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hooked for my b-day

The Poem:

Birthday

It's all moments when you're swinging

all in what your toes can touch and where they can send you next

and yet I am uncommonly aware of you sitting there watching me

and the sun is singing against my skin and the water is cool and quick as I

push off and spin

around and around as fast as I can

trees and sun and dogs flashing by like blinking

like blinking but always with the knowledge of your presence

right there

perched

on that rock with the sun in your eyes

and with the wind in your hair and your laugh

comes floating at me as I whirl

as I arc over the creek

dragging my feet through the cool and the wet and the dogs bark

and Chris naps in the sun

under the tree where the rope is tied

and I think: this is the best birthday yet- here in my twenty-sixth year

sprouting wings in commemoration of my birth

and to have you here in this perfect moment

holding a hand out as I descend

lends more light to the sun

The Story:

On my twenty-sixth birthday, Debra and I drove out to big piece of land owned by the parents of a friend. Chris and Ian were already there, setting up for my third suspension. We stopped at the store for picnic food and water (and carrot juice. for some reason I always want carrot juice). The place was excellent. a big wide stream with a very sturdy tree hanging right over the water, and in just the right spot, a rock sticking out, perfect and smooth for my toes. The boys had set up the table in a clearing about thirty feet from where the rig swung gently from the tree. Two (very) large and (very) friendly dogs came bounding up to say hello. Debra and I munched on peaches. The sun and the wind were perfect. 

There were two other people to suspend, and I asked to go last because my girlfriend, Jes, was on her way and she'd never seen me go up before, so I wanted to wait. She was taking FOREVER. I called her. I ate a sandwich. Bluestar did a one point suicide. I called her. Bluestar came down. I smoked a cigarette. One of the dogs peed on someone's shirt. I called her. The sky was starting to look a little threatening, and Chris wanted to finish before it rained.  

Finally, just as I was getting anxious, Jes showed up. Whew. I don't think I'd realized how much I wanted her there until she was there. I laid down on the table and felt the cool pen tip as Chris measured and marked me, and then took two deeeeeeep breaths and let them out and crunch, two six gauge hooks through my back. I slipped off the table and looked at Jes. She smiled and took my hand, and we all headed down to the creek. 

I walked into the water with a big stupid grin on my face. The sun was perfect again and the water was just the right temperature. A perfect August day for a suspension.  

Being pulled up from the water, which came about to my knees, was a very different sensation from starting on flat ground. There wasn't really any way to walk myself back and forth as they started hauling. And somehow picking my toes up off the ground, or creek bed, rather, was much less scary. 

I was up. It hadn't been that simple the first two times. All I can think is that it was the water. And being outside, in the sun and the air, surrounded by my friends and co-hearts. Ian brought me a sparkler and a lighter and I spun around with the sparky thing until it burnt out. I caught the rock with my toes and pushed off. it was situated perfectly so that I could just catch it. Chris had pulled me up just high enough that I could dangle my toes in the water, which was amazing. It made me think about when I was a kid, and my cousin would take us out on his sailboats and we would sit with our feet in the water, and the way it felt dragging over them. 

The woods were beautiful, the way the sun hit everything, all the colors were magnified, and were sliding past me as I spun. I wanted to see the sky, and the trees above my head (there's always that moment during a suicide when I want to look up. possibly because I can't.) and this time I could, by looking down at the reflections in the water. And my reflection in the water! That was awesome. 

I swung around a bit and kicked water at everyone. Ian and I traded a bunch of mom jokes. One of the dogs peed upstream from me and I had to keep my knees bent for a minute (I ended up grabbing the rock and hanging at an angle for a little while, until I was sure the water was clear). Then I totally chilled out and just spun. Around and around. After about 45 minutes or an hour, Chris lowered me back into the water and undid the sea locks from my hooks.  

Jes smiled at me and told me I was crazy and gave me water, and we went back to the table for my burping session. Mmm ow ow ow mmm.  

Just as I was pulling my shirt on, it started raining, and we ran around snatching up bags and shoes and dogs and food and hightailed it up the trail to the cars.  

Jes and I drove home through the wildest rainstorm I've ever experienced, I leaned back languidly and reflected on the day. Pretty damn good.  

Jes smiled at me and told me I was crazy, again. Then she thanked me for waiting for her. 

I smiled and silently thanked the rain for waiting for me.

Details

submitted by: Anonymous
on: 22 Dec. 2005
in Ritual

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Artist: b-lo+hooks
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