Pain Is a Cleanser

[Originally written on this date in 2004]

First and foremost I want to say that I am pretty content with my current living arrangement, despite other people being less than happy about it.  Though I am less stressed being around the Asshole, there is a hole in my heart because I feel so incredibly detached from Jon.  The time spent with my new friend is fun and all, but nothing could ever replace the man I love more than anything.

A week after moving I get an e-mail from Jon with a list of things he wants to do with me, which is exciting as we have not seen each other since November.  Driving to the Jersey Shore is a lot easier and faster when you are already in the southern part of the state and mostly just have to head for the coast.  His smiling face greeted me as soon as he opened the door and I was swallowed into the embrace of his tattooed arms.

Smoked a joint en route to Starlight and arrived in what must have been record time, thanks in part to the fact that Jon was speeding the whole way.  In fairness, we wanted to get there before the shop closed and navigating highways tend to be a boring yet mandatory part of our travels.  After filling out the mandatory paperwork, I happily took position in the chair, not even the slightest bit nervous.  Though I preferred not to watch the needle penetrate my face, I did enjoy the sensation as it sliced through the flesh of my top lip.  When I pried my eyes open to get my first glimpse of the vertical philtrum, there was only a slight stinging sensation and no blood, so I was quite pleased with the outcome.  Was asked to return once the piercing healed so that it could photograph it for a portfolio, and I said I would do my best seeing as how the shop is rather far from where I lived.  Overall it was a great experience and Jon gave me a playful punch in the arm on the way out as he congratulated me on the new face bling

Since there was some time to kill, we headed to the Tick Tock diner for purposes of consuming food before assaulting our stomachs with alcohol.  It proved difficult to eat with a new hole, which is why I selected grilled chicken salad.  The people at the table next to us got a good show of me having to cut up pretty much everything on my plate into bite-sized portions so I could get them into my mouth without hitting the jewelry in my top lip.  Jon thought it was particularly funny as well and kept apologizing while laughing, adding that I took the piercing like a trooper and made up for all the jokes with a strawberry milkshake.

After eating our fill it was time to drive over to the venue.  The night was still young so Jon parked the Chevy on a quiet street and we headed to the back seat for our usual pre-show ritual of smoking, drinking and snorting.  The latter was obviously his idea, and though I hesitated because I don’t want to encourage that sort of thing and know he is really trying to cut down on using it, we were having a night on the town.  Or maybe that is just my way of rationalizing it so I don’t have guilty feelings, though I certainly was not forced to partake.

Completely buzzed, the King and Queen made their entrance.  Now while I enjoy going to shows at Connections, it seems to be a pretty dead scene.  Anywho, no sooner had we walked in than did George Is Dead take the stage.  As usual, the set was awesome, which included the premier of their newest song and some blood spillage.  Then came the hilarity that is Shat, which included excessive exposure of genital regions.  Here is a good lesson to learn, kids: duct tape does not make for a good costume.  There was another band we were not really interested in paying attention to, so we mingled at the bar until the lights came on and it was time to leave.  Sadly another Anti-Holiday Spectacular had come to an end, but we enjoyed ourselves greatly and were in a jovial mood upon exiting the venue.

After hurtling down the darkened highway, I am finally hit with tiredness and find myself being carried to bed by Jon.  He lights a joint and is babbling about how much fun he had with me, particularly being with me when I got my philtrum pierced.  Philosophical waxing about body modification fills the room along with the pungent smoke and I am fighting against lids that want to close.  His excited voice jolts me awake and I realize that he is showing me small brands he made on the tops of he feet.  My words sound muffled as I ask him what he did, and Jon explains how he used a soldering iron to scribe the geometric designs into his skin.  This is a man who is no stranger to pain, which he proved thoroughly through human pincushion demonstrations for many years when he performed with Outlaw Cirkus, yet I wondered what sort of state of mind he had to be in to do that to himself.

Out of all the things rolling around in my head, one thought manages to slip out: “Dude…why?

Confusion comes to Jon’s face and I got the feeling that he was expecting a different reaction.

No, I mean, I like it and all…” My mouth shuts and does me a great favor, but I should not be blamed when there are so many things floating through my body.

“There is a sense of power that comes with being in control of pain,” he softly explains, his arm settling over my shoulders as my head finds its way into his lap.  “The challenge to deny the impulses that makes the body react  it is something I like to constantly raise the bar on, because the feelings that come with accomplishing something which is supposed to be difficult or nearly impossible are so intense I find myself desperately craving them.”

“Why even put yourself through that?”

Jon laughed as he settled us both in bed and turned off the light.  “Pain is a cleanser and I always need to repent my sins.”


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