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Crucify Me

"Why?" The question becomes predictable, almost routine when someone enters my car. They immediately seem to notice the polished steel hook hanging from my rearview mirror, and inevitably want an explanation. Each time I hear that annoying three letter word, I'm almost compelled to launch into some sort of horribly graphic and disturbing explanation. One that might circulate and prevent any future inquiry as to why I choose to do so.

I know you're asking yourself the same thing right now.

I've always been fascinated by suspension, and only recently chose to pursue it. A little under a year ago, I found myself online, looking at suspension.org and being sucked into the idea of me being in those pictures. How incredible to experience what they're doing. I wanted to fly. I wanted to be there, in another world, crossing boundaries in myself I never thought I could.

I contacted the group nearest me, The Collective, based out of Charlotte, North Carolina. Within the week, I received a response, informing me that suspending would be out of the question for a while, due to the winter weather. However, the founder John informed me that he would love to suspend me, if I had the patience to wait for a better time. Hardly discouraged, I longed for spring to come, bringing with it sunshine, and the hooks that I so badly wanted. Over the next few months, I became closer and closer friends with both John, and the other members of the group, meeting up for dinner, and sharing conversations on any topic we could think of. Anytime suspending came up, I was all ears, wanting to soak up any tidbit of information on it. I probably spent hours a day thinking subconsciously about my first experience suspending.

Over the past year or so, my life has been flipped in a few odd directions. Learning to deal with things I wish I never had to, and becoming stronger by the day because of them. I needed this suspension, more than I needed the breaths I started taking for granted.

John and I walked up the street one night to grab a drink from the store, when he asked me "What did you want to do for your suspension?" It hit me like a riddle. All the time I've spent contemplating and obsessing over this idea, and I had yet to narrow it down to a specific style. Unsure, I asked for a few suggestions, and took these home to mull over for the next few days.

Victorious, I returned days later and informed him I knew what I wanted.

"Crucify me." I blurted out in the living room."I want to be crucified. I know it sounds crazy, but I need it." The next few weeks we planned my suspension, everything from the date and time, to the setting and people present. I wanted it to be perfect, as did John. He knew how important it was to me, and made sure it went off without a hitch.

I picked my twenty-first birthday, April 12th, but decided on the following day. What could be better than a suspension on Friday the 13th? As the day approached, I found that I never grew nervous, simply more and more eager to go through with it. The final days before, I could think of nothing else, the excitement pushing its way into every thought, even while sleeping. When the day came, I made sure to get off work, wanting enough time to fully devote myself to the task at hand. Waking up, I made sure to eat a good couple meals throughout the day, and prepared myself mentally, treating it like I was about to run a marathon.

That evening, as I drove to John's house, fighting traffic had never felt more like a chore. I turn, climbing out of my car as Christina, his fiance opens the front door and tells me to come in. Greeting me with a huge hug, John looks me dead in the eye, reassuring me. "You're gonna do amazing bro. No worries." I nod my head and sit for a while, relaxing while he set up everything.

The moment arrived, and I found myself sitting in a chair, cleaned, marked, and as ready as I had convinced myself to be. After the first hook went in, my anxiety disappeared. My faith in John, and comfort in him being there took over, and I allowed myself to relax. I had six hooks in me total. Two in my upper back, one in each bicep, and one near each wrist. Walking outside, I looked up at the rigging that was built for me. A huge, reinforced bamboo tripod, each pole thicker than my leg, and at least 20 feet long. Raising my arms, Christina attached me to the rigging and gave me a little smirk of excitement, and a few comforting last words. The last thing I heard leaving the ground were the words "This is all for you little bro", spilling out of John's mouth.

I can't tell you what happened while I was up there. It's not that I don't remember, but that I can't explain it. I had the most intense, incredible few minutes of my life that I've ever experienced. The sensation of the hooks seemed to vanish, leaving me feeling weightless as I looked at the ground far below my feet. Turning my head slightly, to see each arm stretched towards the horizons, I gathered my thoughts, and for the first time in over a year, I felt complete. Content with life, with myself, and with the world I now looked at from a completely different perspective. Maybe I didn't need everything to be perfect in order to be happy. Maybe I didn't need to know what the next day held for me. Perhaps all I need to know, is that when things ruin my day, or when life gets to hard, all I have to do, is spread my arms, and fly high above all my problems.-PRT

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submitted by: Anonymous
on: 04 May 2007
in Ritual

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Artist: John+Boyd
Studio: The+Collective+Flesh+Suspension+Group
Location: Charlotte%2C+NC

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