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The suspense is killing me

The vibrancy of this weekend is comparable to that of seeing a sky exploding with fireworks, through a house with no electricity at the darkest heart of midnight. There are so many things that are crowding in line to be written down, and I should have written them sooner, because I know the more outstanding picture-perfect details will be hazy to me, and that kind of disappoints me; and in retrospect, if I had known everything that was set to happen before the weekend had started, I would have written an account hourly. I'll start with Friday night.

I was set to do a suspension, or for the uninformed, my back was to be pierced with hooks, and then I would be lifted off my feet, with only the hooks to support my weight. It is very ritualistic, and older than time itself (ok. That makes no sense. But I was trying to be dramatic because it means a lot to me). I have been curious about this since I was very young, and I saw some depraved movie where someone was doing it. I initially dismissed it as Hollywood bullshit, but as I began sewing my oats in the body modification scene, I became aware that it was very much real, and its practice was not obscure. So I became more and more curious as I became a teenager, though I never thought I would actually have the gall to go through with it.

I'm a stubborn bastard, so, after six months of planning (my plans turned out rather half-assed, but that comes later) I was set to suspend. The Richmond Suspension Social started Saturday at four pm in Virginia, which is about a four hour drive from here. I never had a clear-cut ride there, because the person I was originally set to ride with, went to Richmond a couple days early. So I called this guy at 4 am, though I had never met him, and he was quite genial actually, and he set my mind at ease a bit. I got in touch with Steve (the piercer at Cape Fear in Greenville) Saturday morning, and he said I could bum a ride with him. I was quite relieved. I sat up all night, telling me that everything would be cool , not to worry things will pan out lady luck cool not to worry...I pretty much worried myself into a frenzy, but after a couple hours of broken sleep, I popped up off the couch and got a ride to Greenville with Misty.

The girls that work with Steve wished me luck in becoming a hooker and we all chit-chatted before Steve and I pulled away in a well-traveled Volkswagen. The trip was interesting, in that, I had never really conversed with Steve outside of when I wanted him to make holes in me. When you deal with someone on a business-level often, then it becomes just that. Business. So we talked of many things, and it was very expansive and horizon-broadening, some of the conversations that we had.

We got to Virginia around 5pm, and I was so giddy-nervous. It's that feeling I get when I know something is about to happen. Something that is worthy of expression vastly more eloquent than "wow", yet that is the only thing that can be mustered from my lips upon its happening. It's a feeling that can move mountains, or be synthesized into a drug that would make cocaine obsolete. I stepped in after smoking a succession of cigarettes, and staring back at me were the eyes attached to people I felt close to without ever meeting.

This was a social event of altogether different proportions, where we all had some common fiber stringing us together. I felt timid because of my head-rapidity, and the suspension rig that commanded attention as it hung in the center of the room, dangling from the rafters above. I stared and became entranced. I tried to introduce myself to everyone as best I could just to calm myself and get relaxed for what lay imminent. The mood escalated in an anticipation and the first pair of hooks were thrown -a girl. She screamed and grabbed the seat and breathed heavily with the glide of each needle, and with the insertion of each hook. I literally was entranced. I stared, and her screams made me only slightly reluctant, but my fascination and curiosity surpassed any kind of negativity that tried to present itself.

I was next. I took my shirt off and set down in the chair. The guy that was throwing my hooks (iam:lone_tone) thoroughly prepped and marked my back with some kind of ink and a sterile toothpick, and I was ready to take my breaths. Lots of people were taking pictures and a couple of people were questioning me and videoing (all with my permission) as he put the hooks in. I did not even feel the first two, but any worry could not be seen within me, but instead a huge, defeating grin (the ones you may get when you eat a particularly goofy batch of mushrooms) sprouted on my face. People stared on and I smiled at them and did not even flinch as the needles and hooks made peace with my flesh.

I stood up and did a little happy-giggle-dance after seeing the four gleaming hooks in my back -like wings. Me and the girl I previously mentioned had a short debate about who would go first -she because of the pain, and me because it was my first time. But I decided to be the first to fly, being the youngest person there, and the one with the least experience. This was to be my rites of passage. That was what I had in my head since the beginning, and I passed with flying colors. I stood in the center of the room under the dangling rig, amongst the many eyes of strangers, being scrutinized like a bug under a microscope, and it was all good. All the panic fled, and a rush of endorphins hit me while I was simultaneously sliding into a state of deep relaxation. It was a speedball cocktail of heroin and cocaine. I was in another world.

People were rushing around me getting prepared, and many cheers and encouragements came from the throng of strange faces. The hooks in my back were attached to the free-flowing, revolving rig, and I was just like, "Do it!" They lifted me off the ground, and it was like kissing a star. My body felt like it was crushed by a white light. I didn't know what to do with myself for the first few seconds -I was overwhelmed and paralyzed with so many things. After a minute or so I gained my wits and realized I could fly. People were shouting friendly advice, telling me to move about, that that would help my angry muscles flex and relax or contract or whatever, etc. I did the whole swimming in cold water deal, where I just jumped in the deep end instead of easing myself in torturously. I told someone to give me a push before I lost my nerve. They swung me, and it really did help. I started moving my arms and legs and became very comfortable, if you can imagine that.

I mean, I still noticed the pain, and the fact that I was dangling on the end of a hook like a fisherman's worm. But it was an afterthought, really. I was dancing through the air, swinging and spinning fiercely, laughing and singing merrily. Some people yelled that I was their hero. I pulled my knees up into my body and was swinging like a centrifuge, and someone handed me a video camera. Watching the screen as I span made me nauseous and so I made them spin me in the opposite direction to regain my equilibrium. I danced through the sky, madly, my feet propelling my body off a wooden beam that stood vertically through one part of the room; bouncing back and forth off the beam like that, was sort of like propelling down a mountain side in a crazed dream. At one point I gathered my ankles atop my thighs into sit in a yogi-style Lotus position, in midair with hooks through my back. (I knew I wanted to do that weeks back)

My feet landed on the ground some twenty minutes later, and it seemed I had gained weight though my head felt light as a feather. The people I met congratulated and complimented me and I felt so warm. Literally. I walked outside shirtless with the hooks still in my back, in less-than-tropical weather, and felt perfectly fine laughing and smoking my cigarette with blood trickling down my back. I went back inside to have the hooks taken out, and when they took them out, they put them in a bag and let me keep the hooks -which I thought was a great souvenir.

Laura is making me a necklace out of the hooks and some hemp fibers, so I give her my heart. Anyways, they took out my hooks and cleaned me up. Then they did a deep tissue massage of sorts, to burp out the air and juice that gathers, which felt really good, but painful at the same time. Like a toothy blowjob from a teacher you had a really big crush on. That's probably inappropriate, but my clock reads 4:54am as of now, so I figure this is my window for obscene frivolity.

I watched other people take their hooks and fly through the air, some took it well, others could not take it all. Some took it through knees and elbows and backs. One girl, whom I developed a crush on the few hours I spent around her, took two hooks in the back and one in her stomach below the navel -from which she hung a Christmas ornament. She had a long, billowing skirt with Oriental scenery, and it fluttered through the air; she, with the hooks, and the skirt, and the ornament, it was just poetry. Beautiful music played in the background. If I had been eating LSD, I would have definitely thought she was an angel. I conversed with everyone and laughed and danced, and at one point did a handstand, which was definitely not smart because I toppled forward squarely onto the area between my shoulder blades where the concentration of hooks had been. The people I was with yelled "Ooohh Party Foul!!" Laughter. It was great.

 I met so many interesting people, some of which I had conversed online with for months, but had never actually met. I heard crazy stories. I laughed. I cried. I bled. All in all a great night. I told you earlier that my planning was shoddy, and it was.

I had only planned out far enough to get there, but had not made any kind of plans to actually get back home. So I pretty much hitched back to Raleigh thanks to some gracious people, and that was close enough. My mom lives about an hour away from Raleigh so I called her in the middle of the night to pick me up, and God love her, her and my little brother met me in the parking lot of Mcdonalds at 3am. I drove them back to where they live, laughing and shirtless and very sore.

At one point my brother told me to stop the car because he saw something, and my mom just shrugged and was like "It's 3am. We have nothing better to do." I love my family. Anyway. I circled around all these exits to get back to where he said he had seen something. We all in unison gasp-laughed and out came "Holy Shit! Is that..that's a fucking airplane!!" There was bi-plane parked on the side of the interstate, abandoned. We looked around the plane to make sure there were no bodies, and just marveled at the oddity of seeing an airplane tucked away beside a large highway.

I had flown that night, apparently, someone had been doing a bit of flying on their own.

I got back home to this message on my computer from Warner, who had been heading up the Social: "I just wanted to state for the record: That was the best virgin suspension I have EVER seen. THANK YOU for kicking the social off with such an AWESOME performance. You are welcome back anytime you like!" It made me feel so inspired, knowing that I had just been part of Something. I had completed a major goal, and now will make my passage into the lands of the unknown.

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submitted by: Jumping Joshy Jesus Juice
on: 27 Nov. 2005
in Ritual

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Location: Richmond+Virginia

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