Those that know current me probably would have a hard time believing it but once upon a time I was a withdrawn, quiet, shy, and modest person going about life with her long term partner, dog, and call center job. Living the white picket fence type so-called dream, largely satisfied but with this yet unfulfilled desire to explore rope. Sure I'd been tied up a few times but it happened once or twice a year, no where near as much as I secretly longed for.
Then I met J and all that changed. I went to the first shoot with him thinking we would just do headshots for my food blog but soon found myself naked, bound, and ecstatic for him and his camera. In his studio I found everything I wanted and more.
Rope, so much rope! Consentually doled out pain. A friend and comrade in sarcasm. And strangely enough I really enjoyed the photos too. After a lifetime of being told I was butch or ugly or just generally funny looking, J showed me I was beautiful and made me believe it.
His camera and his kindness were magical. Soon I was obsessed with rope. I was asking to come to his studio almost every night. We created so many images together and enjoyed the other's company so thoroughly that we shot photos at least once a week during the final months I spent in Wisconsin. We made the most of the little time we had together.
The word "muse" got tossed around a fair bit. And that inspiration went both ways and it went deep. But none of our adventures together compared to the evening he convinced me to dangle naked from a piece of construction equipment over small town rush hour traffic in an image we briefly become quasi internet famous for.
"Taking a hint from something Lew Rubens said at his impromptu rope class here in Madison last night and am going to try to start writing some of the craziness that is my life down. The memory isn't the steal trap it used to be and some of these once in a life time experiences are, you know, once in a life time experiences that I don't want to forget.
Take today for example. I get a call from jfoto saying "my original model had to cancel, want to get suspended from the crane?" My first thought was "sounds horrifying" and my second and final thought was "oh god yes." Seriously when else am I going to get a chance to do something like this?
Not being an insane person my fella didn't want to miss this either so I bring him along and we drive down to the studio and get the rope situation taken care of. Then we drive to the guys who own the crane and track them down. It's 2 sons and their father. Dad is double fisting it with some PBR while tooling around in his golf cart, obviously excited about the crazy photographer who ties girls up bringing some mostly naked girl to fool around with their equipment. And you've never seen bigger grins on than on the faces of the sons. Obviously we aren't going to offend them with our shenanigans.
They gear up the crane (well technically a backhoe I suppose), hook the ring to the bucket and lift it enough that I can slip under the thing and lay on a bench while we play with the ropes a little more. So here is little ole formerly modest me who a month ago had a no nudity rule thinking nothing of stripping down in front of the guys and getting ready to do this thing. Jfoto decides I'm not naked enough so we sacrifice my underthings to the deities of the best photoshoot ever and up I go. And we may have been in small town USA but there were a good handful of cars that went while this whole thing is going on and got a good eye full. Can only imagine what they thought was happening.
Being suspended a couple feet off the ground is one thing but when a seriously large piece of excavating equipment lifts you a story or so off the ground that's a totally different thing. It was loud and odd and scary and awesome. Actually once I got up there I had no concept of how or why I was up there just that I was up really high and loving it. Now I can say I watched a sunset over a green field while upside down and flying. I also got to look down at my guy seriously enjoying watching me spin around way off the ground. Life really doesn't get much better.
The really creepy part was being lowered back down by this huge machine that could have crushed me at any time but thankfully didn't. Once on the ground I see that PBR Senior is stoked. He genuinely seemed excited by getting to watch and not just because there was a naked girl involved. He asked about the rope and how comfortable it was to go up. Then we asked just exactly how many OSHA safety rules we violated with what we did. "Oh probably all of them" says one of the sons with pride.
Now I understandably can't stop grinning. Every third thought going through my giddy brain is "I got to be suspended off a crane." And I think jfoto is right when he said people will see the pictures and be pissed that we totally went there and that it turned out so fucking cool. So be prepared to be irked that you weren't there with us because the pictures I have seen so far have been stunning.
Once in a life time experience indeed."
That's young still innocent me right after it happened. My first entry on an old blog that no longer exists. The first serious writing I started doing since I'd put that side of myself on hold after college.
And now that photo, gifted to me by J as we said goodbye, hangs above my desk. Its a constant reminder to never give up. That current me has no idea what future me is capable of if I just work for it and take every strange opportunity that comes along.
J also gave a print from that day to the construction guys who helped us out. It's a behind the scenes shot that shows the crane in action and me as a tiny indistinct thing being lifted by heavy machinery. I'm told that to this day those guys are still in trouble with their wives for watching a photoshoot where a naked girl was involved. It's become a story of small town local legend that J still periodically gets ribbed for. That guy, always causing trouble.