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I can.

"My biggest piercing so far had been at a 10 gauge and you expect me
to get four of them at 8 gauge and then hang from them?"

That was what my little voice in the back of my mind was saying to me as I got backwards into the chair, ready and marked for Jonny to hook me up. Luckily that voice was very quiet and was overridden by my excitement and desire to do this.

I am not sure exactly when my desire to suspend came from but I do know that it was after I came to IAM. Before that I had heard of suspension but never knew that it was so widely done and that people did it for other reasons than a performance or because they were Native Indian. My attitude upon encountering BME was at first "WOW that is amazing but I can never do that." But the images of people going up on hooks and reading their stories on BME slowly worked it's way into my brain and I began to think that maybe, someday far in the future I could do it too. But not yet. Only certain people could do this and I wasn't one of them I thought.

Vancouver first held a pull and suspension in august of 2002 I think. I hadn't been able to attend any of the planning sessions because of my job, so I didn't feel as involved with things as I wanted to be. I still had the opportunity to go do it, but I felt that if I did, my decision would have been too rushed and not a good idea so I passed. After I chose not to do it then, I thought about it a lot and quickly came to the conclusion that I would go up next time I possibly could, and that if the opportunity didn't come to me fast enough I would go to where I could find it. Even then I was pretty sure I couldn't do this, but I needed to at least attempt to try.

Skip to may of this year. I was unhappy, the place I was working at had become even more unbearable and my mental health was suffering as a result. Applying for new work became a priority and this time I wasn't going to settle for anything substandard. Luckily for me I found my ideal job at a small local independent bookstore. I am a book geek extraordinaire and this would be heaven.

BME was having a road trip to film footage for a BME movie and one of the stops was Vancouver. Jody a local piercer started planning an event to go around this. The original two day event got cut down to 1 at the last minute due to the weather being too bad for an outside event. Saturday was going to be it for sure.

Saturday was 2 days after my last day at the job I disliked. I wanted to use this suspension to mark my transition from working because the money was good to working because I loved what I do.

I showed up on Saturday a bit early to help with the setup. We cleaned out the entire room of almost everything and as everyone else began showing up the rigging was being hung. I stared fascinated at the hooks sitting in their packets on the counter. Four of these would soon be embedded in my back. I shivered and moved back so that the suspensions could begin.

First up was Sean with a knee suspension which impressed me with the ease in which he handled it. He was swinging around and playing and laughing and having fun. If people can do that then surely it isn't THAT scary right?

Next Haley and I get ready to be hooked. I get stripped down to my tank top and stood quietly while Jonny marked me. I then straddled a chair and leaned forwards, ready for the hooks. "In one, Out one, In two, Out two..... PIERCE" and in went the first hook. It wasn't so bad. My cartilage piercings were worse. I easily dealt with the second and third ones, and by the time he got to the fourth, my first two had gotten to the "slightly warm and numb" stage just after piercing so that I didn't feel like I was dealing with them all at once. I stood up carefully trembling all over and someone handed me some much needed candy.

I watched Haley go up and come down. My nervousness was increasing, though my trembling had stopped as soon as I got my blood sugar back up to normal.

Finally I was ready. I stood below the rigging as Jonny and Jody tied my hooks to the rig. I was jolted a bit as the rig was pulled up until the tension was right. Closing my eyes and taking I big deep breath I nodded at Jonny and held his hands as we walked back and forth with the rope being tightened each time until somewhere I was off the ground.

The first few moments were pretty hard though the pain was of a quality I had never experienced before. It is hard to describe how it felt after then. The world became a bubble centered around me. I could see and hear and respond to other people if they came close and drew themselves to my attention, but if they did not, than I just didn't even know of their existence. I remember people talking to me and making sure I kept moving so that my blood would keep circulating properly. I waved at Badur's camera and smiled. "How does it feel?" he asked. "Weird." was the best answer I could come up with. "Good weird or bad weird?" This was a question I could not answer. What I was feeling was beyond good or bad feelings. "Just weird!"

At some point after that (I had lost any sense of time by this point) I started feeling really strange but this was definitely a bad strange. My vision was becoming blurry and my stomach wanted to empty its contents right then. "Down now please". I remember looking at the ground and seeing it come closer and that is probably about when I passed out, because I don't remember my feet touching the ground.

I got pulled out of my dream of a brightly lit, tree lined street and the orange coloured voices by people taking to me right up close. I was sitting on a chair and someone was handing me a juice box. From what I gathered I had passed out into Jonny's arms just as I came down. I sat there in the chair sipping my orange juice and coming out of my daze. I had done this. Sure I had passed out at the end, but I had gone up and gotten down in one piece. My next time will be better.

I don't think this suspension has changed my life in any major way. I am still me. But then big changes are actually small changes that we notice more than the others, and this experience definitely qualifies as HUGE under that context.

Thank you to everyone who attended this event with me. You made it amazing.

I can do this. I wonder what else I can do?


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 30 June 2003
in Ritual

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Artist: Jody%2C+Jonny%2C+Badur
Studio: +
Location: Vancouver+BC

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