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5th time up; 1st time chest

The weekend didn't go at all as planned. First there was nowhere for me to sleep; the couch was pre-empted by a thanksgiving strangler and I was chilly; I didn't want to spend the night before my most difficult physical test to date on a dusty hardwood floor.

Initially I was to hang on Saturday; Emily was to come out with me. Then we were to crash at the copperworks and have a vegan thanksgiving festival on Sunday.

But Emily was not able to make it out until Sunday, and even then, was not even all that able to make it out. So I drove home in the early hours of the night to catch a few hours of quality rest and get my friend.

This morning I woke up and Emily arrived soon. We climbed into the car and headed back to Pittsfield. I was greeted by a sleeping Emrys and 2 hyperactive huck children.

I had gone up 4 times before, all from my back. The first time was 4 points; I got up for a few minutes, down, up for a few, down, back up and down real quick. The second time was also four points; similar, but better. Up, water break, then hoisted myself back up. Down quick; more of a lack up upper body strength than any pain. I blame laziness and emotional baggage but HEY what the fuck, right? Third time's a charm. I exercised physically and mentally for a while before this one. It was a month after getting dumped by significant other and cohabitator of the prior year. Two 5g hooks, up and swinging around freely and aggressively for at least 30 minutes. Came down because co suspendees came in with Chinese food and garlic chicken tempted by like a foul mistress. Fourth time, Zid underdog-style pushes had me horizontal at 12 feet from two hooks. Eep.

This morning we drove to Pittsfield and woke up Emrys of Rites of Passage. We went out to the copperworks and fired up the propane heater. Ghetto rigged the windows with foam mattresses for insulation, and huddled around the heater bum style. After successfully heating the room from 30F to a balmy 40F, we began. I was to go up from my chest via my trusty two hooks that had held me so well times before.

I took off my classy white undershirt and laid down on the sanitized massage table. Shivering to the point of convulsing, I had to stand up and homeless it over the propane heater for a few more minutes. I have these sweet fingerless gloves. They're made of wool. Emrys says they're gay but I say it's sour grapes.

I get a nice boob massage to loosen the area up and find the right spots; the hooks are to go in at about 45 degree angles to the normal (being my wonderfully structured shoulders), a couple inches above my nipples. I am marked with purple surgical dye and a sterile toothpick. I lie down. I breathe.

The first hook is in and I get the 30 second post orgasm rush. Warm. I smile, I don't notice the second. I stand up and huddle over the heater for a few minutes to regain my composure. I plug the ipod into the speakers and put on Whoa Shut it Down. It seems to have become the song I lift off the ground to. I can remember when it had so much more meaning to me. A specific moment, at specific show during that song is when I decided to stop grieving and start living. I felt her actions had said "FK YOU" to the 3 years we had spent together, so In my head for the first time I said it back.

So I am rigged up and tied up and Justin begins to apply tension. The sting is unbelievable, nothing like with my back. It's a much stranger sensation having the rig right in front of your eyes, hooks right under your nose. Skin starting to stretch right in front of my face. I can only help but look down. I could have licked it if I had wanted to be all nasty like that. There's already so much blood. So much. I love it.

There are no words, only eye contact and nods. I know the drill. Emrys is my friend and mentor. I trust him completely.

I step backwards until I am uncomfortable, and then I walk forward and a bit of tension is applied to keep the sttttrreetch. After about a minute I am nearly there. The pain is unbelievable.

I have often heard that the hardest part about hanging from your chest is the constriction of your diaphragm and inability to breathe. People tend to panic and feel they can't catch a normal deep breath. Awareness is the first defense, so there you go. I concentrated on all part of my body for a few seconds. Not detaching myself from the situation, but focusing inward on the sensations.

I reach a point of comfort with suicide suspensions before I off the ground but this was only getting hotter and sharper and I pointed up, felt a strong tug, and jumped. I was up. Hot sharp knivesss. I can't tell if I'm swinging or hanging still. I am slowly moving my feet back and forth, slowly flexing my hands. Keeping bloodflow. Concentrating on breathing.

Suddenly I'm inside. The music sounds warpy and I'm vaguely aware of a camera flash, but everything is externalized and detached. This is where I wanted to be. I am serene. I focus inward and breathe away the fetons that have been making my shoulders tense. I take a deep breathe and come back. It feels like there are leather straps pulled taught around my armpits. But It's mah skin. My heart rate is rising. It's too fast; I already bleed too much and I don't want my blood pressure to fall. I point down, and I am lowered. Apparently I was only about 3 inches off the ground. However in the world of physics that some people choose to believe exists, Force=Mass X Gravity and is independent of height. I was up for about 3 and a half minutes I believe. Emrys told me 8 was the longest he'd ever seen.

I am free. He takes the hooks out. So much blood. It takes a while. There was some tearing. We debate stitching, but opt out because I prefer the scarring and it was less of a laceration that could be seweed and more of a ripped missing piece of flesh. I have a hole right now that is nearly the size of a dime and about 2mm deep.

I believe I will do it again, someday. Going up from my back is like playing around. It's a swing but for masochists. This was not.

It's 3:13 am right now. I am not quite ready to let the day end. As I am writing this I am realizing that in my time I have tripped hard. I have loved and lost hard. Today I had the most profound and intense experience of my life. I'm not quite sure what to make of it yet. I need to sleep on it.


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 21 Dec. 2008
in Ritual

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Artist: Emrys
Studio: Rites+of+Passage
Location: Copperworks.org

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