Fifty Dollar Bath: Part Deux


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, i-sopod_flotation_tank 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.

Dude Goes Grocery Shopping




About the author


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  • You should get another coupon for promoting the sensory deprivation experience.
    Seriously, you make even the satan’s-asshole-water sound like it’s worth the overall experience.
    Sensory deprivation seems like the sort of thing that would completely freak me out–my whole life my brain has had a knack for conjuring up monsters whenever I’m alone, although recent reality has had made even my worst mental monsters retreat somewhat.
    But reading about your experiences it seems like something that soothes and eases even the most troubled brain.

    • You know, I REALLY worried about that the first time I tried it, but found it wasn’t scary. I was comforted. I don’t know that is how everyone would react, but I would like to do it again and not wait another year.

  • The BATH!!!

    The WOMB!!!

    I’m SOOOOO happy for you!! Well, the white privileged part that gets to pay for a soak in Satan’s ass water.

    I’ve been doing the chiropractor… I mean the chiropractor has been doing me… I mean, my insurance covers 12 chiropractor adjustments per year and I just found out in October, so, I’ve been getting weekly ‘do’s.’


    They are divine. I’ve been justifying my ‘no yoga’ lifestyle with, “Becky can fix it Monday.”

    But, my ‘no yoga’ current status leaves me just a little off kilter, mentally. Just like your brain taking you to your ‘thinking places’ when you got comfy, my brain takes me to my thinking places when I don’t maintain a ‘yoga brain thought upkeep.’ (For lack of a better description.)

    Do you think if you could do Satan’s Ass Water on a consistent basis you could get past the thought sneakies?

    AND! I would look into your insurance and see if they cover any ‘alternate’ therapies. Then get your doctor to prescribe the ‘Womb’ for your ‘pain and suffering.’

    Even if you can’t get the Rx, I’d still try to get that therapy once a month.
    Oh, the deprivations of small town living, sometimes.
    I’m going to have travel expenses along with the pod charges so that’s going to even-keel the anxiety levels I would be able to reduce by going ‘mermaid.’


    Mermaids are as cool as Unicorns.

  • I didn’t know that was a consumer product thing.

    I mean, I know they had one in “Fringe” and in that movie, “Altered States.” In both cases, things happened that would make me think hard before doing it. In “Altered States,” the main character devolved into an ape!

    In “Fringe”, it led to this quote:

    PETER: (to Olivia) The man who was just released from a mental institution, he wants to give you a drug overdose and stick a metal rod into your head and put you naked into a rusty tank of water.
    WALTER: No, I don’t want to. No, I’d rather not, I’m just saying I can.

    Oh! I think they did one in “Stranger Things”, too.

    Glad you got some relaxation.

  • I am going to take a wild guess that you didn’t re-read your previous post before attending, because it appears that you didn’t remember what happened last time (or at least, i’ll give you the benefit of the doubt…)

    I’m going to do this.

  • That would freak me out–deprivation is not my friend–you’re a brave, cool, chick! And if it (eventually) works for you, then splurge where you can.

  • Think of it as a lot cheaper than a trip to the Dead Sea, and probably a good deal safer, too.
    Salt baths are fab but have never tried this- maybe I will. Dare I look on Groupon for a voucher…???!!!!

  • I’ve always wanted to try one of those sensory deprivation baths, but darkness, silence, and enclosed spaces tend to freak me out. So, really, I have no idea WHY I would want to try one. Maybe I’m a masochist.

    Also, devil butthole water doesn’t sound like the best experience for someone with sensitive eyes. Just the natural saline in my tears burns like dumping hot sauce right into the socket.

    But I like reading about your experiences!

  • Owing to my decreased ability to move around (it’s way more difficult and slow to, say, roll over) I’d probably drown in the devil-ass-water. I’d find some way to get my knees straight up and my head under, and then be too slow righting myself to actually survive. That would be hella embarrassing. Sounds like fun, though. I mean the bath sounds like fun, not the drowning. I have a friend named Raul who tried to get me to make him a tank when I was fabricating metal for a living, but I only got the framework done before he lost interest, so it never got finished. If he had followed through and got the rest of the materials to build it, I most definitely would have tried it out.
    PS: So I proofread this before I posted it and caught myself leaving the r out of decreased…

    • HAHAHA..that WOULD have changed the meaning significantly. And with all the salt, you are SUPER buoyant. I THINK you’d be okay. But I know I managed to get cheese in my eyelashes from a frozen meal once, so what I do I know?

  • You’d think for $50 they’d find a way to flavor the water. Maybe non-ass-flavored baths are the real privilege. Like, we’re on that “I’m stressing about money but I can see a doctor whenever I want and I bought a candle that makes fireplace noises” level (no, I don’t know why, I only know that it’s my new favorite thing) and the really really Privileged get to float in a bath that tastes like crème brûlée.

  • Thank you for writing this! I’m planning to try on of these float-y things.

    A friend and I went full metal indulgent and stayed at a hotel with a geothermal, silica enhanced lagoon. While floating I was able to find some peace and had the very first good day since my beloved husband died in July.

    I know these float chambers won’t be like the beautiful tranquil lagoon BUT I’ve got some hope.

By Michelle


RSIH in your inbox