Katka and I went to a spa this morning.
Which was, all things considered, not a spa at all.
It was a sensory deprivation chamber — a place in which we were to float in a tub of salt water for an hour in pitch blackness. The temperature of the water and the surrounding air were approximately the same. They were both set at about human body temperature, so everything was perfectly…perfect. It all felt like nothing.
The object was to feel like we were simply floating out in space, alone with our thoughts.
Someone had tweeted about this place a few weeks ago, and I was intrigued. And since I am absolutely notorious for dragging my friends along on Bizarro Adventures, it was obvious that I was going to make someone go with me. (See e.g., Meredith’s Naked Birthday Party at the Jimjjillbang in Queens; Meredith’s Marathon Birthday Party in Napa (in which we actually ran a marathon); Meredith’s Insane Desire to Climb Mount Whitney (aka the tallest peak in the Continental U.S.); and so on and so forth).
I am like the Pied Piper of Perfectly Weird Shit.
The next thing I knew, Katka had signed on, and we had a Sunday appointment for iFloat Spa in Westport. I walked the dog early, and hopped on the 8.17a train to Norwalk, and we made it happen.
All of this said: I’ve written a lot about control. But I haven’t written a lot about my fear of the dark.
I am terrified of the pitch dark. Sensory deprivation freaks me out. For instance, I won’t sleep with black-out curtains. I stay at some of the world’s finest hotels, and upon check-in, I tell the front desk that under no circumstances should anyone draw the shades completely.
Furthermore, I am well-known for sleeping with a night-light…in my thirties.
I knew that this experience was going to be a challenge. But we went, and we did it, and we each spent an hour…floating.
There was so much that was weird and wonderful about clearing my mind for an hour; so much that reminded me of just…breathing…when I was on the beach in Thailand. So much that reminded me of the few times in my life when I have been able to shut off my brain.
I came out of the chamber relaxed, with a clear head…and an overwhelming desire to cook and eat baby bok choi.
The mind is a weird and wonderful thing.