Friday, it felt like summer. Saturday morning? Saturday, it started spitting snow, hail and rain. What the actual fuck? I get that the season is going to change, but we got no transition at all. We just got slammed into winter. Ew.
I don’t care though, because I scheduled another sensory deprivation float. It wasn’t even fifty dollars this time. I had a half off coupon so it was only 39.99. A bath doesn’t get much better than closing yourself in a pod that looks kind of like a giant waffle iron.
Anyway, I got there early Saturday morning mildly hungover. I was filled with confidence because I knew what to expect. I wouldn’t get in there and splash around this time.
I’d settle down right away and, maybe, even sleep a little.
I learned the hard way. If you get water in your eyes or mouth that has 1500 lbs of Epsom salts in it, then it is going to both taste like the devil’s butthole and burn the fuck out of your eyes. I also learned if you are completely deprived of your sight, then don’t lean back too hard because you really don’t know where the walls are and you might hit your head really hard. And splash more devil water in your eyes and mouth.
There would be none of that silliness this time.
I really did lay still for a while. I am not sure how long because time is weird in that sensory deprivation pod. I did eventually start bouncing off the walls of the tank. I couldn’t see anything, but I imagined I was in the Truman Show and had just come to the edge of my manufactured world. The feel of the water is almost oily because of the salt. It’s so cool to be super buoyant and slide around the surface of the water.
My hips have been aching around the clock lately. Getting old isn’t for wussies. When I was floating in my own salty universe, I had no hip pain. In fact, no pain at all. I decided to sit up for a moment and try to stretch out my lower back. My lower back is nearly immobile due to a childhood head injury. I’ve never been graceful, you guys.
Well, I did feel my lower back release the slightest bit when I leaned forward.
I also felt the warm salt water cascade from the top of my head down into my eyes and mouth.
Oh motherfucker, that is horrible.
They keep a spray bottle in the pod because I’m apparently not the only one splashing satan’s ass water on their face.
I felt around the edges of the pod until I found the spray bottle and sprayed my eyes until they stopped stinging. Then I tried to find the hook to hang the bottle back up and I couldn’t. So I just set it down beside me and it became my floating buddy. Also, I totally misjudged where I was in the pod I leaned back, hit my head really hard, and splashed more water in my face. Also, the entire time, I had Clint Eastwood by Gorillaz stuck in my head.
I’m happy…feeling glad…I got sunshine in a bag…
I finally stopped acting up and paid attention to the sound of my heartbeat and the rhythm of my breathing. I think that is what makes it hard for me to settle down. The sounds of my body staying alive apparently freaks me out and compels me to pretend I’m a mermaid. I did eventually accept that I was hearing my heart and was hyper aware of my breathing. I felt all of me relax a little more. When I became very still, the water ceased to feel fluid beneath me. It felt like a solid mass that conformed perfectly to me.
I didn’t want to think about anything stressful but, as it turned out, when there is no sight, sound, or movement, it’s harder to distract my brain. I had to go through the entire scenario of what it will be like when I have to get both my hips replaced. I decided that riding mobility carts at the grocery while I was healing would be cool. And probably dangerous for Randy. I run the shopping cart into his heels all the time. I have to think a mobility cart will be worse.
I thought about the election and my brain, on it’s own, decided not to. Fuck that. We’re relaxing. I thought about work and processed my anxiety over the projects I’m working on and moved on to my privilege. I laid there and stared into a black hole and thought, “You just paid forty bucks to take a bath. That’s goddamn privileged.”
I mean, we’re not rich or anything. We are “haven’t had working central air in three years because we can’t afford a replacement unit” level of privileged. Still. It’s privileged to live a life where you can pay to lay in salt water for an hour.
I decided that I’m okay with that. My life is what it is. A combination of choices and mistakes, luck and circumstance.
I considered my anxiety and waited for my usual response which is to feel an ugly thrill go through me and to feel my chest tighten. I didn’t feel that in the dark. In fact I rated my anxiety between low and negligible. I usually at least run in the medium to xanax range.
It felt good to get that respite. I needed to not be afraid for a while.
It’s been hours since my discounted fifty dollar bath.
My anxiety needle has crept up a bit, but that isn’t unexpected. I’m laying across my bed and my hip aches again. Again, not unexpected. Randy and I watched Raising Arizona and have been slug like since late afternoon. Kind of magical.
I’m not finished grieving over the changes we are experiencing in my country. Not yet. But I also found some moments of peace, for which I am grateful. I don’t know if you have float rooms around you, but if you do, you should try it out. Just don’t splash around. Act like a grownup. Or a mermaid. Okay, definitely act like a mermaid. Just don’t splash too much or at least know the spray bottle’s location.
My I.T. department didn’t get the Dude link put up until late Saturday. So, many of you missed Dude’s first grocery shopping trip to Jungle Jim’s.