15. more boozetues
booze tues, or more accurately, #boozetues, is a sometimes-monthly meetup of ladies who only know each other from twitter. the rules are simple: if you are a girl, you are invited. the word spreads around twitter acquaintances and we end up with a motley assortment of ladies, many of whom have never met. it's like having an open book club, except with no books and more mai tais.
I haven't been to a boozetues in AGES, because I work at the barn every tuesday night, and the meetup generally happens at 5 or 6 PM. occasionally I have gone early, had one drink, and then arrived late to the barn, but I typically hate to do that because the whole evening feels rushed. alternatively, sometimes the ladies are out late enough that I can finish my barn work early and head over there afterwards.
I requested this particular boozetues, thinking it would be good to get out with some girlfriends and drink. many of the twitter ladies have been really kind to me during the breakup, as I dump all my emotions there, and I thought it would be good to see them in person. plus, I'm really trying to be more socially gregarious. and I also hadn't seen heather in like a year and I secretly want her to be my BFF. (heather, this is true).
so! I requested to meet later so I could get my barn work done -- what an idea! I'd never thought to just CHANGE THE TIME. we went to the newly opened trader vic's and drank drinks with little umbrellas. there were curry fries and curry ketchup. I met several nice new ladies. I went the whole day without crying! SUCCESS.
somehow through the grapevine I heard a few months ago about float on, a place out on hawthorne where they have salt water floating tanks, known by some as sensory deprivation tanks. the water is treated with 800 pounds of magnesium epsom salts, which allow you -- or pretty much force you -- to float. the water is at body-temperature, so once you're in you can feel it, but only a little. floating originated when a scientist needed to tone down outside sensory stimuli in order to run experiments on people, and discovered that floating itself reaped a host of benefits. the idea is that shutting off the need to keep yourself upright/fight gravity/remain comfortable in one position, plus shutting out noise and light, allows the body to reach a state of relaxation that's normally very difficult to attain.
I was interested in floating mostly from a novelty standpoint -- I am totally a sinker; floating in water is real work for me -- but I had heard from a few acquaintances that it was a really amazing experience. there just so happened to be a livingsocial deal for float on recently, so I bought one and made the appointment for tonight.
they walk you through the whole shebang: shower, put in earplugs if you want (yes please), put balm on any little cuts you might have, and then get in the tank. there's a whole list of things to do if you should get the salt in your eyes (it's not going to hurt you in the long term but it's gonna HURT LIKE HELL in the moment). otherwise, there was a floaty neck pillow if you wanted it, and have fun!
the first, I don't know, thirty minutes? in the tank were pretty much pure novelty. when I first sat down I thought, "hey, I'm not floating!" but the minute I began to straighten my body out, POP! up it went. so neat! the water is so salty that it feels almost like a syrup, not quite viscous but almost. it doesn't feel grainy but it does dry grainy on your skin.
it really is a sensory deprivation tank, although they don't prefer that term because they don't like the association with "deprivation," which I understand. but still: you really can't see a hand in front of your face, and if you lie still, parts of you can't really tell you're in water. the booth was not soundproof, but with earplugs sound was mostly muffled. you're just in the dark, alone, naked. floating!
so there I am, floating. coming into the tank I thought, what the hell am I going to think about in the dark for ninety minutes? there's plenty to think about but nothing that's going to reduce my stress level. but it turned out not to really matter. I spent the first ... ten? twenty? minutes mostly just playing around with the floating, trying to figure out the best way to put my arms and legs so that they would relax and not touch the walls of the tank. after that, I did a little thinking, but mostly just sort of lolled around. I thought to myself, "well, this is fine but I don't see the big deal." eventually -- if I had to guess I'd say about 40 minutes in, which is interesting for reasons I'll tell you in a minute -- I began to ... not nod off, exactly, but go into that place where you go just before you sleep, where your brain makes up all sorts of wacky stuff and you keep thinking, "oh right, I'm just about to fall asleep, this is the beginning of dreaming." I decided it would be fine if I just fell asleep (they encourage it; it would be damn hard to drown in that tank), but mostly I just ... floated along in that half-dozy state. I did finally nod off, and when the music came on to tell me my time was up, I found that I didn't really want to get out, not because I was sleepy but because it felt really good. I felt sad to resume normal gravity again.
when I left the building, I was a total noodle. who would have thought?! I had gone on a run before coming to the tank, but with the exception of my always-tweaky hip, I never would have been able to tell. I was sleepy and noodly and I felt really good, sort of dopey. I can see how going once a week could make you feel better about life.
the 40 minutes thing is interesting. it turns out, according to the float people, that it's typically after about 40 minutes that exactly what happened to me happens to most people. I hadn't read that when I went in, and I had estimated the 40 minute mark as I was walking out, so it's fascinating to see that what they say isn't just woo-woo science. and the salt, which you would expect to make you feel like a raisin, actually does -- just as they say -- make your skin feel super soft and nice.
in short: recommended. it's pricey ($50 for 90 minutes) if you have to pay full price, but worth it at least once. I'm now in bed, still feeling nice and noodly and sleepy. zzzz.
I'm better than I was on monday. I'm still very sad, but I've made it two days without crying. I don't want to keep talking about this part of my life; in fact, I nearly deleted what I wrote the other night, not because it isn't true but because there's nothing to do about it. that said, it's honest, and writing is what helps me process, so there it stays.
I'm going to try to stop writing about it here. there is nothing to be done except to keep going, and hope for better things tomorrow. the truth is, I am always thinking of him, and will for a very long time, even if we never patch up the space between us. it hurts terribly; I love him with all my heart. but I don't want this to turn into a breakup blog, and frankly, I am even a little tired of hearing myself talk about it. so, let us not dwell. let us search for something that looks, if not like joy, at least like peace. know that above all I am committed to love, to mindfulness, to compassion, to forgiveness. for him, for myself, for all of us.