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My love affair with the humble knee suspension - Part 3

My third suspension was on Good Friday – 14th April 2006. It was organised by the Swing Crew, and was set to be held at

Prospect Reservoir in Sydney's West. I drove there with a car semi-full of friends, and arrived at around midday (I

think...). The suspensions had already begun, and there was a decent sized group of supporters and on-lookers already there.

It was a nice park and food was being whipped up for lunch. Unfortunately, the lovely setting and suspension meet was

interrupted by an over-zealous bunch of emergency service people: Something to the tune of 5 police cars and vans, three

ambulances and a security guard or two. Some of the police were a bit snappy and prejudiced, but the paramedics were, on the

whole, interested, curious and friendly.

After some rational and quick talking by the organisers, the police let us stay for lunch but told us to stop the

suspensions. My house was free of parental units for the weekend, and has a couple of potential suspension spots, so I

offered my abode to The People for the day. After some fairly dodgy directions given by yours truly-ruly, car-loads of

suspendees and friends found their way to my house.

The rigs were first hooked up under the house from some iron beams, but it was decided that there wasn't enough clearance

from the ground for suicide suspensions. We then re-located to hanging the rig from the balcony one floor above the

jungle/garden (my house is confusing and inverted) where there was a much higher clearance from the ground.

The day progressed nicely, and finally after nightfall it was my turn to suspend. I had enjoyed my 4 point knee suspension

more than my 6 point, so decided to go for a 4 hook rematch. Unfortunately it didn't occur to me to discuss hook gauge with

Alyssa and Chel, and was

pierced and hung off 8ga hooks instead of the 6ga hooks I'd used in my second suspension. The piercings themselves were

pretty cruisy, I suppose I'm getting used to large needles and hooks in the vicinity of my knees. I tottered over to the rug

beneath the rig, and lay down. For the first time, I'd really thought about my music. I'd made a playlist of the songs which

gear me up and excite me most, and they were playing in the background. I was hooked up to the ropes and lay on my back,

knees up, in that familiar and exciting position.

Like I did in my second suspension, I chose to pull myself up. I love being able to have that control over my pain levels and

altitude. It did take me a little while to relax into it, and was lying down with my feet dangling for quite a while. In

retrospect, I believe it was the relative thinness of the 8ga hooks which made it hard to get a comfortable tension going on.

After what seemed like a couple of minutes of trying to relax, I realised it was a now-or-never situation. William Orbit's

"Barber's Adagio for Strings" was coming to a build-up, and I pulled myself up fairly quickly, then handed the rope over to

Mark (as my memory claims). I was still very aware of the hooks the whole way through the suspension, but still enjoyed it.

Movement – particularly swinging back and forth – made it more comfortable. I imagine this is because my mind was focused on

the movement rather than a static pressure.

I tried spinning and was pushed a bit, and enjoyed the sensations but was still constantly conscious of the hooks, which I

hadn't been in my previous suspensions. After about 15 minutes (I think), I started to feel the blood rushing to my head. At

the same time, Chel noticed that at least one of my hooks was ripping. I maintain that I decided to come down independently

of the realisation of the rip, as it's nice to think I was in complete control of the suspension. Whether or not I was

brought down because of the rip, I was, for the first time, somewhat relieved to be down. It wasn't my most comfortable

suspension but I certainly had got what I wanted from the experience: Pumping adrenaline, dribbling blood, shiny hooks, and

suspended flying.

I waddled back to the massage table and technicared and removed my hooks. I massaged a considerable amount of air out, and

patched myself up (or perhaps was patch up by Chel?). The top, inner hole on my right leg had ripped quite a lot – about 1cm

square. I could see a shiny blob of fatty tissue and all! My knee holes bled quite a bit over the next few hours, and I

experimented with 3 different styles of dressing before settling on four medium-sized waterproof dressings, which stayed on

AND contained my bleeding. I had also used a steri-strip to help close up the ripped hole.

I changed the dressings the next morning, and then daily for the next 4 days or so, until I developed a contact dermatitis

reaction to the adhesive. By that stage, the holes were starting to close up and scab over, but I kept using steri-strips on

the tear for a week. Five months on, the scars from the lower holes of each hook have healed almost invisibly, while the

upper scars (particularly from the ripped hook) are still quite prominent and purple. They have begun to indent recently. I

allowed these holes to heal as quickly as I cold manage. Being my third knee suspension, my knees were starting to look

rather pocked and had collected a decent amount of scar-tissue already.

It's time for a change... My next suspension will be Something Other than knees for a bit of variety, but I'm sure I'll

always keep coming back to good ol' knee suspensions: My first, second, and third love.

Details

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on: 30 Sept. 2006
in Ritual

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