I fucking hate cancer research/support groups.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s a terrible disease and my heart goes out to the strong souls who have to live with it. I hate cancer, but I really hate all the fundraiser-based support groups. Why?
Crazy, ridiculous, and shitty public stunts as ‘Symbols of Support.’
For example, let’s talk about a particular organization in particular; Leap for Love. These guys have been in my area for the past five or something years, always doing the same thing annually. What “thing” you ask?
Rappelling off the third tallest building in my city. Fun, right?
Yeah. I don’t see why they have to add such a pointless public stunt to an already successful fundraiser, it’s just an added waste of time in my opinion. However, I associate myself with idiots. Every year my buddies donate over one-thousand dollars for the cause, and then throw themselves off of a building attached to a harness and several cables. Of course I’ve been sensible every year and just refuse to involve myself in their exploits.
Until this year, that is.
This year, unfortunately, my buddies pressured me into getting me up on that building to subsequently rappel down it. Joy. I really question why I’m friends with those assholes. They threaten, belittle, and abuse me just so I can do some stupid, life risking shit. This isn’t the first time they’ve controlled me into doing something for their amusement, either. I’m fucking weak.
We all arrived at the building where this was all going down, matching team T-Shirts and all, and checked ourselves in at the event desk. They took our group up to the third floor patio, suiting us up in our gear and ran through a safety/training crash course. One by one, we were led to the edge of the deck for a test rappel. They attached cables to our gear and had us rappel ourselves onto the street below. When it was my turn I made sure to move as slow as I could just to piss the volunteers off. Overall, that was the most amusing part of my day. I reached the street and the woman leading the test told me that I did, “Exceptionally good, dontcha’ know!”
I wanted to punch her in the throat.
So after a good three hour wait in the uncomfortable sun, wearing the most uncomfortable safety harness the world has ever seen, I was taken up to the rooftop for my trial. I want you to know that I am not even remotely joking why I say that the entire time I was up there, the instructors (GoPros and all) constantly told me to “Look at that view, brah!”
Once again, I was hooked up to the cables and briefed on what I should be doing during my descent. For the sake of time, and wanting to get things over with, I maintained obedience. Let me tell you, standing on the ledge of a 32 story building is pretty damn terrifying even when connected to hundreds of anchored cables. I advise you never experience it for yourself.
As you’d expect, I started rappelling down the building. For the most part, it didn’t suck! I kept my eyes locked ahead, eased the controls, and closed my eyes for half the trip.
It didn’t last much longer, though.
I thought I had finally touched down on the street below, as signaled by the sudden and nerve jolting snap I felt. With this in my mind, I opened my eyes and looked down.
I hadn’t even made it halfway down the fucking building!
I looked up and realized the jolt was caused by the automatic brakes, which lock in place if you start moving too fast. In order to unlock it, you need to tug on the cable and lift the device upwards. Almost as if it was destined to be, mine decided to be a piece of shit and jam itself. I kept tugging at the cable, getting increasingly frustrated, until one exceptionally hard yank released it.
That would be when I fell the rest of the way.
I broke it. I broke the fucking breaks. I was speeding down the side of a building with no way of stopping and/or slowing myself down. The ground below was getting closer and closer, and the thought hadn’t even occurred to me yet that I was going to be sidewalk jelly in mere seconds.
It was also at this moment that I blacked out.
Darkness, silence, dramatic effect… This is what I experienced in my state of mental shutdown. It was weird, even for a blackout-induced dream. There was nothing but void, and myself. I felt at absolute peace, but at the same time I felt tinges of panic and imprisonment. I couldn’t move; it was as if someone had locked my joints in a permanent Mister Roboto pose.
Like I said, it was weird.
Then it got even worse. Slowly, strand-by-strand, I found myself becoming entangled in a mass of ivory strings. They covered every inch of my body, binding my limbs together and cutting deep into my skin. I felt every tear, break, and rupture of my body as these strings spread themselves. They started to burrow deep into my muscle tissue, eating away at my tendons and replacing them with solid masses of string.
My eyes were violently pulled out of my head by some unseen force, and in the empty sockets were places to wooden orbs. Yeah, you heard that part right. Despite having my eyes ripped out of my head, I could still see everything that was happening to me. It’s an indescribable horror, honestly. Thankfully, I woke up soon after. Not before hearing some creepy ass laughter, though. Seriously, it sounded like a woman was cackling her lungs out all around me.
Hah, I’m fucked up.
By some divine or hellish miracle, I survived the fall. Apparently, according to what the volunteers say, my brakes locked back up right before I hit the ground. Normally this would have broken someone’s spine, but they told me that my blackout had made my entire body limp. Did you know that when someone is completely limp, their bones have less of a change of breaking?
They removed all of my gear, insisting that I needed to see a doctor (Which I didn’t), and got me to my feet. Other than a few aches and bruises, I was perfectly fine! The only thing that felt remotely weird was the way I walked. I guess falling at least 20 stories while blacked out makes you feel weird on your feet. After signing myself out at the front desk, I gave my buddies a kind-hearted ‘Fuck you’ and caught a bus back to my neighborhood.
It felt good settling back into my couch and doing nothing as per usual. The rest of my day was spent watching television before going to bed. I got up and headed for my bedroom. Again, the way I walked just felt off, although it was almost a full body feeling. My joints felt both relaxed and stiff, moving with strings attached.
Kinda like a puppet.