Sunday 21 November 2010

Hope Floats, and Beware the Hamsters of Doom!

So, David and I went to our first ever spa-related event. Or, rather, we went to one of those floaty tank thingies - sensory deprivation kinda thing you know really? Sorry, my brain seems to have imploded. Anyway, he got me gift certificates last Xmas, which we have to use up by this Xmas. I got him to go along b/c, even though it was originally my idea, I thought the whole thing sounded a bit weird. This impression was not helped any by our visit to the place. It was on a back street in south London - behind this building, along an alleyway. We rang a bell to get in, then tromped down into the basement. Fairly non-descript looking place, with a girl, early 20s maybe, working behind the counter. Hmm - many bongs methinks have been partaken by her. Anyway, she gave us the schpiel about the various sensations people feel, that some people hallucinate, float through space, etc. I think, "Love, that's only if you take ecstasy first". But hey, I'm willing to try most things. We make our appointments (apparently the place is quite popular) and head back there Sunday morning, after a hard Saturday of hanging out with friends and watching Harry Potter (which is so tedious I thought I might have to poke my eyes out with canteloupe spoons, just for sheer entertainment). Anyway, I digress. We showed up for our appointment Sunday morning and got yet another schpiel, this time from a (admittely rather cute) male pothead. David was led to one room and I to another. In the room there was a shower, a chair, and this very large pod, with a lid, full of extremely salty water (epsom salt I think?). I take off all my clothes and lower myself into the skin-temperature, slightly slimy water. Ooh, very odd sensation. I lie on my back and float immediately to the surface, like a cork. How strange. With one button the lid clanks down (not very relaxing), and I'm treated to five minutes of ethereal music before it goes silent and I switch off the light. OK, apparently there is no way for me to sink, which means I can relax, which means that maybe I can get rid of this stiff neck. I lie there, in the pitch black dark and silence, thinking about relaxing. RELAX! Yeah - something I'm really good at. Much to my surprise, I do finally manage to relax all the muscles in my body, and float there, thinking I probably look a bit like someone being abducted by aliens (the floaty part, before the probe). Hmm... relax. Thoughts of Shamu... Relax... Bump! Oh, it's the side. There were, much to my great surprise, moments when I did actually feel like I was cartwheeling through space, and the hour goes by, it seems, in about 15 minutes. Just before the end, the music comes back on (which makes me feel like I suddenly am spinning forwards - very weird) and the (dim) lights slowly begin to glow. However, my reverie is broken, rather suddenly, when the lid creaks open. Hello, world! Apparently though, I was quite relaxed, because I nearly fell over when I stood up. I've got one more gift certificate - I'll use it before Xmas. Too bad I don't have any pot brownies handy though... Hmm.

Speaking of pot brownies - recurring dreams.

I've had these recurring dreams for years when I've been stressed. There is a dream about fire when I am really really stressed. There is a dream about being along the Mexican border. One about tsunamis. One about trying to take the subway to somewhere absurd. And finally, one involving hamsters.

Perhaps I need therapy.

Had a subway one recently - I was walking through New York, barefoot, and had to take the subway somewhere. One train was going to Romania, and the other to Mecca. Which should I take? The subway dream, I've figured, out, is me feeling like I'm a bit stuck in my work life - trying to get my somewhere far away and exciting with my public sector job (the subway).

The fire one is feeling overwhelmed and consumed - but, at the end, realizing that things will be OK (I am always OK at the end of the dream). Fire dreams can range from mild - thermostat turned up a bit high, to extreme - nuclear bomb - depending on my level of stress.

Tsunami - same thing - haven't had one of those in a few years though. Last time, I had a tsunami go through my apartment, but then realized afterwards that I just had to dry the carpets a bit.

Mexico - I have no idea - I've not figured that one out yet. It's always me travelling through some very large, open space, just north of the Mexican border - it's always a bit of a wasteland, and I am always on my way somewhere.

A few night ago I had a dream that combined fire and Mexico - or, rather, burned chaparral hills and the Mexican border. Not figured that one out yet.

An finally, hamsters. This is a recent addition to the weird-dream collection. I'm always carrying a hamster and it's squirming out of my hands. I'm trying to get it back to its cage, where it will be safe and not run away. Obviously, I feel like my life is slightly out of control at the moment, what with the whole house purchasing and wait for citizenship, etc. Oh, the last one also had some sort of vague monster that turned into a sunflower. Not figured that part out yet.

Yeah, therapy.

The good thing is, I tend to have entertaining dreams and usually remember them, but my God - it would be nice to have some normal dreams like showing up in class in my underpants or something... (I've had that one too, btw...).

Next door - still no idea why the place caught on fire. It's boarded up now though. I'd be super-pleased if I were buying this place and discovered the next door house had burned down and was now boarded up! A few more cracks have appeared in the bricks here as well - probably nothing to do with the fire, but still worrying. Ah, the wonders of creaky old houses!

And that's the news from Lake Dougbegone.

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