How To Potentially Trip Balls Without Tripping Balls
According to the love of my life, Wikipedia, a sensory deprivation tank is a “lightless, soundproof tank inside which subjects float in salt water at skin temperature.” Once again, that sly bastard is right. I now know from experience due to a recent trip to the one on my block. The idea with the tank is you can go inside this thingy and reach total relaxation. I am often bored and constantly anxious, so I am the perfect candidate. Apparently, you can reach some hallucinogenic dream-like state, which is really what I was looking for. I wanted to get naked and trip balls on someone else’s turf. Plus I saw it on the Simpsons one time, which is usually a good enough reason to do something. It’s normally about $75 for a 75 minute float, I purchased one on sale for $40.
I got there and took off my clothes to shower. They have a cooler shower than I do and their robes are much less tattered. After my shower, I disrobed, entered the tank, laid back, and shut the door. It’s true, you really do float. I tried to relax. I was really looking forward to seeing what images and visions my mind would think up. I waited. The salt water helped me find I had cuts in places I didn’t know I had cuts. My thoughts wandered mainly from, “I wonder if I can smoke in here,” to “I feel like jello.” At one point I stopped being able to tell where my skin ended and the water began. I enjoyed that sensation. I was sure I was on the cusp of a great visual mind blow.
It never happened.
The closest I got to having any lucid and imaginative dreams was closing my eyes and probably falling asleep. I was standing at the end of a long hallway. At the very end was a door. The door opened. Near the bottom, a tiny face peeked out and started laughing. It scared the shit out of me. My eyes were suddenly wide open.
75 minutes is a long time. That’s like how long it takes to watch two and a half Simpsons. Or drink three beers. Or get your braces adjusted at the orthodontist. It’s basically forever. It’s even stranger when you can’t tell what time it is. I understand that this is all part of the appeal but I guess I found the whole experience half, “meh” and half, “Oh my God, my anxiety is getting worse because I am laying like a fool in this goddamn tank instead of cleaning house/writing/researching different kinds of animals/taking shots with teenagers/squirting squirt guns/all the things I normally do.” I spent the last stretch of the time sloshing around. It was fun to let the water slam me into the sides of the tank a bit.
I always enjoy a new experience but I doubt I’ll be going back again. They advise people to keep going, as your mental state can deepen with each visit. At $75 a pop, I think I will stick to my normal method of unwinding: drinking a bottle of wine and passing out in the bottom of my shower with the water running over me.