Tomorrow I’m going Skydiving.
That’s not the odd part.
The odd part is that I feel relatively fine…and I’m about to jump out of a plane.
I thought I’d give a commentary as much ‘as it happens’ as possible, so am starting with the night before the jump so as to give some insight.
I have a feeling I’m about to be develop a deep and loving relationship with parachutes and meeting the ground slowly, but am also sure that a sincere freakout is on the way, at 12,000 feet.
I’m hoping that the adrenaline and sensation won’t cause me to say something stupid afterwards when asked “What’s it like?”: “Uhm. Er. I…It’s like having the fan on”
I’ve heard that you’re supposed to scream as you jump- so I’ve been thinking that I might as well sing a song on the entire way down, it’s just a matter of fixing onto which song for the journey down.
Now, it’s about 10 minutes from plane to Earth, so I’m thinking either two songs with some supreme guitar solos (‘Freedbird’ or ‘Stairway To Heaven’) or three sweet songs to help with the plummeting.
Other than that I’m pondering the following: ‘Afternoon Delight’, ‘Breath’ (Pink Floyd) and ‘Why Do Fools Fall In Love’. For a 9 AM jump at this time of the summer- they should go down hopefully just as well as I do.
Other than that- all I have to do is make sure I’m wearing clean underwear (in case of post-mortem) and bid my loved ones farewell.
As I said before- I still feel fine, but have a sense I’ll be feeling distinctly unusual in about 12 hours time. I’m going to have to get up early. Maybe being sleepy will help with the fear. Sure as hell is a good way to wake up- don’t think I’ll bother with coffee.
See you tomorrow.
Day Of The Jump.
I was supposed to wake up at 6 and awoke at 5 instead.
Last night my wife asked me very nicely not to die “Please?”- I shall do my best to do as she asks, as a favour to her to be later called in.
I have bid my friends a facebook farewell and now feeling pleasantly excited about the forth-coming experience, though I am also glad that it is apparently over and done with in the grand total of 20 minutes.
There were some thoughts floating about my head in bed as I tried to sleep, thoughts reminiscing my bungee-jump from a year ago. A feeling of missing a step for about 6 seconds and, far from a scream, a deep guttural lurching sound from my depths. Not quite ‘Afternoon Delight’ as I am hoping. We shall see.
Although I am fully confident that by mid-afternoon today I will either be sipping a celebratory drink with my co-jumpers or sitting back here in my living room do much the same as I am right now…but there are still those necessary nerves that I hope will be quashed by the adrenaline I know is also soon on the way.
So, until afterwards guys…
I’ve Been Skydiving.
I feel goooooooooooooooooooood.
Feeling good with a capital ‘fuck yeah’.
Let’s run through what happened to me a few hours ago.
I arrived early at the air-field, signed in to at the front desk, was made a provisional member of the Parachute Association (“I got my provisional!”) and promptly made my way to the nearest lavatory so as to use the hell out of it. I think I lost about a kilo in there.
I was weighed and measured and told to wait for a long time- about an hour, at which point I was sent to a post-jump briefing for those first timers amongst us.
Much like the ride for a roller-coaster, this was the most terrifying part of the experience. About an hour in all went by until I was called to be suited up and to meet my professional.
The suiting up, the brief plane-ride up to 12,000 feet and being tucked up into a flying tin with a dozen other leapers was of little consequence to the experience. Aside from when the winks and handshakes began making the rounds- bringing with them about a little comradery as though we were of some fellowship bound together to return to Earth smiling and alive.
I felt fine until my pro wished me luck- which I felt a tad disconcerting. Why would I need luck when, if the worst and squishiest were to happen, that would be your responsibility and, my word, my mother would make knowledge of your name and pursue you. I didn’t tell him that.
“When you get to the rim of the door, tuck your feet under the plane and scream”
Quite an instruction, which I looked to heartily obey.
We sat with our legs out of the plane, the noise furious, the wind awakening and the view endless, we rocked back…and then forwards…
The screaming, they said (and as I discovered), was very necessary as not to do so would result in a sky’s amount of air cramming its way into your lungs as you go hurtling.
I found this to be true, only the scream I made was not a conscious effort (on my part anyway), whereas the breathing certainly was.
The sensation of the free fall (lasting about 20-25 seconds) is about as much as you can feel with the entirety of your being. You don’t think- you can only feel. Feeling is all you can do, aside from the scream. “Remember to breathe” was not a sentence uttered in my head- it was an equation grandly smashed together within my noggin which activated my nerves and made my upper-torso go: “Breath now”.
This was not just a matter of air rushing in and your lungs trying to cope with that- it’s also because you’re getting distracted by the 130mph plummet that’s happening to you right now.
You fall fast. You really do. You fall so fast you forget things, like breathing. I descended so quickly I forgot I had brown hair and am male. That is some good falling.
As I was a tandem jump- I was required to have a stern pensioner strapped to my back, whilst this same poor gent was made to wear me as a belly and crutch warmer, a lifestyle I hold very little merit in. No one told me I would have to sit on this man’s lap as though he was an armchair. He was so armchair like, he was even pleasantly leathery with reasonable wear and tear.
This man was my pro and his name was Clem- a former cabbie who was convinced by a military friend of his to jump out of a plane for charity in 1981, a thing apparently unheard of at the time. On that first jump of his, Clem immediately arranged a sudden change of career and has been doing this ever since.
“It’s a good deal safer than being a cabbie” he told me whilst winding up the parachute. “I’ve never had a knife pulled on me in this job”. I felt inclined not to change this- Clem being a lovely guy and I didn’t wish to disrupt his quality leatheriness.
Following the jump, and the immediate manner in which one attempts to explain the sensation to others, you realise just how over used superlatives are. The sensation of the fall was far beyond such now-meaningless words as ‘Amazing’ and ‘Incredible’, this being why all I can think of for it is to say perhaps “Unreal” and to encourage others to try it. As I said earlier- all you can do is feel. At 120 miles per hour. Powerful.
My throat still hurts- the fact that I could hear my own scream (and I swear I could hear myself laughing as well) means that I must have been loud and my sore throat qualifies this as likely true. It turns out that your own personal volume is surprisingly easy at 12,000 feet. Why was I laughing- some sort of jolly hysteria perhaps, but I am left to assume that this speed is just funny.
Like when you receive, with no invite, a swift shin to the bollocks and your being is screaming at you: “SAM?! ARE YOU STILL IN CONTROL BECAUSE THIS FEELS LIKE YOU’RE NOT!” and all you can do is reply: “AAAAAARRRRRRGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHH THIS IS HUMOUROUS!”
And then Clem let loose the parachute and we slowed down incredibly and the only uncomfortable moment of the experience occurred- not the sudden grabbing action upon my testis, but the potent realisation of how fast my heart was pounding. Struggling to get one’s breath back and to allow time to process what just happened- you are bound by only one thought which cancels all worry: this is lovely. Messing about with parachutes.
Clem allowed me to steer as well- doing what are called ‘fast turns’: “Pull the right handle to turn right, turn the left handle to turn left, do not pull them both or we will crash, and don’t look directly down”.
To give an idea of the height and speed, four of these ‘fast turns’ (lasting about 5 seconds each) equated to dropping the height of Canary Wharf from top to bottom.
It was following the ‘fast turns; and now on the slow decent that Clem casually stated in my ear: “By the way, we’ve lost a highly important piece of equipment”
“Oh. Oh, okay, well it was a pleasure knowing you Clem…”
I realised that the ripple of terror throughout my being was surely lessened by the adrenaline I could still taste on my tongue, before Clem assured me the equipment was missing from the air-field only- not from us.
Upon landing and returning to the canteen the taste was stronger and I felt compelled to combat this with an orange ice-pole. At this point, with my certificate for jumping in one hand, my dripping ice-pole in the other and the enlightening sense of potential in myself and in the world made me feel as totally complete as I have in many years.
As it turns out, for future reference, I’m a jumper.
And ‘face-first’ is once more proven to be the preferable way to go about something.
On the ground Clem and I embraced, folded up the parachute, and enjoyed a brief debate about how natural this all was.
I argued that the Skydive itself was unnatural, but that skydiving was like a joke- the fear of uncertainty and shock followed by the relief of the enjoyable comfort that makes you laugh, and this was natural. That and the 130 miles per hour that happen to your face-first whilst you’re essentially just lying down, mixed with the accomplishment of curiosity- once more- a natural aspect of the dive.
Clem argued that super-markets were also unnatural and so we left it there.
“Is that the fastest I’ve ever travelled?” I asked Clem.
“Not if you’ve ever travelled in a commercial plane before, but it is the fastest you’ve travelled without mechanical assistance” he replied.
“Didn’t the plane help quite a bit in getting us up there then?”
I countered, for the sake of it really, and the debate began to ensue once more before the bus back from the field to the canteen arrived to collect us. As it turns out, squeezing an unfolded parachute into the front compartment of a bus is one of the more amusing things to watch someone attempt to do. Poor old Clem.
There we go, that should do it.
Maybe it will feel different next time, which will surely happen soon.
Thanks to Skydive Headcorn.
Sometimes I blindside myself with the question: “Do you have any fears?”
I don’t know why I do that, aside from the fact that it’s a good conversation starter…when I want to talk to myself.
The secret to conquering fear is: repetition until the sensation of swimming with piranhas is something you no longer notice.
Like when you shit. If you’d never shat before- you find it very surprising and feel the need to keep it from ever happening again.
I’d imagine that it’d be like shitting a cat. If you’ve never shat a live cat, and I doubt you have, then you’d want to prevent it from happening, because if you have had shat a cat, and I still doubt you have, then you’d have something new to fear.
There is one main method to dealing with these fears.
Deal with them.
Aggression, involvement and repetition, solve this.
Be involved with your neighbour and the world will be something you are part of, as opposed to something you are against.
Altogether- I’m against high-school shootings. They don’t work.
Just look at them, they don’t work. They are tragic and the ‘reason’ behind the children doing this was that they felt uninvolved. Isolation is a killer for a species such as ours, and the sense of scarcity in the footholds of these murderer’s social lives is what drives people like that to attempt to communicate with such hatred and fear. The firing of the guns was an expression of emotion from children that didn’t know how to talk yet.
There is one way to deal with this, and that is to delve a little deeper into the lives of those around you, and therefore the world around.
Neglect of your neighbour is an evil thing, mainly for you. When you don’t know your neighbour, then you doom yourself to masturbating those ninety years of life that you tremble at the thought of living. The trembling makes your genitals sway, and this is not how things are supposed to be.
Genitals should not sway; they should be thrust or spread. Swaying is for your hands in the air with a lighter well lit in them whilst acoustic guitar songs are performed. You wouldn’t put a lit lighter inside your genitals, and so therefore the analogy is complete.
An important point: IT IS NOT SAFER IN YOUR ROOM.
Just look at the holocausts.
Uhu. That’s right, I pluralised it. Holocausts.
Just look at the holocaust, and then the other holocaust, and then that other one.
Take the genocide of the Jewish (amongst a tragic number of other groups) in Europe- without that, in such modern times as these, we wouldn’t know how evil we can become when we neglect our neighbours. We know how evil ‘not paying attention’ can be, because of this. Good. Let’s not let it happen again.
But of course we did- the extermination throughout a couple of centuries in the New World. Native Americans, the First Nations…’Injuns’. Relatively- they are gonner’s. A people that would be easier to comprehend if they weren’t here anymore. We need to learn from this- the American Holocaust. From the extermination of various peoples and cultures as they are literally ‘removed’ across a continent, to the sterilising of Native American mothers so as to have less Native American mothers, the people have not only been ‘removed’- they’ve been screwed.
I hope for an overwhelming increase in First Nation offspring…and comedians. The comedians will be my favourite part of all this, aside from the lesson to never repeat it. But this being all to hope from this particular holocaust- I feel it is only evil. No lesson has yet be learnt, no good has yet come (no offense meant to the Native American comedy community).
Then look at what we had in Ancient China, and what the Mongolians did to them. Unfortunately, I believe it’s about the only thing Mongolia has ever done, but being that as may, the annihilation of one hundred million Ancient Chinese men, women and children, all in the name of…your own name and it’s glorification (which admittedly did get them what they wanted) and the perpetual goal of LOOT, is unacceptable. The tragic pain it undoubtedly was has been nullified by time, but still, we tend to view this holocaust as a something that happened, as opposed to…the holocaust.
I consider there to be many definitions of violence. One of them is that violence is the neglect of your neighbours to such a degree that you can’t last without them, whilst they are busy living without you. You are fucking yourself just as much as you are allowing your neighbour to be fucked. And not in a pleasant, “let’s insert one of this” or “how about enveloping that whilst being as wet as you can?”
And then…what do you fear?
Typically, we fear a lack of good people leading to a lack of our own personal comfort.
You fear spiders? Rather- you fear not having an arachnologist nearby so as to dash forwards with a handkerchief so as to dispose of the offending creature that was only trying to stand very still. If not this, then it’s because you fear spiders because you didn’t grow up stroking them, like you should have done.
You should have grown up stroking all creatures, purely for the reason that something you grew up stroking- you no longer fear. You might be bored of them (imagine being bored of tarantulas), but you will not fear them. “(Sigh) Enough with the tarantulas!”
Evidently, you’ve been neglecting your environment too.
I see you there, neglecting your environment. You’re good at it.
When was the last time you frolicked, pussy?
Go frolic, there’s really not much else to do apart from to go frolicking in the meadow. There’s no other reason for meadows. If you don’t frolic in the meadow, you’re doomed to something awful…like…kidnap, or something like that. I’m sure that there are many situations that can only be solved by frolicking, and you’ll be all out of practise. You won’t know how to roll around and jiggle in the meadow.
Being tied up and frolicking go hand in duct-taped hand. If you’ve frolicked enough; you’ll be free. Obviously don’t try this in terms of allowing kidnapping to happen to yourself; that would be silly.
Still- without a frolic to your name, or a name to your neighbour, your fears with grow and eat you bit by bit (always avoid being chewed) so my advice to you is as follows.
Speak to everyone around you. If you’re not good at that sort of thing, then have a set of questions ready. My preference of opening question is: “What’s your favourite colour”. It’s cute and endearing, in a fuck-fear kind of way.
Secondly. Go to the meadow and enjoy it for what it’s for. You know…frolicking.
Dealing with your fear is the only way to conquer it, and having fun whilst doing so is the means by which to kick fear whilst it sits stunned on the ground and you’re smiling.
Just go and frolic- I think I’ve made that clear by now. Jeez.
That’s where I’m going right now.
In the meadow.
Mainly, and most gratefully, there is that feeling of serenity that comes with the end of your internal expulsion.
Of course, this serenity is only some kind of a return to normality, as the beads of sweat wind their way down your brow, stinging your eyes, further down to and between your lips, now introducing a salty taste to the one that lingered- the flavour of the digested.
I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling descriptive today. How descriptive am I feeling? I don’t know- the feeling’s passed.
I have a habit of vomiting when I am unwell. People say that about me- “Must be unwell, I can hear him vomiting again. I hope he’s aiming it at something I don’t treasure much”.
That’s not all they say about me. I have many styles aside from throwing up, but it is the manner in which I do it that is memorable to those nearby. At least within earshot.
You see, it’s the same thing as my night-murmuring.
Lying on my back as I sleep in my bed each night (which I hear is fairly common) the breathing that I partake in makes mischief with those nearby. Again- at least within earshot.
As the breath makes its way from the lung out through the mouth, it trembles my vocal chords, causing me then to murmur.
I apparently have very little interesting to say when I’m sleeping, or perhaps I’m simply dreaming about really hard sums and am letting people know by such inglorious vocals.
Either way, a quick jab into no particular part of me (aside from my coccyx…please spare my coccyx) generally causes me enough discomfort to either delay that pesky breathing for a while longer, or to adjust so that I breath at an alternative angle.
So as in the night- I murmur, throughout an illness I…sing…up.
On its way up and out, my vocal chords have a tendency to yelp in a muffled, ‘vomity’-way. Things really don’t tend to happen in a ‘vomity’ way unless vomit is directly involved. Let’s make the most of the term whilst we’re on the topic.
‘Vomity’ I am during this spell of sickness, and my singing voice is distinctly out of key, and distinctly out of place as I bend my body over the porcelain and dedicate this next number to all the pretty girls in the house.
They don’t appreciate the dedication.
One of my favourites is ‘Devil in Disguise’. The soft parts of: ‘She looks like an angel, walks like an angel’ are perfect for the warped blubbering that follows each rendition. Also, ‘Time to Say Goodbye’, as it is quite emotionally fitting and by the end I really am keen to leave.
This was how I spent my past week- filling receptacles up with substances that once looked so delicious and now I wish I’d never met. Dizzy without the fun bit and aching without the fun bit.
This left me time to contemplate samsywoodsy.com (you might have heard of it).
What direction was I to take my writing in next? What was I writing this for? What ultimate ambition did I have, if any?
I thought about this for about two weeks and then it hit me- SPAM.
I truly believe that there is little difference between SPAM and our good old friend- billboard advertising. The only real difference is the difficulty I’ve had in drawing hilarious moustaches on SPAM, being tricky as it is to do very much with the contents of an email account other than the most radical option of ‘forwarding’. ‘Forwarding’ is also difficult to do with a 13 by 26 foot poster.
The essential similarity of the two is that they share the strategy of completely random ramming of product information into the information/literal highway in the hope that ‘people-might-look’.
Therefore, you will find me (in the format of samsywoodsy.com), throughout the comments of all Facebook and Twitter pages that you might happen to encounter.
My comment will be: ‘Even I Don’t Know If I’m SPAM’, which will then link to an article from the site. This comment denotes my innocence on the matter.
My ambition is now evident- I want you all to look at me. You could probably tell by the way in which I sing as I vomit.
Aside from ‘Waiting For Ambition’ (https://samsywoodsy.com/2013/02/20/waiting-for-ambition/), as I lay upon my sofa, essentially just leaking, I also felt the need to go outside for the air that is fresh.
Walking down (or up- I have no idea) the high-street I realised that I was out of the house at the same time as those people. The ones that walk slowly and constantly look surprised by the smell.
It made me glad that I go somewhere to work for a living, because I don’t think I’d be able to mingle like this every weekday. I saw two men having a conversation purely through pointing. I think they were arguing.
If you ever encounter these people- it’s probably because you’re vomiting and you should hurry home to sing some more songs. I’m trying to make Johnny Cash’s ‘Jackson’ work, but it doesn’t seem to suit the format. Cash never suited ‘vomity’- he preferred to wear black.
For next time, I hope to write about a totem-pole that I am carving. You’ll find out by reading your Facebook timeline.
I’m making a totem pole. Conditions are perfect. If you don’t have these conditions…get them. Then make a totem pole.
Of course, I don’t actually have a fascist inside me. No. Of course not. If I did then he/she wouldn’t allow me to blog about it.
However, opinion-wise (maybe not ‘-wise’, more…’opinion-esque’) I have to say that fascists always seem to be the way to go for me. Removal of free-will tends to mean that things gets done.
Let’s look at the Nazis. Apart from the war and the moral side of things, they were tremendously successful. Happy families, smart uniform, and a jolly rally every now and then.
Then there’s China. A super-power with little going against it apart from everyone else, yet everyone’s money is very much so in China’s favour. They’re doing rather well these days. China, you may have heard of it? It’s usually Eastwards. Unless you’re Japan…in which case IT’S COMING…
It’s a pleasant change to be able to say that WW2 Germany and China are good examples of anything apart from Ming pottery, black leather, and very, very neat hair, amongst other evil and pointless things, so this shows just how good they were/are at fascism and that’s not something they teach in schools. There’s no ‘Fascism 101′ in which you turn up to class the fuck on time, have your shirt tucked all the way down into your shoes in case it should escape, and do your homework to avoid being blindfolded against the wall and shot whilst your parents are glad to be rid of you, you rebellious little shit. Hmm. Taking a nasty turn with the allegory here. Maybe this is another negative side of fascism. Unpleasant allegories.
But I want to focus on the fact that if any of us become ruler of the world; we would want to run it our way, according to our opinions and abilities. With the world’s resources behind you, the only people against you would be the rest of the world that wants their resources back unless you’re pleasing them, an odd thing to try to do unless you’re ruler of the world.
However, no matter what, someone will be against your way of running things, and here is the crux of the matter. If you were to simply take a leaf out of Nike’s book of slogans and say: “Just Do It”, then maybe, things might get done. And all you need after that is time. And maybe bare in mind that Nike are being really rather rude and insistent. You don’t have to do it if you feel like it, unless of course you’re being told to do it by the local fascist, in which case you’d better remember that they can be pretty determined. And that you’re just a rebellious little shit.
Some people will become freedom fighters and terrorists, and all you have to do is outlast them. Gradually, people will forget that they are under a fascist state and will assume that things are as they should be, and that’s all.
I say, just take power and then fuck ’em. Now I’m prepared to give this a go, but don’t do it if you’re evil, that’d be extremely unfavourable to my game-plan here since people will assume I’m encouraging you. Unless of course you’re a fascist and think I’m being rebellious. You’d better oppress me before I get out of hand.
How would we take power?
Well, normally I’d suggest T-shirts, you walking propaganda you. Wear your political mantra and strut. If people begin to throw things, let it get stained with battle-wear. The red of the Union-Jack represents blood spilt- I hope your new stains will be just as romantic. Otherwise…umbrellas.
Umbrellas, rather than towels, are what I feel Douglas Adams should have recommend all travellers should never be without.
They can be propaganda, they can shield you (unless being it with anything harder than water), they can be brandished– yeah- brandished…before wither being used to fling, strike, thrust, adorably poke and, of course, gesture with. All this, and they are terribly English. The English do wet hair- we do wet-woollen shirts in summertime ponds.
Right. So there you go. Umbrellas and fascism: it’s probably been done, but at least you have something to do now. You fascist.