In college I learned of the concept of a sensory deprivation chamber. I've been intrigued with the idea ever since. I want to know what it is like to stop the flow, to know momentary peace. I've been struggling to manage my stress in recent months, and the idea of floating in a lightless, soundless box seems oddly appealing.

Anyone who's been acquainted with me for more than five minutes knows that I love my daughter more than life itself. When my first baby died in utero, I willed my heart to stop beating. I did not know how I could go on. Now, my heart beats for that curly-haired hurricane who lives in my house. But, that doesn't mean I don't want the occasional day to myself. So, that's what I did over the weekend, when I traveled out of town for the rescue's annual meeting.

I got to town at about noon and had lunch. I read The Onion, drank a glass of Pinot Grigio, and played with my new Blackberry. It took me almost a full day to realize that the reason it wasn't ringing when someone called me was that I hadn't set it to ring. Now it plays the theme song from The Office when someone calls me. Yes, I'm fancy like that. After lunch, I did some leisurely shopping. I didn't buy much, but it was definitely an odd feeling to be able to look at a display case for more than thirty seconds and without hearing, "Mommy. Mom. Mommy! Did you see this? Guess what's in my mouth. Can I have this?" all the while.

I checked into my hotel room at around 3 p.m., read a magazine, and then headed for the meeting. As luck would have it, I won a basket full of fruit, wine, and cheese at the meeting. I have to confess that I do not know what some of the fruits are, even though I have been on this planet for nearly 40 years. If anyone knows what a red pummelo is and how I should go about consuming it, drop me a line.

When I returned to the hotel, I decided to take a bath and watch a movie. I had brought along A's portable DVD player, so I was able to set it up on a chair in the bathroom and watch "The Soloist" while in the tub. Somehow it has always seemed to me that watching TV while bathing is about as decadent as decadent gets. (I know, I don't get out much.) I was actually under some pressure to watch this movie, as I had requested it on Netflix and then didn't have time to watch it for several days. My other half has no tolerance for unwatched movies. He wants me to watch my movie and return it so that the next 1/2 star movie (of his choosing) can arrive. A sampling of the movies currently on our Netflix list: Book of Blood, The Midnight Meat Train, and Trick R' Treat. I wish I were making these up. I have to admit that The Soloist was not that great. Robert Downey Jr and Jamie Foxx deserve better material.

After the movie, I decided to check out the "sleep sack" that had been on the bed when I first arrived. It was a small satchel containing some pillow/linen spray, an eyemask, and a set of ear plugs. I decided it would be fun to see if I could actually make use of these items. I doused my pillow with the lavender spray and then hopped into bed. I smooshed each ear plug between my thumb and forefinger and jabbed one into each ear. I actually had no idea how they were supposed to go. I almost called my mom for advice, because she wears them nightly. The tragedy is that the woman didn't discover the wonders of ear plugs until two of the three kids had moved out of the house. I spent 20+ years unable to run the dryer in the morning because, and I quote, "ARE YOU KIDS DRYING ROCKS IN THE DRYER EVERY MORNING?!?! WHAT IS MAKING SO MUCH NOISE?"

After plugging my ears, I put the black mask over my eyes. Then I turned out the lights and quickly fell asleep (could have something to do with wine + Tylenol PM, but that's just a guess). I woke up a few hours later. No mask. One ear plug. I never did find the other one. My apology to the cleaning crew who probably happened upon it later. Although, when it comes to "gross stuff found in hotel rooms by cleaning staff," I'm guessing this ranks pretty low.

All in all, it was a quiet, relaxing weekend. I still find myself wanting to float in a sensory deprivation tank and to quiet my roiling brain, but this was enough for now.

In closing, I'll leave you with this hotel-related bit from Gary Gulman.

Gary Gulman - Hotels
Joke of the DayStand-Up ComedyFree Online Games


Camilla said…
I love your blog - and finally have something to contribute! I am a veteran pumello eater (abundant here in Hawaii). You first peel it like an orange; however the skin is often very thick (1/2" or more) so a knife can help to get things started. Then, you peel the sections. Yep, that's right, all that white stuff comes off. This is MESSY but then you get to the good stuff and leave the bitter behind. Enjoy! - C.
Anonymous said…
If you're ever in a position to try a floatation tank, you should. It's a fantastic experience; wonderfully relaxing and exceptionally peaceful. I hear there's a great site to check your closest centre but the biggest and best centre in the world is in London, England!

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