actually making the decision to do it because I have moderate psoriasis and am fairly large in stature, but the thought was persistent and grew continually stronger over the course of the year until, in October 2002, everything changed. A way presented itself for me to leave Utah permanently in December, so of course I grabbed onto it with both hands and started making preparations to get myself out. Then the thought struck me: what an incredible way to end my time in Utah. I could do my first suspension and l eave on a happy note with an incredible life experience in tow.

I started seriously researching the "who" and "where" in hopes of finding someone close to home who could do this for me. I started to resign myself to the fact that I was going to have to travel when the idea popped into my head to write to Dustin to see if he knew of anyone who could help me out. A couple of days later he wrote me back and told me that he could do it. I think I flipped out a little bit at this point and did a happy dance around my room, cause that's very like me, but it's a little hazy. Anyway, I was totally stoked cause it's only a 3 1/2-hour drive to Salt Lake City, and Dustin has done my last few piercings for me and I trust him completely.

We set a date around the end of October and I started mentally preparing myself for it, and then I got sick, and then Dustin got sick, and we went into a holding pattern. The next six weeks brought on a series of setting dates and then one of us canceling for one reason or another. We were really close at one point in mid-November, but then Jesse came back from the suspension convention in Texas and decided they needed to upgrade their equipment. I wasn't going to argue with them about making improvements that would straight up benefit me, so we put it off yet again. I sent one more message to Dustin that December 8th was going to be the day. It was then or never since I am leaving Utah pretty much for good on December 16th. Dustin wrote back and said that that would be the day and that it would happen. So once again I started messing with all my friends' schedules and got ready for the day.

It finally came. Unfortunately, half of the group of friends that I really wanted there were not able to come for a variety of reasons, but I still had Jamie, Laurie, and Sunny. The only person that I was seriously missing was my girlfriend, Amy, but she had sent Joey the Traveling Monkey to me to keep me company, so he came in her stead. Jamie, Laurie and I struck out at 9:00am this morning in order to make it up to Salt Lake at the appointed time of 1:00pm where we would meet up with Sunny and proceed to the Blue Boutique. It was an uneventful trip up, except for one thing: shortly after leaving cedar city we saw a Bald Eagle. It was sitting in the middle of the freeway; just hanging out like it was waiting for us. Waiting for me. I slowed down as we came up on it; it looked at me, and then flew off. It was beautiful, and HUGE, and we figured it to be a very good omen.

We arrived in Salt Lake around 12:30pm, and by this point I was bouncing off the walls. We had to wait for the shop to open at 1:00, then we had to wait for Dustin to get there, then we had to wait for Jesse to get there, then we had to wait for everything to get cleaned, and I was going fucking crazy with anticipation. Not to mention the fact that I had to pee every ten minutes. So it took a little while to get through all the preparation mish-mash, but we finally got there. At about 3:00pm I was laying on the table and Dustin was marking me up. I had been given reign over the stereo, so I put in The Cure-Staring at the Sea. Needless to say I have a new love for that album now. Dustin finished marking me up, and everything was finally clean and ready to go, so he and Jesse went to town on me. They did the whole thing tandem, which in retrospect I was very glad of cause I couldn't have handled ten individual piercings, and it was one of the most intense experiences I 've ever had. The only time when I am that in tune and in focus with my body is when I'm climbing, but this was far more intense. Then the endorphins kicked in and I started getting silly. They let me sit for a few minutes to let me recover a bit, and then we moved on to the rack.

I laid down under the rack and Jesse set up all the rigging and tied me up. What an interesting experience just by itself. It was kinda fun having slight pressure applied to the hooks in my back and legs pretty much at random. Made me giggle a bit. Jesse finished tying me off and the moment of truth had arrived. Dustin asked me if I was ready, I nodded, and off we went. The first lift off didn't go very well. Most of the tension and weight was being supported by my lower back and it hurt quite a bit, so Dustin put me down, Jesse made some adjustments, and off we went again. Lift off number two went much better. It still hurt a bit, which isn't surprising, but the weight distribution was better and I was determined to make it off the ground. I was worried for the first few minutes that I wasn't going to last long, but then endorphin rush number two came flooding in, and before long all I felt was a pulling sensation. No pain what so ever. After a few minutes I let Jesse swing me, and it was amazing. He started slow and changed the patterns slightly as he swung me higher, and it was absolutely incredible. I wish I could've been higher off the floor cause I truly felt like I was flying. I was happy and giddy and in awe and completely part of the experience. It's something I will have with me for the rest of my life.

I'm truly happy that I was able to do this. I'm glad the universe made me wait a few extra weeks cause it really strengthened my convictions, and I am glad that some of my closest friends were able to share this with me. Dustin and Jesse are totally awesome. They put me at my ease, helped me stay relaxed, and are very, very good at what they do. It would have been totally different with someone else, and I am glad they could do this for me. I can't wait to see the pictures. THE END. finally..


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 14 Dec. 2002
in Ritual

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Artist: dustin+%26+jesse
Studio: blue+boutique
Location: salt+lake+city

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