I've been HACKED - second suicide
I've been interested in trying out a suspension since the beginning of the year, after having become more aware of it through reading stories and seeing pictures on BME (as well as the odd superficial media coverage). Moving to Sydney at the beginning of the year, I knew that in terms of modifications and rituals I'd have a greater opportunity to explore such things than previously, having lived a relatively sheltered life in South East Asia. I didn't realise that I'd be able to try out a suspension as early as August in an event aptly dubbed "HookLove" carried out at the Royal National Park in Sydney. It was my first time and I did a four-point suicide suspension with 8 gauge hooks. The whole procedure was remarkably easier than I had anticipated, but first-time nerves meant that although I was able to stay suspended for about 10 minutes, I was nervous and stiff and was overwhelmed by the experience beyond anything else. After coming down I was dubious as to whether I would try suspending again, but after a few weeks of thinking about it and at the very mention of AusCon3, I knew I wanted to try it again.
AusCon3 was held in Melbourne in November, which was perfect for a little end-of-university holiday. Final assignments still all over the shop and a newly leased flat screaming to be moved into waved an encouraging good-bye from Sydney as me and Ingrid, my new flatmate (IAM:PinguTeef, who was also at my first suspension), flew off to Melbourne early on the day of AusCon3. We arrived in Melbourne and soon met up with Eddie (IAM:ScodottscedEddie) who kindly offered us a ride over to Pete's (IAM:Piercing Pete) property where the event would take place. It was a good 2 hour drive up, but still being tired from not having slept the night before (be it nerves or just the knowledge that I'd miss the plane if I slept), I managed to sleep most of the way up. We arrived at the property and the location was amazing. Pretty much in the middle of nowhere, trees as far as the eye could see, and just the general gist of being as far away from the city as I'd been for a very long time. The Hack Suspension Team were still rigging up when we arrived, and I got the opportunity to meet some of the other people who had come to play (mostly IAMers). The day started out not long afterwards with more people arriving, Damo from Hack doing the first suspension (4-point knee, awesome to watch) and I had time to get a few beers in me (which probably wasn't the best way to calm my nerves, but I actually bled this time which was exciting).
Nathan (IAM:nelix) was the second one up and did a 4-point suicide, and after watching him having a ball up there I knew I was ready to go up and try a suicide again. The always amazing Karl (IAM:JedandSeth's Dad) who did my first suspension marked me up again, making the placement a bit different from the first time since I mentioned getting a neck ache. Before long I was on the massage table, staring at the ground, waiting for the four 6ga hooks to be poked through my back. The piercings were fine, I just kept staring at insects on the ground and thinking about the last time I suspended. The hooks all went in without any trouble and as that awesome warm post-piercing sensation ("like a hug") began engulfing my back I was already being strung up to the knuckle-duster rig. I instantly felt good about what was happening, I couldn't wipe the ridiculous grin off my face and I was getting more and more excited, wanting to leave the ground at once.
Finally I was strung up and ready to go. I could feel my skin stretching and all I saw in front of me were trees. I was intensely focused on everything I was feeling, milking the experience for all it was worth. I let my knees relax to get more of a feel of everything, and before I had the chance to feel uncomfortable I bent my knees and lifted my feet off the ground. I was so happy that I'd taken that first step myself, not waiting till my toes couldn't reach the ground. It was such an amazing feeling, slowly spinning in the air as I was lifted higher, the support and encouragement of everyone present was tangible and I couldn't stop smiling. I fell in love with the moment and that indescribable feeling of sheer and simple happiness stayed with me. After about 3 minutes in the air I was already swinging like mad, kicking off the tree I was suspended on. The placement must have been perfect because I felt absolutely no discomfort, just the lightness. The whole time I was up there (about 30 minutes) I was swinging and spinning, staring out at all the trees and even managed to find the time to have a cigarette. Being up there was a combination of absolute awe, ecstasy, comfort and above anything else, fun. I was grinning like crazy and it was an amazing, simplistic and childish sort of fun. I loved it.
I was slightly reluctant to come down, but seeing as other people wanted to go up I decided I might as well get back to the ground whilst still on a high note. As my feet made contact with the earth and the strings slacked, I felt an incredible amount of weight on my shoulders. I don't think I've ever felt that heavy in my life and I realised how underestimated the sense of weightlessness up there was. A bit dizzy and light headed, I made my way back to the massage table to have the hooks removed and the air bubbles pushed out. The whole massaging process was interesting, apparently I was squirting blood everywhere (I wish I could've seen it) and the bubble-wrap-popping noise was intense. Apparently very amusing too, since despite the aching I couldn't stop laughing the whole time (although that might be adrenaline related).
The rest of AusCon3 was a spectacle, everyone who went up looked magical and it was great just sitting there watching it all. I confirmed to myself that the best thing about suspension meets wasn't necessarily the actual suspension, but just being able to be with a group of amazing, supportive and insanely fun people. To say the least, I can't imagine ever doing a suspension by myself. It's something that's shared by everyone involved and also something that I feel ought to made an occasion out of. I can't thank everyone who was there enough for a mind-blowing day, and mother props to Pete for the gorgeous location and the Hack Suspension Team for hooking me up.
Whenever there's a next time, I'll be there for sure. If I have the money, anyway.
As for the actual hooks that I got to keep, I'm still not sure what to do with them. But for now they're doing fine as coffee-table ornaments in the new flat.
submitted by: Anonymous
on: 22 Dec. 2005