total silence

I didn’t want to believe him when he told me that a session spent in an isolation tank would do me some good. I didn’t really want to believe. I can understand that being in a soundproof tank, floating in salt water that’s at body temperature can lead to I’m not sure what but seeing as I care little for swimming, I was uncomfortable with the idea. Leave it to Eoghan to be able to convince me to try this. I’m rather glad he did talk me into it at this point.

On the morning of the appointment, I was jittery, I didn’t know what to do with myself so I washed my breakfast dishes three times over and I paced my apartment until he came knocking on my door. Of course I needed someone to drive me there and back after all. He came in, all smiles and almost bubbling, said he had a session at the same time I did so we’d be in, more than likely, side by side tanks. I suppose it helped to calm me at least just a little. It was better than the idea I’d had that I’d be all alone in this tank with no one around and that someone might just forget I existed. It was a possibility!

The drive in the car was quiet both in spoken words and in mind ones. I know Eoghan’s presence always helps to diminish even further the presence of the voices in my head and I’m grateful for that. Though since he’s taught me about the water-surroundings, even the murmurs are nearly down to none. Some still get by now and again but nearly not as much as it has been since I was given the bracelet I wear without ever taking off unless I’m working on strengthening my mind barriers.

He pulls up into a building that looks a little out of place along the somewhat older looks of the other buildings. This one looks new, it looks modern but not too much. It’s nice to look at I guess, a clean, bright surface and no real sharp angles, everything looks a little rounded.

Even when we step inside everything seems to retain its rounded edge. The desks, the lamps, the way the walls curve into the ceiling. It’s so strange but not in a bad way. It’s a curious sort of sight.

We’re lead into a small changing chamber where we’re told to put our clothes into our respective lockers and to wrap ourselves up in the towels that have been left for us to use. I’d briefly forgotten that in some cases, the use of these tanks is done absolutely naked. I don’t know if I should feel self-conscious or not.

It takes Eoghan only a few minutes to change from his clothes to the towel, it takes me a bit more time as I fumble somewhat. I’m not used to changing with someone else in the room. He doesn’t turn however, he keeps his back to me to still let me have my privacy and for that I’m thankful.

Eventually, someone comes to lead us to our respective tanks. It’s a small room, it has four tanks set along one of the walls. I look at mine and then I look at Eoghan. I know I don’t even have to mention it or even think about it. I can’t get in there on my own. He smiles at me and makes sure his towel is securely tucked about his waist before he steps closer. I leave my crutch against the wall and he helps me into the tank.

Once I’m partly standing there, I take off the towel, my cheeks deeply pink and he takes it from me with a warm and comforting smile. I carefully settle down and close my eyes to not see the door being latched shut behind me though it’s easy to tell for how quiet and dark things suddenly are.

I don’t know how long I spend there, floating on my back, actually tense and afraid something might jump out of the dark to try to maim me though I know I eventually begin to relax and I know my mind realizes that everything is absolutely quiet. I can hear nothing at all. I figure it must mostly be the bracelet but out of curiosity I take it off, I let me mind be free and there’s nothing. It’s absolutely silent. A startled sob escapes me, relief perhaps to be in such perfect silence. Still I put the bracelet back on since I don’t want to lose it in the water and I finally close my eyes, or at least I think I do, it’s so dark I can’t tell if they were opened or not.

My mind begins to drift away to meaningless moments of my life as I let the dark and silence fill me in utterly. I never expected that it would be something quite like this when I first stepped into this room and into this tank. It almost makes me want to see about how I might get me one of these home but I figure it might be more expensive than I could ever dream of it being and I don’t know how smart it might be to want to spend some time in this place every day.

I feel so good, though.

When light begins to filter through the slowly opening doorway, I squint, trying to let my eyes adjust to the dim lighting that feels too bright for me. I can only make out the shape of someone by the opening and I blink again. I don’t know how much time I need for my eyes to adjust but eventually I can make out Eoghan smiling down at me, he looks somewhat amused.

With some help, I get back out of the tank, not feeling quite so self-conscious as I had when I got in. I wrap my towel about my waist when it is handed to me and I simply continue to lean against Eoghan instead of reaching for my crutch.

“How do you feel?” His voice is soft but I feel almost as if it resonates into my mind after the silence of the tank. I cant my head to the side lightly and then slowly turn to look towards the tank before I look back up to him.

“Surprisingly pleased. It was so quiet in there, even without the bracelet.”

His smile warms and he carefully walks me to my crutch. As we head back into the changing room he tells me we’ve only been in the tanks for about an hour. It felt so much longer, I’m surprised really. I shake my head and chuckle softly at the thought. Getting dressed doesn’t take as much time as getting undressed required. I feel much more at peace with everything that surrounds me and I don’t feel as self-conscious about myself as I usually do.

We walk back to the car in shared silence. I hear vague little murmurs in my mind but I’m so used to those that I ignore them automatically. He opens my door for me and I blink up at him with a slight blush to my cheeks. He only grins at me and I roll my eyes as I settle into the car.

“Thank you for talking me into doing this, Eoghan. After a while I was telling myself I could look into getting one for the apartment but I don’t know about that. It was a nice experience though.”

“You’re welcome. I thought you might appreciate how quiet it is in there. When I first discovered these isolation tanks I didn’t want to believe but my mind was swayed rather readily after I’d tried one of the earlier models. It’s a good life experience. Now how about we stop somewhere for a bit of a snack?”

My stomach rumbles as if to tell me it hasn’t been fed in some time and I smile sheepishly. “That sounds like a plan.”

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