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At war with gravity.

 As a child I'd often dreamed of flying. I'm not talking about planes, or construction paper wings with my stuffed tiger. I'm talking about the freedom of aerial mobility. Floating above everything and everyone with a grin on my face that read "bliss." 
 As you grow older you lose sight of many childhood dreams, but there are those that never die. I have never gone a day without hoping for this. There were even times I'd lay on the ground willing myself to levitate.  I'm no David Blaine Street Sorcerer, or whatever it is that demon goes by, but I could swear there were times I started to move upwards. 
 Needless to say, I can't fly, but I found the next best thing.  I started reading about suspensions at a young age, and it was something I knew I always wanted to be a part of. I have spent a long time preparing myself for this, mentally. I knew that when I suspended, I wanted to be someplace else in my head. I figured the best place to go was the clouds.  Over the years I had only acquired a few friends who suspended, or helped suspend others, so I knew it was going to be quite a wait. 
 After moving to New York I made a few friends through IAM and other mutual friends and ended up getting a place with a friend of a friend. Jeff and I quickly became friends, since PBR is such a wonderful conversation starter. I learned that he is in Rites of Passage along with a few other people I've met out here, and pretty much told me to let him know when I was ready. I tagged along to a few suspensions just to watch and learn first hand, and also to have Brian repeatedly call me Mike. A few weeks had gone by and I knew these were the people I wanted to hang me. 
 I chose a 4 point Suicide suspension, against strong suggestions for a Superman, but I have my reasons.-I have a fear of being restrained. Why would I want to be immobile and just laying there facedown, when my whole life I wanted to be off the ground and free.-Hooks in the backs of my legs terrify me, because I am a sissy. 
 Jeff took a lot of care in finding the most comfortable spot on my back to hang from, measuring and marking, slapping my ass ( I am probably lying about that last part) and talking me through everything. When it was time to throw the hooks, Jeff and Joy stepped up to the plate and had me concentrate on my breathing. I have to say that this was different than any other piercing I've had. I've pierced through muscle and it didn't compare to this. The pain wasn't so much what shocked me, but the calm I felt. I guess I began to detach my mind from body, but I felt amazing. Jeff had me take a glucose tablet and drink some water to make sure my body was doing ok and it helped. I sat around for a few minutes getting used to hooks being in my back, and learning not to tense up, or ways not to move my shoulders and arms. When I was ready they set up the rig and Jeff made some nice figure 8 knots. Way to go "boy_cout." He asked me if there was anyone I didn't want around, how I wanted the lights, the music, anything. Because this was my experience and they aren't here to please anybody else. That was when I knew this was going to be perfect. Evan was hoisting me, and started to put a bit of pressure on the hooks. I had them readjusted a few times so all the strain felt even on my skin and I walked/leaned around a bit to get used to the pressure and Evan slowly put more pressure until I told him I wanted up. 
 This was the most alleviating feeling I have ever experienced. As I went up I did my best not to clench my shoulders, and I wasn't even paying attention to the pain. Sure it hurt. Give me a reason why it wouldn't. I hung motionless for a couple minutes, letting the skin separate from the muscle and so forth, and began swinging around. I can't describe the amount of fun I had kicking off walls and fixtures and sort of circling the room, having people catch my legs when I got a bit out of control. For the most part, I was elsewhere and just let it sink in that I had finally achieved flying and never felt more complete. 
 I would like to thank Rites of Passage, most notably Jeff, Joy, Evan, and Brian, for making this happen. I couldn't have asked for a better "first time."

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submitted by: Anonymous
on: 22 June 2005
in Ritual

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Artist: Rites+of+Passage
Studio: +
Location: NYC

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